(Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

(Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Cinco de Mayo is starting to become a main stay holiday in the United States.  While the Mexican people celebrate the victory over France in the Battle of Puebla in 1862 (note this was almost a year after the American Civil War / The War Between the States started).  It has become a great holiday to celebrate the 13.5 million Mexican-Americans that are apart of our neighborhoods.

I thought it appropriate to share six (6) recipes that are the highest viewed recipes on the website that are influenced or are directly Mexican cuisine.  The benefit is these are darn tasty and an excellent addition to your Cinco de Mayo festivities.

Carnitas

Serves 4
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 6 hours
Total time 6 hours, 20 minutes
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Serve Hot
Occasion Casual Party
Region Mexican

Ingredients

  • 8 Lbs pork butt (extra fat removed)
  • 1 cup orange juice (about 3 oranges)
  • 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon achiote oil
  • 8 Cloves garlic (minced)

Directions

Step 1
If you are going to smoke your pork, set it up for a 5 hour cook over indirect heat at 350 degrees F. If you are using a Big Green Egg, invert the plate setter with a trivet on it so it will diffuse the heat and keep the bottom of the pork from burning.
Step 2
While your grill is coming to temperature, cut the roast into 3 to 4-inch chunks, be sure to discard any connective tissue, however keep the fat. Fat is flavor and will help make the pork taste great.
Step 3
Combine all of the ingredients in a Dutch oven, stir to combine completely. Cover the Dutch oven with the lid and set it on the grill. Let it simmer for an hour. The orange juice will be bubbly and the fat in the meat should have started to break down.
Step 4
After the fat has started to render, in order to get the meat to crisp up you will need to reduce the liquid. Remove the lid and let it simmer for another hour. Keep checking and stirring every hour, until most of this liquid has evaporated and the pork started to fry in its fat (this will be about the 3 hour mark).
Step 5
Then, you need to start checking the meat ever 15 minutes to ensure that the meat is getting crispy, and not becoming dry or burned. Total cook time is about 4 - 5 hours.

Chili Con Carne

Serves 6
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 2 hours, 30 minutes
Total time 2 hours, 45 minutes
Meal type Main Dish, Soup
Misc Serve Hot
Occasion Casual Party
Region Mexican

Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 Lbs beef chuck roast
  • 10 dried chile peppers (Guajillo, or a mix of New Mexico, Ancho and Pequin are good)
  • 1 7 oz can Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 1 Quart beef stock
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 Large onion (chopped)
  • 4 Cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano
  • kosher salt and black pepper

Directions

Step 1
Pre-heat your oven to 300 degrees F.
Step 2
Wearing protective gloves, stem and seed the dried chiles. Warm these chiles in a non-stick skillet over medium heat until their color starts to slightly change and the air is perfumed with their fragrance. Place the chilies in a bowl and cover with hot (but not boiling) water, and let them steep until they are softened. This will take about 30 minutes.
Step 3
While the Chiles are re-hydrating, coat the roast with a little of the peanut oil on all sides and then dust with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining oil in a large dutch oven, until smoking. Sear the roast on all sides until it is well browned, about 4 minutes on each side. Remove the roast to a plate.
Step 4
Drain the chiles, and discard the soaking water. Place the chiles, the can of Chipotles, garlic, cumin, oregano, about half of the stock in a food processor or blender, and puree until the mixture forms a smooth sauce.
Step 5
Place the onions in a layer in the bottom of the dutch oven. top with the roast, and any accumulated juices. Pour the chili sauce mixture over the roast and add the remaining beef stock to bring the liquid in the pan to about 1/4 of the way up the roast.
Step 6
Bring the pot to a simmer, over medium heat. Place the lid on and move the dutch oven into the oven and allow to cook for 1 hour. When 1 hour is up, flip it over and add more stock if needed. Continue to cook until very tender, this should take an additional 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove the roast from the pan and set aside to shred the meat with forks or a meat rake. Use a 9x13 cake pan to keep all of the product contained.
Step 7
Remove from the meat any large fatty chunks. Return the meat and any juices that have accumulated to the Dutch oven. Move the Dutch oven to the stove top and bring the chili mixture to a simmer. Taste, and adjust for seasoning. Let cook uncovered until the chili is thick and the meat is completely apart.
Step 8
Serve the meat with cornbread and garnish with cilantro, diced white onion, sliced radishes, sour cream, chopped green onions, grated cheese, avocado, and tortilla chips. The sky's the limit!

