Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Hope your Cinco is Picante!

It's hard to believe it's that time of year again - Cinco de Mayo! My favorite way to celebrate is to make yummy tacos and margaritas! Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE tacos! Recently I bought a cookbook entitled 300 Best Taco Recipes, by Kelley Cleary Coffeen. I was so excited! Unfortunately, after trying a plethora of the recipes, I frankly have not been too impressed. Bummer. However, there is one recipe that my family (sans the vegetarian) and I really like for "New Mexico Picante Roast Tacos." In fact, I think these are my husband's favorite tacos hands down!

The recipe is reminiscent of my earlier recipe for Picante Pot Roast (which is excellent and I still recommend highly), but way simpler. Basically, you braise a chuck roast in a picante sauce/brown sugar/beer mixture until the meat is fall-apart tender. You serve it shredded with lettuce, cheddar cheese, and chopped tomatoes. I also serve it with my favorite salsa, Cholula, guacamole, and my homemade Mexican crema. Flour tortillas are recommended, but feel free to use corn tortillas if you prefer. Alternatively, because this recipe is so hands off (perfect party food), you could make Indian Fry Bread to make Navajo tacos. Whatever you choose, you'll love the simplicity of the recipe and the sweet, savory tacos that result. Happy Cinco!

New Mexico Picante Roast Tacos

Serves 4-6


1 can (12 oz/341 mL) regular or light beer (I prefer Shiner Bock)
2 cups picante sauce or salsa (I use picante sauce, if you can find it.)
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar (I use dark brown sugar, because that is what I usually have in house.)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 pound boneless beef, chuck or sirloin roast (I use chuck.)
2 cups shredded green leaf lettuce (I use Romaine or iceberg.)
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese 
1 tomato, seeded and chopped (I use 2-3 Roma tomatoes.)
16, 6- to 8- (15 to 20 cm) flour tortillas 


1. In a medium saucepan, combine beer, salsa and brown sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Set aside.

2. In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. (At this point, I season the roast with salt and pepper.) Brown roast on all sides. Reduce heat to medium and add beer mixture. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until meat pulls apart easily, 2 to 3 hours. (Alternately, you could pop it into a pre-heated 325 degree oven for 2 to 3 hours, if you prefer.)

3. Remove meat from pot and shred by hand or with two forks. Reserve excess sauce for dipping, if desired.

4. To build tacos, skillet warm tortillas. Divide meat, lettuce, cheese and tomato equally among tortillas. (I just set everything out to let everyone make their own.) Fold tortillas in half. Serve with reserved sauce.

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