Thursday, February 19, 2009

Beef Soft Tacos

As I write this, the flurries are flying and the wind is whipping around outside -- it's a bonechilling, gray, and dreary day. Typical for Wisconsin in February, I know. I'm not complaining; I've got a toasty fire going and the makings for beef soft tacos simmering away on the stove -- I've gone far away to sunny Mexico, if only inside my head!

I had to get in at least one more pot of this fabulous stew before spring arrives. After all, while stew meat is a bargain shopper's friend, it's not exactly swimsuit friendly, right? As far as I'm concerned, February is still open season on comfort food - and since beef stew meat is on special this week for $3.49 a pound, I'll serve up these tacos once again this winter. Besides, I've got on a big sweater today, not a bikini.

A few words about the star of this dish: the stew meat. As I'm sure you already know, stew meat is not the cut of beef you can have on the table in 15 minutes - unless of course, you enjoy gnawing through tough and chewy chunks. It's usually cut from a chuck roast, which is a part of the animal that gets worked out a lot, so chuck is a little on the tough side. But, when it's braised nice and slow with a little TLC, stew meat can become incredibly tender and flavorful. Having enough time to pull off the tough-to-tender transformation is key.

You'll need a couple of hours to make this dish, I'm not gonna lie. (Just keepin' it real, as my kids say.) The good news: the time you invest in this dish will not be wasted. You will love it. I promise. Let your diners assemble their own soft tacos: set out some guacamole and pico de gallo from the Produce Department, a big bowl of the sale Sargento Shredded Cheddar, and the sale La Perfidia Flour Tortillas. Sit back and accept their praise, and dream of your own favorite warm and sunny spot!
Here's the recipe! SALE INGREDIENTS are marked in bold green print. Enjoy!

Beef Soft Tacos
Serves: 6

1 T. vegetable oil
2 lbs. beef stew meat, patted dry
1 jar Salpica Salsa
1 c. chicken or beef broth
2 T. minced garlic
2 T. brown sugar
1 T. soy sauce

1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro
hefty squeeze fresh lime juice

Flour Tortillas, Shredded Cheese, Extra Salsa for serving
Optional: Fresh Guacamole & Pico de Gallo from the Produce Department

Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Saute beef in batches being careful not to crowd the pieces, for about four minutes per batch. Transfer beef to a bowl as each batch is done. Return all beef to the pot. Add salsa, broth, garlic, brown sugar, and soy sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until beef is tender, stirring often, about 1 hour 15 minutes.

Uncover pot and simmer until sauce thickens, about 15 minutes longer. Mix in cilantro and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Wrap your tortillas in a clean dish towel and microwave for a minute or two, or until hot. Serve the stew with the tortillas and accompaniments, allowing diners to assemble their own tacos.

1 comment:

Penny said...

This sounds like something I would like to try soon. Thanks Leah.

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