Spicy Irish Beef Brisket Tacos

March 16, 2015

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It’s almost here! Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day! Are you getting all your plans sorted for the day’s celebrations? I’ve got a great recipe for you to add into the mix, Spicy Irish Beef Brisket Tacos! Now I bet you’re not surprized to hear me say that these Spicy Irish Beef Brisket Tacos are not a traditional Irish meal. No, Irish cuisine is not really known to be hot and spicy. But all of my Irish friends seem to love spicy dishes, as much as the husband and I do. So I decided to have a bit of fun and make up a batch of what I thought would be perfect “Irish Tacos”. First thing I had to figure out was the meat. I thought about using corned beef brisket, but decided to go with with beef brisket, cooked slow in Guinness with some spicy chipotle peppers and adobo sauce thrown into the mix. Again with an eye to Corned Beef & Cabbage dinners, I thought these Irish tacos would definitely need to be topped with cabbage. But rather than boiled cabbage, I went with a crispy spicy Cilantro Lime Slaw. And how could it be an Irish Taco if it didn’t have potatoes on it? My solution was to make a thin crispy potato pancake which would sit right on top of the flour tortilla and under the spicy beef and tangy slaw.

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Then there was nothing to do but pile on the toppings, fresh cilantro, tomatoes, avocado, shredded Dubliner Cheese and sour cream all drizzled with a bit of that spicy Guinness/Chipotle sauce in which the brisket was cooked. Wow! As it turns out Spicy Irish Beef Brisket Tacos are fantastic! Definitely not traditional Irish fare but perhaps it is time to start a new tradition. These devils will certainly give your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations a spicy twist!

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Spicy Irish Beef Brisket Tacos

  • Servings: 8 - 10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe adapted from: The Tasty Bite

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs beef brisket
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ cups Guinness extra stout 
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo
  • 1 Tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 tsps cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 8 -10 small corn or flour tortillas
  • Spicy Crispy Potato Pancakes (recipe noted below)
  • Cilantro Lime Slaw (recipe noted below)
  • Dubliner Cheese, shredded, for topping along with fresh diced tomatoes, fresh avocado fresh cilantro and sour cream

Directions:

Season the beef with salt and pepper. Heat a dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the oil and heat just until beginning to smoke. Add the meat and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 10 minutes total. Transfer the meat to a plate and set aside.

Add garlic and onion to the pot, and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add cider vinegar, stout, crushed tomatoes, molasses, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, chili powder, cumin, bay leaves, and brown sugar, and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, add the meat, and cook covered on medium low until the meat is tender, about 2 hours.

Remove the meat and discard the bay leaves. Using two forks, shred the meat along the grain. Pour the liquid and vegetables into a blender and puree until smooth. Add the sauce and shredded meat back into the pot, and allow it to simmer on low until the sauce has thickened up, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, warm tortillas. Lay one spicy crispy potato pancake on top of a tortilla and then pile on the brisket, shredded cheese, lime cilantro slaw, tomatoes, fresh avocado, fresh cilantro and sour cream.

Spicy Crispy Potato Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups grated potatoes
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Chili powder
  • 1 tsp Smoked Spanish Paprika
  • 1 tsp. fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • flaky sea salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons (+ more as needed) oil for frying

Directions:

Squeeze grated potatoes to extract as much water as possible. Place potatoes in bowl and par cook in microwave for 2 minutes.

Remove bowl from microwave and mix chili powder, smoked paprika and cilantro into grated potatoes.

Heat oil in frying pan over medium high. Add about 1/4 cup of potato mixture and flatten with  a spatula. You want about a 5″ diameter pancake. Reduce heat to medium low. Season with salt and pepper. Now here comes the hard part, don’t touch it! Let the pancake cook for about 3 -4 minutes or until the bottom is golden brown. Gently flip the potato pancake over. Increase the heat to medium high again and cook for about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.  Then lower the heat to medium low to finish cooking.

Place finished pancakes on paper towel covered plate and keep warm until ready to serve.

Cilantro Lime Slaw

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups shredded Cabbage or slaw mix
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed, chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • The juice from 1 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin

Directions:

Place shredded Cabbage is large bowl.

In small bowl, place diced jalapeno, olive oil, cilantro, rice vinegar, lime juice, garlic salt, onion powder and cumin. Whisk to combine.

Pour jalapeno/oil mixture over cabbage and toss to coat.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Enjoy!

