Thursday, 11 December 2014

Layered Nacho Madness - Mexican Binge Part 2

So remember how I said that the slow cooked beef from my previous recipe can be made into some KILLER nachos? Well here I am, delivering. This dish has four main components. Pulled beef, nacho chips, onion and tomato salsa and guacamole. Everything except the guacamole can be prepared well ahead of time (only because avocado discolours and oxidises pretty quick.) I used cheese flavoured Doritos (because my main goal in life is to increase the ways in which I consume cheese), but you are free to choose any corn chip you fancy. The barbecue flavoured Doritos also work really well. The other thing is that I'm doing a layered nacho version (so think of like a nacho lasagna... Mmmm. Are your kinky food dreams taking shape yet?). You can go the traditional route and just do one layer with everything piled on top :D I know a lot of you will give me a lot of grief. for not having jalapenos on here... But guess what, I hate jalapenos, and this is my blog so I do what I want. If you would like to include jalapenos or Ancho chillies, do as you please!

Serves 2-4

1-2 large packets of corn chips
Leftover braised beef
1 can red kidney beans (washed and drained)
3 tbs water
1 cup sour cream
1 large bunch coriander (2 smaller bunches)
2 medium red onions
2 medium tomatoes
2 green chillies
2-3 limes
2 ripe avocados
2-3 cups of grated cheese (depends on how much cheese you want to eat, really. Cheese is the love of my life, therefore I will have lots of it!)


1. Remember how I told you to freeze your leftover beef from the previous post? Well, now take it out of the freezer and pop in the microwave for about a good 5-8 minutes or until all the ice has melted and the beef is really hot. Carefully, give the beef a good mashing with a fork to break down the bigger pieces into small bits. 

2. Next, into a saucepan, add this beef mixture. On a medium flame, move it around the pan. Break up the beef with a wooden spatula or with a fork until it achieves the texture of pulled pork - you'll be able to visibly see the strands of beef separated from each other. Do make sure that you don't break the beef down to the point where it becomes mush though! 

3. Add in the water and the beans and allow the mixture to thicken. The moment the pulled beef is glistening and thick, take off the heat and leave it to the side. Check out how dark, rich and glorious that beef has become! This is a winner right here ladies and gentlemen!

4. To prepare the onion salsa, finely chop the onion, tomato and chili and put into a plastic bowl. Next, chop the entire bunch of coriander and save about 2-3 tablespoons of the coriander for garnishing and add the rest into the same bowl as the onion. 

5. Add in a good teaspoon or so of salt, squeeze in the juice of a whole lime and mix well. Leave this aside too. 

6. To make the guacamole, peel and de-seed two ripe avocados. Scoop out the avocado flesh into a bowl and mash well with a fork.

7. Add about 1-2 tsp of sour cream, juice of half a lime and a 1 tsp of salt and mix well. And now, you are ready to make nachos!

8. Battle Stations go! Arrange your corn chips at the bottom of the bowl/dish you're using.

9. Next, add in a cheeky little layer of the pulled beef. Mmm. Delicious.

10. Followed by a sinful layer of salsa and cheese!

Now, if you're making regular nachos, you can stop at this point. Once you've added the cheese, you can pop the nachos either into the microwave on high for 2 minutes (to melt the cheese) or into a 180 C over for 5 minutes (frankly the microwave is so much easier). If you're doing what I did and if you're making layered nachos, just keep repeating the layers until your dish is full. Then, top it off with cheese and pop into the microwave.

11. Once the nachos are out of the over and the cheese has melted, slather on a generous amount of your guacamole on top. Along with the guacamole, also dollop sour cream, a small amount of the onion salsa, some fresh coriander and a squeeze of lime,

12. Alternatively, you can serve the nachos as they are when you take them out from the microwave/oven and serve the sour cream, guacamole, salsa and fresh coriander separately in side dishes, especially if you're making this for friends who might not want sour cream or guac on their nachos (WHY ARE YOU FRIENDS WITH SUCH PEOPLE?! HEATHENS. Unfriend them at once!). 