Mexico City-Style Chili

Serves 6
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 3 hours
Total time 3 hours, 20 minutes
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Serve Hot
Occasion Casual Party, Football Party
Region Mexican
By author Rick Bayless

Ingredients

  • 5 Lbs boneless pork sholder
  • 3 1/2 Lbs boneless beef short ribs
  • 3 Large red onions (grilled to a char and diced)
  • 8 Cloves garlic (roasted and minced)
  • 3/4 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano (crumbled)
  • 3/4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 6 Jars Guajillo Salsa or Chipotle Salsa (16 Oz sized Jars)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
  • 2 Cups white navy beans (cooked)
  • 1 bottle Dark Mexican Style Beer (12 Oz)
  • 1/2 cup masa harina (dissolved in 1 cup water)

Note

Serve with Garnishes: crumbled queso anjeo, crumbled queso fresco, sour cream, chopped onion, lime wedges and chopped cilantro

Directions

Step 1
Light a charcoal grill and lightly oil your grates.
Step 2
Grill the pork shoulder and beef ribs on all sides until well browned.
Step 3
Place a well oiled, large heavy Dutch oven over medium heat and add your meats.
Step 4
Add your onion, garlic, oregano and cumin.
Step 5
Pour in salsa.
Step 6
Allow to simmer, partially covered. Stir often, until all meats are tender and falling apart. This should take about 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
Step 7
Stir in cooked beans, beer and the dissolved masa.
Step 8
Continue to simmer, stirring often - until slightly thickened. This should take an additional 10 minutes.
Step 9
Serve with garnishes.

Beef Enchilada Dip

Serves 6
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 15 minutes
Meal type Appetizer
Misc Serve Hot
Occasion Casual Party, Football Party
Region Mexican
Website Add A Pinch

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1 1/2 Cups enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup corn kernels (roasted, cut from the ear)
  • 1 4.5 oz can chopped green chiles
  • 1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese (divided)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (divided)
  • kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • tortilla chips (for serving)

Note

For a more spicy kick, replace 1/2 lb of the ground beef with 1/2 of Mexican style Chorizo.  It will give it a nice healthy punch of flavor, with out it being too overwhelming for any of your kids.

Directions

Step 1
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil two 10-oz ramekins or coat them with a non-stick spray.
Step 2
In a saucepan over medium high heat bring your olive oil to temp. Add your ground beef and cook until browned, this will take about 3-5 minutes, make sure to crumble the beef as you stir through it. Drain any excess fat. Stir in the enchilada sauce, corn, chiles, and 1/2 cup of the both cheeses; season with salt and pepper to taste.
Step 3
Divide the hamburger mixture evenly between the two ramekins and top with the remaining cheeses.
Step 4
Place ramekins in the oven to bake until the mixture is bubbly around the edges, this will take about 5 minutes. Let it cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Shredded Beef Tacos (Carne Deshebrada)

Serves 6-8
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 3 hours
Total time 3 hours, 30 minutes
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Serve Hot
Occasion Barbecue, Casual Party
Region Mexican
Website America's Test Kitchen

Ingredients

Beef

  • 1 1/2 Cups beer
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 2oz dried ancho chiles ((4-6) stemmed, seeded, and torn into 1-inch pieces)
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 6 Cloves garlic (lightly crushed and peeled)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 Teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 Teaspoons dried oregano
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Large onion (sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds)
  • 3 Lbs boneless beef short ribs (trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes)

Cabbage-Carrot Slaw

  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 head green cabbage (cored and sliced thin (6 cups))
  • 1 onion (sliced thin)
  • 1 Large carrot (peeled and shredded)
  • 1 jalapeño chile (stemmed, seeded, and minced)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup fresh cliantro (chopped)
  • 18 corn tortillas (6-inch diameter, warmed)
  • 4oz queso fresco (crumbled, (1 cup))
  • lime wedges

Note

It is recommended that you use a full-bodied lager or ale such as Dos Equis or Bohemia beer. If you cannot find queso fresco, you can substitute feta. If you do not have a tight fitting lid for your dutch oven, you can use heavy-duty aluminum foil and then place the lid on top. Best practice to warm the tortillas is to place them on a plate, cover them with a damp dish towel, and microwave them for 60-90 seconds. This shredded beef mixture also makes a great filling for tamales, chiles rellenos and empanadas.