Spicy Irish Beef Brisket Tacos brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

 


Spicy Lager Lentil Tacos

September 12, 2014

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I’ll keep those Meatless Monday recipes flowing with this my latest offering…Spicy Lager Lentil Tacos! Everyone loves tacos right? We love all spicy food around here and tacos are not exception. I must admit though, usually when we have tacos they are stuffed with some sort of spicy grilled meat. Just take a look at these Carnitas Tacos, Double Decker Taco Cupcakes, and Carne Asada Tacos. I think my Breakfast Tacos are the only meatless variety I’ve mentioned thus far, and they are stuffed full of egg, which I know is off limits for some folks. So here is a spicy, flavourful meatless taco that everyone will love…Spicy Lager Lentil Tacos!

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I found this recipe over at Delish Knowledge. Now the recipe as they posted it is very healthy and vegan. Mine, well…..I’d like to think it was a bit healthier than your average meat-stuffed taco, however  I must admit I took that virtuous vegan creation and altered it a bit. Yup…I added in some beer, a bunch of cheese and some sour cream. Go figure! What can I say, I have a weakness of cheese…oh yeah and beer….

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So although these tacos are not suitable for vegans anymore, they still do offer all the benefits of lentils. Lentils, besides being quite tasty, are packed full of protein, essential amino acids and vitamins. They are also pretty inexpensive if you are on a budget. They add great texture to these tacos and really take on the wonderful smoky spicy flavours of the spice mixture.

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We had several meals from this batch of lentils, tacos one night, followed by burritos and finally as a Spicy Lager Lentil Taco Salad. I tell you, you won’t miss the meat at all and I bet you’ll find that you are eating them on days other than Meatless Monday.

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Spicy Lager Lentil Tacos

  • Servings: 12-14 tacos
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe adapted from: Delish Knowledge

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup lentils, cooked (you will end up with about 2 cups of lentils when cooked)
  • 1 white onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 oz. chopped green chilis
  • 1/2 cup salsa (your favourite – We love Green Mountain Gringo Salsa)
  • 6 oz.- 8 oz. lager beer (I used Estrella Damm, Dos Equis would be great too )
  • 12 – 18 small taco sized Corn or Flour Tortillas, or Taco Shells

For the spice mixture:

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon Spanish Smoked paprika
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

For the Taco toppings:  Your choice of: shredded lettuce, sliced jalapenos, diced tomatoes, shredded mexican cheese, sour cream, cotija cheese, fresh cilantro, guacamole, sliced avocados, jalapeno/cilantro crema

Ingredients:

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and tin of green chilis, cook for another minute or two.  Add the spice mixture and cook, stirring frequently. You don’t want to burn the spices just crank up the flavor by cooking them.

Add the lentils, salsa and 6 ounces of the beer and stir to combine. Let cook for 2-3 minutes. Using a potato masher or fork, gently mash the lentils until the mixture reaches the consistency you are happy with. Cook another few minutes until hot. If the lentils start to dry out, add another glug or two of the lager. ( If you haven’t slurped it down…cooking is hard & thirsty work!)

Place a heaping spoonful or two into warmed taco shells or tortillas and add your toppings. The lentil filling will make about 12-14 tacos, depending on how stuffed you like them!

Enjoy!

Spicy Lentil Tacos brought to you by: Runcible Eats (http://www.leaandjay.com )

 

 


Carne Asada Tacos

July 25, 2014

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Taco Time! And not just any old tacos, but mouth-wateringly delicious Steak Carne Asada Tacos. These were some of the best steak tacos I’ve ever eaten. And I swear, I’m not just saying that. The meat, which had been marinated overnight, and grilled to perfection thanks to the mad grilling skills of the husband, was very flavourful and truly tender. It practically melted in your mouth. And the toppings…Oh the toppings!

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There was the usual mexican cheese blend and sour cream to be sure, and I had just made up a batch of that stunning Zesty Black Bean & Grilled Corn Salsa that I told you about a couple of days ago. And although tasty perched on top of tortilla chips, that salsa really shone on top of these spicy tacos. And then I really turned up the heat by adding a bit of that Jalapeno/Cilantro Crema that I told you about a week or so ago. That was nothing short of spectacular! My taste buds were singing, let me tell you! Yup, exactly like I said…Best. Tacos. Ever.

