If, like me, you think the “Taco Tuesday” trend is getting out of hand, try visiting Tijuana some time. In that infamous border town, famous for vice, striped donkeys and regrettable college weekends, every day is Taco Day. Seriously, you can’t swing a beer-can-pinata without hitting a taco truck, stall or bicycle.
Dig a bit deeper, though, and you’ll find a culinary revolution that’s now drawing more tourists to Baja than Avenida Revolucion – BajaMed cuisine. Launched by a local chef, and embraced by a growing contingent of cooking school grads, BajaMed dishes provide a modern, globalist take on traditional Mexican dishes. While Wikipedia has a brief (and somewhat stodgy) article about the trend, you can get a much livelier picture of the culinary scene at The Independent.
Now, I may not be Javier Plascencia, but when I finished my last batch of slow-cooked beef, rather than plating it carelessly aside mash and gravy, I thought of the one thing I really miss from my time in Tijuana – fancy-ass tacos!
As you make this dish, remember the spirit of BajaMed – make it delicious, make it fresh, and keep it fun. Be bold! Be adventurous! Grab your mezcal, eat the worm, and let the creative juices flow!
Slow-Cooked Beef Tacos
- 3 lb chuck roast or similar, cut into large 2 in. chunks
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 large carrots, sliced
- 2 stalks celery, sliced
- 1 large red pepper, chopped
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper*
- 12 oz beer (or subsitute with two cups beef broth)
- 1 15 oz can stewed or diced tomatoes
- * I’ve got small kids with very low spice tolerance. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, feel free to increase the cayenne or, better yet, add a sliced habanero to the mix.
- Place the beef chunks in a large bowl. Salt and pepper generously, and toss to coat evenly. Next, add all the dry spices and use your hands to rub the spices into the beef. Set aside.
- Chop the onions, carrots, celery and peppers, and add to your slow cooker. Then add the seasoned meat.
- Add the tomatoes on top of the meat, then gently pour in the beer or broth.
- Cook on low for 7 hours, or high for 4 hours. Remove the meat and shred it with a fork.
- Serve in warm corn tortillas, topped with coleslaw, goat cheese, salsa and corn. Feel free to experiment with different cheeses and veggies. Bleu cheese, pickled onions, shredded zucchini, heirloom tomatoes…anything goes!