Sunday, January 31, 2010

Homemade Tacos with Spicy Pulled Beef

I'm back on the Mexican bandwagon, with tacos galore and soon to make a black bean soup. Normally i think of tacos, burritos and the like as an awesome fast food. Grill up a chicken fillet, or even just combined refried and kidney beans, stuff them into a tortilla and you have an easy meal. But this time, i tried something different...

I made my own corn tortillas. And it was interesting to try. But i sure as heck wouldn't wanna do it for a hoard of people without my own tortilla press and staff of assembly line workers. But, if you're interesting in cooking as much as i am, give it a shot. You can experiment with extra ingredients too, or even get a hold of blue masa.

Ingredients (makes 12 tacos)


  • 2 cups masa harina (a special corn flour you can purchase from specialty delicatessens)
  • 1-2 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt

Pulled Beef

  • 1kg stewing / braising beef
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cinammon
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • Fillings such as lettuce, tomato, sour cream, cheese, refried beans.



Combine the masa and 1 cup of water in a large bowl. Gradually add enough water so that the dough can stay in one big ball but is not sticky and too wet.
Knead for 2 minutes (you cannot overwork this dough because there is no gluten in masa)
Cover with gladwrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (you can freeze this dough if you like)
Divide the dough into golfball sized pieces.
Place the first ball of dough into the centre of a piece of plastic wrap / baking paper
Cover with another piece of wrap
Roll / press the dough out to an 8 inch tortilla size

Repeat with all dough, keeping the tortillas between the baking paper. 
Set a large frying pan onto a medium heat with no oil. 
Peel the first tortilla off the paper and place onto the pan.
Cook until the tortilla has brown spots on it, then flip and repeat with the other side.
Remove from the pan and place on a plate, covering with a tea towel.
Repeat for all other tortillas. 
If you are not yet ready to serve, keep the tortillas warm but wrapping in tin foil and placing in a low oven. 

Pulled Beef

Place the beef and all spices into a large crockpot. 
Cover with the tinned tomatoes and stir through.
Cover and place in a 160 degree oven for 4 hours, turning regularly. 
Place the crockpot on a stove and continue to cook until the liquid evaporates.
Using two forks, shred the beef by pulling the beef apart with the forks. 
Then just assemble the taco however you like, and enjoy with margaritas :)

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