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Carne Asada means grilled meat and traditionally steak is the meat of choice, usually a flank steak or skirt steak to be specific. Personally I love flat iron steaks and lucky for me (and the folks I was serving) flat iron was on sale at my local grocery store. So if you are making these tacos, or should I say, when you are making these tacos, once you have managed to choose the steak, the next step is to marinate it. I believe allowing the meat to sit overnight really gives that tangy marinade time to work its magic, but I suppose if you are really pressed you could call it quits after about 4 hours. And if you are not a fan of tacos, which I can’t imagine. I mean…what are you like?!!!  Everybody like tacos!

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This marinade will yield up a wonderfully flavourful steak that you can eat all on its own, cut up into chunks for skewers,  or slice thinly over a fresh green salad. Bottom line is, whatever you do, grill up some of this unbelievable Carne Asada Steak. You’ll be glad you did!

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Carne Asada Tacos

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe for marinade from: Plentytude

Ingredients:

  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large handful fresh cilantro leaves, minced
  • Juice of 3 limes and 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • A few turns of freshly cracked black pepper
  • a couple of dashes of cayenne pepper
  • 2 – 2 1/2 lbs. flat iron or flank steak
  • 12 taco sized (the smaller ones) flour or corn tortillas
  • taco toppings like: shredded Mexican Cheese, crumbled cotija cheese, zesty black bean & grilled corn salsa, fresh salsa, guacamole, Jalapeno/Cilantro Crema, fresh diced tomatoes, sour cream, fresh cilantro

Directions:

Combine garlic, cilantro, lime juice, orange juice, olive oil, cumin, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Cover another bowl with a gallon-size plastic zip bag, and roll down the sides to cover the zipper area. Place steak in bag and pour marinade on top of steak. Close the bag securely, pressing out excess air, and massage the marinade thoroughly into the steak. Leave the bag in the refrigerator overnight.

Heat up a grill. Season each piece of meat with a few turns of freshly cracked sea salt and black pepper, and grill to desired doneness. Remove steak from heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice steak across the grain into thin slices and serve with tortillas and taco toppers of your choice.

Enjoy!

Carne Asada Tacos brought to you by:  Runcible Eats (http://www.leaandjay.com )

 

 


Carnitas Tacos

April 19, 2013

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I gotta tell ya’ll, we LOVE any sort of Mexican/Tex-Mex food around here. I’m always more than happy to try out any such recipe. And on Friday night, one of the bands my husband plays in usually arrives here to rehearse. (yup…we have a rehearsal space/recording studio in our basement.) Which is great because it gives me a captive audience to try out new recipes on. And they went absolutely wild for these Carnitas Tacos! What really made these tacos stand out from the run of the mill ground beef tacos was the delicious, spicy, melt-in-your-mouth-tender yet crispy at the edges pork. And the truly wonderful thing about these carnitas is that I was able to make the dish with very little fuss. No really, I kid you not and I’m not even exaggerating the least little bit! You see they are crock pot carnitas. I don’t know about you, but I seem to have some strange ideas about how one gets pulled pork. Perhaps it is a bit of the southerner in me, but I instantly think of a whole pig over a spit and some poor sweltering soul that is left to turn the crank on the spit for the days it takes it to cook. Of course, I fear that I’m going to be that poor soul, so I tend to shy away from any pulled pork recipe. But do you know what I’ve come to realize? You don’t need to man a spit. In fact, you can make some heavenly pulled pork in a crock pot. Go figure! So, this is what I did. I got up the day before folks were going to arrive and put a big old pork shoulder into my crock pot with all the appropriate spices, some lime juice, orange juice and beer and then just turned it on and let it do its thing for 8 hours. When it was all done, I removed the meat, shredded it and popped it into the fridge. The next evening, I got all my taco fixings ready to go, you know the grated cheese, shredded lettuce, salsa, guacamole, diced onions and tomatoes, fresh chopped cilantro, sour cream and tortillas both soft and crispy. Then, shortly before I was going to serve dinner, I put the shredded pork in the broiler to warm it up and get it a little crispy around the edges.

