Barbacoa Tacos Chipotles Style

Tess Monaghan is In Big Trouble, actually investigating it in Laura Lippman's  book by that name.  Her search for missing boyfriend, Crow, takes her to Texas and a love/hate relationship with that state.  Loves, loves, loves the food, and hates the actual place; though she does come in the end to more of a liking, at least for San Antonio.

 Pretty funny the way she wolfs down the local specialties at every opportunity, in between tripping over dead bodies and solving some mysteries.  At one point Tess wanted to stand up in a restaurant and shout "Where has this stuff been all my life?"

If you can get through the book without getting down and cooking Mexican, or at least going out for it, you have more self-control than I do.   Actually I didn't get past page 2, where a character is having breakfast at the Alamo; coffee, barbacoa tacos and an elephant ear pastry.  Well, okaaaaay, so we had to check out those mystery (to me anyway) tacos. 

Where the work barbecue comes from apparently.  A quick search led right up to making them, with the yummy slow-cooked and pulled BBQ beef; locating an avocado, and some crema. With of course, a good recipe to start it all off.   I wanted to use my pressure cooker, not having a slow-cooker, and to cut down down on total cooking time.  In the course of said research, I discovered that Hawaii is a Chipotles deprived state.  In fact I'd never heard of the restaurant chain prior to this.  Apparently they are famous for their Barbacoa Tacos, and there are Chipotles copy cat recipes out in cyber land.  But, perhaps I should first apologize for having two beef recipes in a row on this blog.  This one is terrific though, and puts the pressure cooker to good use.  That said, here it is:

Barbacoa Beef Tacos
 Servings: 9 • Serving Size: 4 oz
  • 3 lbs beef eye of round, Chuck roast or bottom round roast, all fat trimmed
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1/2 lime, juice
  • 2-4 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce  (or to taste - I would cut down next time)
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup water

Place garlic, onion, lime juice, cumin, oregano, chipotles, cloves in a blender and process.
Trim all the fat off meat, cut into 4 inch chunks. Season with salt and pepper and brown on high heat in 2 tablespoons oil on all sides for about 5 minutes. Add liquefied spices, water, bay leaves and simmer on low 2 hours in a pressure cooker. Or, according to some recipes – 30 minutes to 1 hr. and 30 minutes.  I did one hour and it was perfect.  (If you are making this on the stove, simmer it on low and you’ll have to double the cooking time to about least 4 hours, adding more water from time to time to make sure it doesn’t dry out.)  If using a slow-cooker, about 8 hrs.

Once cooked and the meat is tender, remove the meat and place in a dish. Shred it with two forks, and reserve the liquid for later (discard the bay leaf). Return the shredded meat to the pot, adjust salt and cumin (you may need to add more) to taste and add some of the reserved liquid back. Simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes to let the flavors penetrate.

Now you assemble your taco stuff:
cilantro, queso fresco (I used Monteray Jack, shredded), additional chipotle sauce, sour cream (optional), avocado slices or guacamole, shredded lettuce and cabbage,  and the tortillas, corn or flour as you prefer.  All I can say is double yum.  However, it is QUITE hot, you may want to cut down on the chipolte adobo.  Sharing with Beth Fish Reads and her fans over at Weekend Cooking.


jama said...

My mouth is watering. That looks so good! Not having a Chipotles in Hawaii might be a blessing in disguise. They've had problems recently with health inspections and salmonella, I think. We have that chain here but have never tried it. The homemade version of the barbacoa tacos looks like a safer and probably more delicious bet! :)

Deb in Hawaii said...

I think I could easily eat tacos every day. These look delicious. I like Laura Lippman's books a lot, although for some reason I have only read one of the Tess Monaghan books, focusing on her stand alone novels and never quite catching up on the series. You make me want to start reading them. ;-)

Beth F said...

I have that book, but I haven't read it yet. BUT the tacos??? OOOOOHHHH they sound good. And I love using my pressure cooker.

Carole said...

Tacos really soon for me. Cheers from Carole's Chatter!

Katherine P said...

I couldn't even get through this post without wanting Mexican food so I imagine the book would have me in serious crave mode! Anytime I see the world Chipotle in the title of any dish I'm definitely in! These sounds good and the book is on my TBR!

Vicki said...

"didn't get past page 2", lol! I love any kind of beef tacos and that looks so good.

Tina said...

I second what Vicki quoted, too funny! I think I would use the slow cooker. So glad you put up cooking directions for all manner of applicants. Never have used a pressure cooker, but I sure do lots of stovetop cooking and use my slow cooker. Great recipe

My Cozy Book Nook said...

I could eat Mexican food 3-4 times per week (and Italian the other days).
This recipe looks delicious - and in plenty of time for Cinco de Mayo :)

Molly @MyCozyBookNook
My Cozy Book Nook
Revising Life after 50

(Diane) bookchickdi said...

A new BBQ place just opened up near us and I can't wait to try it.

Anonymous said...

Ooh I love barbacoa but have never attempted to make it myself - we have two chipotles within a ten minute drive of us, so that's usually where I get my fix!