in the kitchen

in the kitchen

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Taco Mania 2 - Beef Chili Rojo and Cilantro Lime Rice

As promised, here is the second taco recipe. This one a stunning beef rojo taco filling (would also work for tamales). Although it simmers for a long time, the actual prep time is minimal. And again, it is a terrific make ahead dish, re-heating and even freezing beautifully. Check out the bottom of this post for a cilantro lime rice accompaniment.
Utah Style Beef Chili Rojo
3 1/2 to 4 pounds lean beef roast
3/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons salt, divided
3 teaspoons chili powder, divided
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 tablespoons oil, divided
3 cups diced red pepper (about 2 large)
2 to 3 cups diced sweet white onion (about 2 large)
2 cloves garlic, smashed, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon beef stock paste
2 cups water
Trim fat off roast and dice into 3/4 inch cubes, (cut slices and then strip slices then cube strips). Mix flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon chili powder, mustard and pepper in a bowl. Heat a 12 inch skillet over medium high heat. Dredge 1/4 of the beef cubes in flour mixture. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to the hot pan and as soon as it is shimmering, place dredged beef cubes into the pan in a single layer. Cook undisturbed for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes so that cubes brown nicely. Stir beef and allow to cook another minute. Stir once more and allow another 30 seconds or so, browning at least 3 sides of most of the cubes. Transfer cubes to a stove top and oven proof casserole (an enamel covered cast iron pot or dutch oven type). Repeat with the remaining beef in three more batches, adding 1 tablespoon oil prior to each. There will be a deep brown fond (cooked flour, oil and meat drippings) on the bottom of the skillet after the last beef is browned. Place veggies and garlic in the pan and sprinkle with remaining chili powder and cumin. Saute for 2 minutes then stir in tomato paste and cook for another 2 minutes. Mix the beef stock paste and remaining salt into the water and use to deglaze the skillet, scraping the fond off the bottom. Pour the contents of the skillet over the beef and and stir to mix. Cover the pot and simmer for two hours, stirring every 20 minutes or so. After two hours, remove lid and continue to simmer for another two hours or until chunks are fork tender and sauce has reduced and thickened to gravy consistency. Serve warm, or cool and refrigerate overnight, reheating in a 325 degree oven for 1 hour.
Serve with: tortillas, black beans, cilantro lime black rice*, jack cheese, lettuce, diced red peppers, lime wedges, sour cream and hot pepper sauce or salsa.
Hints:The cooking process can be sped up using a pressure cooker. Cook the meat and sauce under pressure for about 15 minutes--reduce the liquid to 1 1/2 cups water; you will still need to simmer to reduce and thicken the sauce for an hour or so. The cut will make a difference in the amount of cooking time needed to tenderize the meat. A tougher cut will take longer. The following is a basic recipe for cilantro lime rice made with black rice instead of a white variety. I really like it but feel free to switch out the black for white. The coriander, which is cilantro seed, yields another layer of the cilantro flavor.

Cilantro Lime Black Rice
1 cup black rice
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 lime, juice and zest
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Combine rice, water, salt and coriander in a rice cooker. Wash the lime and zest it with a microplane right over the pot. Cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice into the opt as well. Cover and cook according to manufacturers directions. Stir cilantro into hot rice just before serving. (Can be made in a covered sauce pan on the stove top and will need to simmer about 40 minutes.)

I am a taco maniac and I admit it. I can pass on some foods but a taco always temps me to indulge and usually I succumb. Some foods are like that for all of us; we have our own Achilles Heel and if yours is tacos too, lets get together for lunch sometime soon!


  1. Replies
    1. You know me! However it wasn't very spicy, I used salsa to perk it up.

  2. I am totally going to try this recipie with an elk roast! It sounds really good.


    1. That sounds great! Let me know how it turns out.