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It was really easy and incredibly tasty! And the other amazing thing is that there were left-overs! On band rehearsal evenings I’m usually feeding six hungry musicians, so more often than not the only thing I bring back into the kitchen are dirty dishes. However, this time I knew I’d be able to get at least one more meal from these carnitas. Hmmm…there are so many possibilities, we could do more tacos, or a tamale pie or pulled pork sandwiches. You’ll have to check back to see what I actually came up with, but I’ll tell you it was just as good as these stop-you-in-your-tracks Carnitas Tacos and that is saying something! But don’t let folks in on the secret, let them imagine you out there toiling endlessly over that spit!

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Carnitas Tacos

recipe from: Pinch of Yum

Yield: 10-12 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 lbs. pork shoulder
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle hot sauce
  • juice of 2 limes
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 12 ounces beer
  • ½ cup salsa

Taco Fixings: whatever your favourites are, but here are some suggestions

  • tortillas, soft or crispy – your choice
  • lettuce, shredded
  • tomatoes, diced
  • guacamole or sliced avocados
  • onion, diced
  • cilantro, freshly chopped
  • sour cream
  • shredded cheese
  • salsa
  • hot sauce

Directions:

Place the pork shoulder in the slow cooker, fat side up. Roughly chop the garlic and place in the slow cooker (I actually kind of rubbed it onto the meat to get as much garlic flavor as possible, but you could just toss it in, too).

Sprinkle the meat with salt, cumin, chili powder, black pepper, oregano, cinnamon, and cayenne. Rub seasonings onto the pork.

Add lime juice, orange juice, beer, and salsa. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Remove pork from the slow cooker. Shred meat with two forks. Reserve the sauce separately. The meat should fall apart easily. At this point, you can either place the meat in the refrigerator if you are serving at a later date. Or if you are ready to serve it right then and there, preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the shredded meat on the cooking sheet and pour a few spoonfuls of sauce over the top. Broil for 5-10 minutes or until you get browned edges on the pork.Serve on tortillas with fresh cilantro, avocado, and all the fixins!

Enjoy!


Double Decker Taco Cupcakes

August 20, 2012

I had to get your attention with that title huh? Double decker…Taco…cupcakes?!! How much more goodness could you pack into four little words? I’m happy to report that these little fellas didn’t only sound good, they really delivered on taste as well. Back in February, I had tried out a recipe for Lasagna Cupcakes  which I had seen on the Girl Who Ate Everything blog. They were a huge hit. A couple of months later, I noticed that she had posted a recipe for Double Decker Taco Cupcakes. I have just been itching to try these out since then and finally had an occasion to make up a batch. I’m glad I did ’cause let me tell ya…folks went wild for them!

These Taco Cupcakes are quite similar to the Lasagna version, baked in cupcake tins with wonton wrappers, but this time filled with all kinds of taco-y ingredients like seasoned ground beef, refried beans, crushed tortilla chips and cheese. Once they’re out of the oven, you can sprinkle your favourite taco fixin’s on top such as sour cream, onions, jalapeno peppers, cilantro and avocado over the tops. They come together very quickly and easily. I assembled them earlier in the day and then baked them right before my guests turned up. They were great for dinner and would serve wonderfully as “finger food” at a larger party (perhaps a Cinco de Mayo gathering…). But don’t wait until May! Find a reason to make these soon!

Double Decker Taco Cupcakes

recipe from: The Girl Who Ate Everything

yield: 18 Taco Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1b. ground beef
  • 1 package Old El Paso Taco seasoning mix
  • 36 Wonton Wrappers
  • 1 can (16 ounces) refried beans
  • 36 tortilla chips
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican Blend or Cheddar cheese
  • Optional Toppings: sour cream, diced tomatoes, diced onion, diced jalapeno peppers, cilantro, salsa, avocado

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F. And spray 18 wells of muffin tins with cooking spray.

Brown beef in a skillet and drain the fat. Add the taco seasoning mix and water called for on the package and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Set aside.

Place one wonton wrapper in the bottom of each muffin cup. Layer about 1/2 Tbsp of refried beans on top of each wonton. Crush one tortilla chip on top of the beans. Top with 1 Tbsp of taco meat and 1 Tbsp of shredded cheese. Repeat the layers again with a wonton wrapper, refried beans, tortilla chips, taco meat, and cheese.

Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden brown.

Gently remove from muffin tin and top with your favourite taco toppings.

Enjoy!


