Taco Tuesday for Champions May 22 2016, 2 Comments

We LOVE taco Tuesday around here.  Since having our baby boy, my husband and I have figured out several go-to meals that are delicious and fast, because let's face it, at the end of a busy day, who has the time and energy to cook an elaborate meal?  Normally on taco tuesday it's the usual ground beef, peppers, onions, rice, you know the drill, but I've been totally inspired by our neighborhood joint Superica, where I recently ordered the barbacoa tacos and haven't stopped thinking about since.  I wanted to at least try to recreate these yummy tacos at home, and could not believe how delicious and easy they were to make.

recipe altered from The Food Network
picture from What Do You Crave

Beef Barbacoa Tacos

2 jalapeño peppers, stemmed and cut in half lengthwise (seeds out for less spicy)
2 tomatoes, quartered
1 sweet onion, quartered
4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1-to-2-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro (leaves and stems)
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
freshly ground black pepper & salt
whole wheat tortillas, warmed in oven (try the fresh tortillas from the bakery section at whole foods, they are incredible)
assorted toppings including (but not limited to) queso fresco, fresh cilantro, sliced radish,  jalapeño peppers, diced tomatoes

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the jalapeños and cook, pressing them down with a wooden or plastic heat resistant spoon, 10 seconds per side. Add the tomatoes, onion and garlic to the skillet and cook, stirring once or twice, until the vegetables are charred in spots (this really adds to the flavor), about 10 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup water and 1 teaspoon salt to Dutch oven; pulse with immersion blender until the sauce is smooth. 
Add the beef to the skillet and turn to coat in the chile sauce using tongs. Cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle in the cumin and cinnamon and cook 1 more minute. Meanwhile, puree 2 1/2 cups water, the cilantro and thyme in the blender; add to the Dutch oven.
Reduce the heat to low. Cover and gently simmer until the meat is very tender, about 2 hours, adding up to 1 1/2 cups water if the sauce gets too thick. Season with salt and black pepper. Serve in tortillas with assorted toppings.

In college our taco tuesdays ALWAYS included margaritas.  We experimented with different tequilas, fruit and sweeteners..and dinner always turned into a much later night than initially anticipated.  Today I don't usually make margaritas at home, but was feeling inspired by these small, delicious grapefruits that our CSA delivered last week and gave it a shot.  I dusted off a bottle of Patron that I found in the back of my pantry and made these. 

recipe altered from Half Baked Harvest
picture from Half Baked Harvest

Spicy Grapefruit Margaritas

Big Batch Margaritas
1.5 cups silver tequila
2 cups (16 ounces) grapefruit juice
1 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup lime infused simple syrup or agave nectar (may also use honey)
1-2 whole jalapeños, halved (depending on how spicy you want your drink)

lime + grapefruit slices, for serving

To make just ONE drink
1 1/2 - 2 ounces silver tequila
2 ounces grapefruit juice
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon lime infused simple syrup or agave nectar, or more to taste
1-2 jalapeno slices (depending on how spicy you want your drink)
lime + grapefruit slices, for serving

Lime Infused Simple Syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
zest of 1 lime
**bring all ingredients to a boil then cool completely**

 Spicy Chili Salt Rim
1 tablepoon chili powder 
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons superfine sugar

xo, laura