cola shredded beef tacos

I think I am getting old. Wait let me clarify that, I think I am maturing. Let me explain.

When I was a kid and I had to do that every other weekend custody deal between my mom and dad. I would stay at my dad's and read magazines all weekend, that way I didn't have to interact too much with anyone or get into any trouble. Reading was my coping mechanism.

Anyways, my dad and stepmom had an impressive amount of magazine subscriptions. My favorites were: Gourmet (don't get me started on how depressing Gourmet's shuttering is), Bon Appetit, Smithsonian, and National Geographic. After I read through those magazines I'd go on to what I thought were the second tier magazines. Magazines that were boring but kept me occupied: House Beautiful, Architectural Digest, Field and Stream, and Sunset.

I didn't understand Sunset magazine. Gardening (lots of it... BORING! turn the page). Pictures of houses (Who Cares! turn the page). Where to eat (I'm stuck here at my dad's so I can't go out to eat! turn the page). Recipes (where's the articles about food like Gourmet? UGH! throw the magazine on the floor in a huff) What can I say? I was a pain in the ass as a kid.

If my past self could see me now she would be HORRIFIED. I like Sunset magazine. Gardening? (More please.) Pictures of houses? (Please sir, may I have some more?) Recipes? (Damn, they have some tasty stuff.) I guess what I'm saying is I've matured and I totally get Sunset now.

OHHHHNOOOOO! that was my inner child. She wants to be Peter Pan.

cola shredded beef tacos: sunset magazine october 2009


3 medium dried ancho chiles
2 large dried guajillo chiles
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 large garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
2 pounds chuck roast, cut into 4 pieces
1 dried bay leaf
1 1/2 cups Mexican Coca-Cola (cane-sugar sweetened) or another cola (not diet)

condiments for the tacos:

12 to 24 warm corn tortillas (6-in. size; use 24 if they're thin and floppy)
Accompaniments: chopped avocado, red onion, and cilantro; thinly sliced pickled jalapeños; and crema Mexicana or regular sour cream.

sauce for beef:

Wipe chiles clean with a damp cloth, stem and seed, and tear into pieces. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add chiles and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups water, the cumin, tomatoes, oregano, and 1 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until chiles are softened, about 10 minutes. Purée sauce in a blender until very smooth.

Meanwhile, season beef with the remaining tsp. salt. Heat the remaining tbsp. oil in a 5- to 6-qt. pot over medium-high heat. Brown beef, turning occasionally, 10 to 14 minutes. Discard fat, if any.

Pour sauce into pot and add bay leaf, cola, and a little water if needed to barely cover meat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until beef is very tender, 3 hours.

With a slotted spoon, transfer beef to a plate. Let cool slightly, then tear into shreds, discarding any fat or gristle. Meanwhile, boil sauce over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and reduced to about 3 cups, 10 to 30 minutes. Stir in beef and heat a few minutes until hot. Remove bay leaf.

how to serve the tacos:

With a slotted spoon, transfer beef with some sauce to a bowl. Spoon beef into tortillas (double tortillas if they're thin), tuck in accompaniments, and serve with remaining sauce if you like.

Tasting Notes: Man oh man. I love these tacos... the sauce for the tacos was a little smoky (in a totally good way) and rich and not at all spicy. If you can get your hands on fresh corn tortillas, it will make this dish great.

If you make this dish and you have extra sauce, DO NOT THROW IT AWAY! Here's what you do... serve the sauce over really thick tortilla chips and add some cheese, cheddar or monterey jack. Zap it in the microwave for a minute and then try not to lick the bowl clean.


pam said...

I'm going to adapt this for the slow cooker! Sounds fab. I've never even seen a Sunset magazine, how can that be?

TKW said...

Oh my God! Girlfriend, you are soooo right--Sunset Magazine is so f*&^ing boring!!

But they always have good recipes, so I just skip directly to the back!

Tacos look awesome.

Jennifer said...

I LOVE Sunset magazine. I subscribed to it for four years when we lived in western WA. When we moved to OK, I had to cancel. Reading about all the fabulousness that defines that part of the country and not having access to it just totally depressed me.
Now we're in Omaha. And while it's not the PNW, at least it's not SW OK. And we're four years away from getting out of the Air Force and the dreaming and planning has begun. Thus the renewal of my Sunset subscription.

Cali ʚϊɞ said...

mmmmm... i want to eat these right NOW!

Rebecca (Foodie With Family) said...

I have never heard of Sunset Magazine. Is that a west coast thing or yet another indication that I'm hopelessly out of the loop? Just wondering...

Those tacos look fantastic. I'd have to do some work to lay my hands on guajillo chiles around here. Do you think they're crucial to the end product or could I substitute something that's less 'exotic' in Amish country like a dried hab? If I must, I can always mail order...

grace said...

my only use for sunset is the few recipes found in the back. i guess i haven't matured yet. :)
AWESOME tacos. the spices and seasonings sound terrific, and no, i would never waste such an excellent sauce.

Melissa said...

Your favorite! :) Funny story about Sunset too.

I am leery of using cola in any way, I must admit, but I could mod this if I so desire. I need to do beef tacos again. I also love that you don't put anything in there but sauce, onion and cilantro. That is just how I've taken to eating my tacos. No cheese, no sour cream, no guacamole. A bit more American accompaniments, those are.

P.S. What's with the *'s?

Mayberry Magpie said...

Wow. We truly are kindred spirits. When I was a kid and my house was in chaos (which happened a lot), I retreated behind the pages of a book or magazine or newspaper or any reading material I could get my hands on. I wish I could say that made me a well-read person, but we didn't exactly have classic literature around our house. I read my mother's romance novels and my grandmother's Readers Digest condensed novels. Some days I read the side of the cereal box. Anything to "disappear" for a while.

Belle and Ward said...

I am a real magazine junkie - we have so many subscriptions. But growing up, I never read ANY magazines! My parents didn't buy magazines, just the newspaper (I dived for the comics page but that was about it). This recipe looks good! ~ Belle

Anonymous said...

Made these tacos this weekend and they were so good. My whole family loved them. Thanks for posting this awesome recipe.

Anonymous said...

Hey Krysta,
I was attracted to the beautiful site you have. However, turned off by your filthy mouth. There is nothing more unattractive that hearing and seeing a woman use bad language. Your mother should have used Clorox. But, the women would not use words like that if the men had not taught them how. I used to have a filthy mouth until the Lord Jesus Christ saved me and cleaned up my life. This site could be more family oriented if you would consider not using those words. Just a thought.

Rebecca (Foodie With Family) said...

Oh wow! So THIS is where 'the comment' landed? And I get to follow that up?

Um. I'm not sure I'm capable, but I'll give it a go.

I'm going to make these tacos this week (THANK YOU, thank you, THANK YOU!)