Directions

For the Beef
Step 1
Position your oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Meanwhile while the oven heats, combine the beer, vinegar, anchos, tomato paste, garlic, bay leaves, cumin, oregano, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, cloves and cinnamon in a Dutch oven. Arrange the onion rounds in a single layer on bottom of the pot. Place the beef on top of onion rounds, in a single layer. Cover and cook until the meat is well browned and tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
For the Cabbage-Carrot Slaw
Step 2
While your beef mixture is cooking whisk the vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Add the cabbage, onion, carrot, jalepeño, and oregano and toss to combine. Cover and then refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Drain this slaw mixture and stir in the cilantro right before serving.
Step 3
Using a slotted spoon, transfer your beef mixture to a large bowl, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and set aside. Strain the meat mixture's left over liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup (mind to not wash the pot). Discard the onion rounds and the bay leaves. Transfer the remaining solids to a blender. Let the strained liquid settle for 5 minutes, then skim any fat off surface. Add the water as needed to equal 1 cup. Pour this liquid in blender with reserved solids and blend until smooth, about 2 minutes. Transfer sauce to the now-empty pot.
Step 4
Using two forks or meat rakes, shed beef into bite-size pieces. Bring the sauce to simmer over medium heat. Add the shredded beef and stir and coat. Season with salt to taste. (this beef can be refrigerated for up to 2 days; gently reheat before serving.)
Step 5
Spool small amounts of the beef mixture into each warm tortilla and serve, provide plenty of slaw, queso fresco and lime wedges separately.

Baja Fish Tacos Recipe

Ingredients

  • Oil
  • 2 Packages Tempura Batter Mix
  • 1 can beer
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 24oz boneless cod (cut into 2-inch pieces)
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 2 Cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 limes (cut into wedges)

Directions

Step 1
Preheat your fryer for a deep pot halfway filled with oil to 375 degrees F.
Step 2
Mix 1 of the packages of batter, and use only 1/2 of the required water and use the beer for the remaining amount instead. Add the beer until the batter's consistency is almost like a heavy cream.
Step 3
Using the other package of batter add salt and the garlic powder and dredge the cod pieces with this dry mix, then dip the fish in the prepared batter in step 2. Place in the heated oil and allow to deep fry for 3 minutes, or until the fish is golden brown and cooked through.
Step 4
Place the fried fish on warmed corn tortillas, add the white sauce to fish, add a little shredded cabbage and squeeze the juice of a lime.

White Sauce for the Baja Fish Taco’s

Beef Enchilada's
Serves 8
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
45 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 pounds flank steak (cooked)
  2. vegetable oil
  3. 1/2 cup cilantro (chopped)
  4. 1/2 cup onion (finely chopped)
  5. 16 corn tortillas
  6. 1/2 cup oil (for frying tortillas)
  7. 1 cup pepper jack cheese (shredded + 1 cup)
  8. 1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)
  9. Salt and Black Pepper
  10. Cilantro Cream Sauce
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cut your cooked flank steak in to a fine dice. Saute the chopped flank steak in a tablespoon of oil for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through. Add the cilantro, onion and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl combine the 1 cup pepper jack cheese and the 1 cup of cheddar cheese and mix well. Add the cheese to the steak mixture. Stir well, reserve and cover.
  4. In another sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Fry your tortillas one at a time, just until soft. This should take about 10 seconds. Pat the tortillas dry on paper towels. Portion out your beef mixture evenly among the 16 tortillas and roll up. Place the enchiladas on a baking sheet or in a rectangular casserole dish.
  5. Cover enchiladas with cilantro cream sauce and top with the remaining cheese. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until he cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling.
Adapted from Michelle LeBleu - Houston Astros
Adapted from Michelle LeBleu - Houston Astros
Marinate Me Baby http://marinatemebaby.com/

Cilantro Cream Sauce for the Beef Enchilada’s

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