Breakfast Tacos with Griddled Cotija Cheese & Chipotle Lime Salsa

January 6, 2012

I know everyone is still probably thinking about sweet Christmas goodies right about now. Recipes for cookies, fudge and candies rule right now. Don’t get me wrong now, I do truly love cookies, and the majority of those other sugar laden sweets. But I might have possibly had my fill of sweets at this point. I know, that seems strange. Cookies are definitely a weakness of mine. But my husband and I also have another weakness. We love spicy food, and by spicy I mostly mean hot, the hotter the better. (Well, one Thai restaurant did give us a run for our money as far as our spiciness tolerance is concerned…) In fact, I have a confession to make. Jay, Gimlet and I are absolutely addicted to these chorizo breakfast burritos sold by Anita’s, a “New Mexico Style” Mexican restaurant which is located entirely too close to our house. It really does take amazing restraint on our part not to go there every week, which if we did, might be a joy for a taste buds, but would become oh so burdensome for the bathroom scale. That being said, I’m always on the lookout for spicy breakfast recipes that will keep me home rather than out on the highway, headed for Anita’s. Because believe me, if we walk in that door, we don’t just place an order for one breakfast burrito for that day. We inevitably leave with a Santa Clausian style sack full of burritos for the forseeable future, chips, dips, dinners, etc. Their food is that good and we are that weak! Go out and try it at your own risk, and don’t say we didn’t warn you! Anyway…I was very happy when I spied this recipe on one of my favourite blogs, Spoon With Me. Jenny was able to recreate this recipe from a breakfast taco served by a taco truck out in her neck of the woods. And let me tell you, this breakfast taco is fantastic! The griddled Cotija cheese adds amazing saltiness and crunch to the dish and the chipotle lime salsa gives it just the right amount of spicy kick! My first question when I read her recipe though was “What is Cotija?” Well, Cotija is a Mexican hard, salty, cow’s milk cheese. It is somewhat similar to parmesan. It is sold in small rounds or  in packages already grated. I have seen it in Whole Foods and Harris Teeter grocery stores. It may take you a bit of time to find it, but it is so worth it! These tacos are very easy to assemble. You just place a bit of Cotija in a hot pan, cook it for one minute or so until it is golden brown. Flip it over and cook the other side.

Griddled Cotija

Place the Cotija disc on top of a warm corn tortilla. Place scrambled eggs on top of the Cotija. Sprinkle freshly chopped onion, avocado and cilantro over the top. Finally, drizzle liberally with the chipotle lime salsa. And although the salsa is used as a topping in this recipe, it is really an attention grabber. Fantastic adobo chili flavour with quite a spicy kick as well.

Woah! Good Morning! This taco is just bursting with fresh, spicy flavours! I’m telling you, one bite and you’ll be addicted too!

Breakfast Tacos with Griddled Cotija Cheese & Chipotle Lime Salsa

yield: 8 tacos

Recipe from Spoon With Me

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces Cotija cheese, crumbled
  • 8 large eggs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • Canola oil, to fill a small frying pan to 1/2 inch
  • 1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted and sliced
  • Chopped onion and cilantro for garnish
  • Chipotle Lime Salsa (see below)

Directions:

Griddle the Cotija:

Heat a nonstick frying pan over medium heat.  Wait until the pan is hot, then place 1/4 cup crumbled Cotija in the middle of the pan.  Spread the Cotija into a circle about 3 or 4 inches in diameter.  Cover the pan and cook for one minute, or until the Cotija is bound together, and the underside is speckled and golden.  Press it down with a spatula for 10 seconds, then flip.  Press down the other side and cook for an additional 30 seconds.  If not using immediately, the Cotija patties can be kept warm in an oven set to the lowest temperature for up to 10 minutes.

Soften the Tortillas:

Set a plate covered with paper towels beside the stove.  Heat the oil in a small frying pan until hot and shimmering.  Cook each corn tortilla until softened and just beginning to puff up in spots.  Remove from the pan and set on the paper towels to drain.  Blot any excess oil from the top with additional paper towels.

Scramble the Eggs:

Whisk the eggs, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Scramble them as per usual.

Assemble the Tacos:

On top of each tortilla, layer the griddled Cotija, scrambled eggs, salsa, avocado, chopped onions and cilantro.  Devour while hot.

Chipotle-Lime Salsa

Ingredients: 

  • 2 tablespoons adobo sauce, from one small can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 2 chipotle chiles, from 1 small can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

In a food processor, puree the adobo sauce, chipotle chiles, lime juice and salt.  Add the  onion and cilantro, and pulse until everything is finely chopped.


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