This is what mine looked like. I ate the leftovers the next days with more sour cream, guac and coriander piled on top. In case it isn't obvious, I have a serious love affair with coriander and avocado.

I heaped on a big, thick, generous, glistening layer of guacamole, sour cream, fresh coriander and salsa. And it was absofuckinglutely wonderful. But that's me. You do what you want, you go Glen Coco!

Until next time, freaks! Leave me a comment and share the links!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Slow Braised Mexican Beef

So lately I've been going on a Mexican food binge; trying out recipes and seeing how I go. This slow braised beef, I've come to realise, serves two purposes. Firstly, it's great to eat with lime rice and salsa or stuff into a burrito. Secondly, if you freeze your leftovers, you can reuse them in a few days to make some KILLER nachos. I used chuck steak (also known as gravy beef) instead of mince because the tenderised chuck tastes so much better than mince and it falls apart beautifully. 

When I made this, unfortunately I couldn't document the whole process with step by step pictures as I usually do because.. Well, I forgot. But I do have very clear instructions, so you should not have any problems! 

Serves 2-4

1kg casserole beef - diced 
1 medium onion - diced 
1 red chili - finely chopped 
2-3 cloves garlic - finely chopped
2 tsp cumin powder 
1 tsp chili powder 
1 tsp pepper 
1 tsp dried oregano 
2-3 tsp paprika  
3 tbs chopped coriander 
1 can tomatoes
1 can red kidney beans
2 tbs oil 
Salt to taste 

Note: You can use readymade Mexican seasoning packets that you find at supermarkets. 

1. Trim the fat off your beef, making sure you remove the bigger bits of sinew completely as it will go rubbery when it's cooked. Then, cut the beef into relatively small cubes that are around 3x3cm. Don't make the cubes so small that they disintegrate in the pan though! 

2. Add in all the spices to the beef along with the salt and give the beef a good mix through so that all the cubes are coated with the spices. Leave this aside while you prepare the other components. 

3. Finely dice the onion, chili, garlic and coriander. Make sure that you use the coriander stems as well because they contain a lot of flavour that shouldnt go to waste! 

4. Heat up the oil in wide, a flat bottomed pot. Remember, the pot needs to be big enough to hold all that beef! Now, this step is crucial. Its very easy to make beef go dry and tough. To prevent that from happening and to ensure that we have lovely, melt in your mouth beef, it's extremely important to seal the meat. How is that done?  

When the oil is hot, add SOME of the beef into the pan. Do NOT add all of it. Give them a good mix around in the high flame until they've started changing colour and developing a light crust. At this point, take the beef out of the pan and leave it aside in a bowl. Repeat this process for the rest of the beef but make sure you do it in batches. This is important because if you add all the beef into the pan at once, the meat won't sear and seal; it will stew in the pan, all the juices will run out the and the meat will end up dry, tough and chewy. 

5. Now, into the same pan, add a little bit more oil. Add in the chopped chillies, garlic, onion and coriander. Fry them off until they begin to soften. At this point, re introduce the meat into the pot. Mix in the beef really well, ensuring that all the pieces are evenly coated in the aromatics. 

6. Once the meat has been frying for about five minutes, add in the can of diced tomatoes. Also add in enough water just enough to cover the beef pieces. 

7. Bring mixture to a vigorous simmer. Place the lid on the pot and turn the flame down low as it would go. Add in the washed, drained can of kidney beans and leave it be for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, checking on it every 20 minutes or so. 

8. Once the meat is tender, take the lid off the pot and turn up the heat to reduce the amount of water. Once the mixture begins to thicken, take the pot off the heat. You are now ready to stick this in a burrito or eat it with lime rice. This freezes for about 5 days; and can be used for nachos!