Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows without doubt that my heart belongs to southern cuisine, right? I think I’ve made that very plain through the past year and a half that I’ve been writing here. But, once in a while you just have to venture out to something a little different! Whenever I do, it’s almost always something with either an Italian influence or something Mexican.
I was watching a new Food Network show a couple of weeks ago, Mexican Made Easy, and saw these Machaca Burritos being prepared. I just knew from the list of ingredients that it would be a perfect combination of flavors. I was right about that! This recipe combines marinated skirt steak with onions, peppers, tomatoes and chilies into an incredible meat sauce that is rolled into flour tortillas. Add a little sour cream and cilantro and…wow! I served the burritos with refried beans topped with cheese and salsa along with a simple lettuce and tomato salad with guacamole dressing. Uncle J and his girls joined us for dinner and I think I can report that this was a definite hit with everyone!
According to Wikipedia, the term “machaca” comes from the verb form machacado which means pounded or crushed. Makes sense, I guess, since the meat is thoroughly shredded after a long cooking time.
Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients. You basically marinate your steak overnight and then cook it up with some vegetables the next day. That part goes very quickly followed by long, slow cooking to tenderize the skirt steak.
2-3 pound skirt steak, trimmed and cut into 3” pieces
3 tblsp. vegetable oil
1 large white onion, roughly chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, roughly chopped
2 serrano chiles, chopped, seeds and ribs removed (optional)
1 cup beef broth
1 can diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 tsp. dried Mexican oregano
salt and pepper to taste
12 6-inch flour tortillas
Sour cream (optional)
Lime wedges (optional)
1 tblsp. soy sauce
1 tblsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tblsp. water
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 serrano chili, finely minced, seeds and ribs removed
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup vegetable oil
To start, cut the skirt steak into about 3″ pieces. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large zip top plastic bag. Close the bag and shake well to combine. Add the skirt steak and toss to make sure each piece is well coated with the marinade. Place the plastic bag with steak and marinade in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.
Allow the meat to come to room temperature before cooking. Remove from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Discard marinade.
Cut the onions and peppers into rough chunks and set aside.
In a large, heavy pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Sear the meat on all sides, a few pieces at a time. Transfer the meat to a plate or platter and set aside.
Without cleaning the pan, add the onions, peppers, garlic and chilies (if using). Saute for approximately 5 minutes. The vegetables will pick up a lot of the browned bits left from the meat. This is exactly what you want!
Add the beef broth, tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix well. Return the meat and any collected juices to the pan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cover. Simmer slowly until the meat is very tender, about 2 hours.
Remove the meat to a cutting board and allow it to rest until cool enough to handle – about 15 minutes. Continue cooking the onion and pepper mixture until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Using your fingers or two forks, shred the meat. Return the shredded meat to the pot, stir to combine and cook until the meat is very hot.
Warm the tortillas in a dry skillet or the microwave. Place about 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture in the center of each tortilla. Add sour cream, salsa, cilantro and lime juice if desired.
To roll a burrito, fold in two sides. Begin to roll from the bottom until you make a nice, drip-free package!
–Recipe adapted from Marcela Valladolid
(Mexican Food Made Easy, Food Network)