Last week, Mario Batali unveiled a new recipe at an event to benefit his equally new charity, The Mario Batali Foundation.The recipe was for machaca, which comes from the Mexican word machacado -- 'pounded' or 'crushed'. The preparation originated with the ranchers and cowboys of northern Mexico, who would air-dry beef with chile peppers and spices in order to preserve it. The meat would then be rehydrated and slowly cooked over an open flame until falling apart.
"Machaca is easy to make, authentically Mexican, and takes the flavor of tacos, burritos and many other dishes to a whole new level," says Batali. It can be prepared from either skirt steak or veal -- at his event, Batali chose Strauss Meadow Reserve veal from Allen Brothers. The meat is marinated in a mixture of Worcestershire, lime juice, garlic, chipotle, cumin and black pepper. It's easy to make, and Short Order has got the recipe:
Mario Batali's Carne Machaca Taco Filling
For the Marinade:
2 Tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
Juice of two limes
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of chipotle chile in adobo minced (substitute chili powder)
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
For the Machaca:
3 pounds skirt steak or veal shoulder
1 large onion, diced
1 poblano pepper, diced (substitute a green pepper)
1 jalapeño, diced
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin seed
1 teaspoon of hot pepper sauce such as Tabasco
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for frying
Mix all the ingredients for the marinade in a large freezer bag. Cut the skirt steak or veal shoulder into 1/4 lb. pieces and place in the bag. Refrigerate overnight.
In a large stock pot, fry the pieces of meat until brown. Once the meat has rich coloring, add the onion, peppers, oregano, and cumin. Cook until the onions are soft.
Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Scrape the bottom of the pan to release the flavorful bits of browned meat.
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Reduce the heat and simmer for two hours or until the meat is just falling apart. Add water or beef broth if needed.
Remove the pot from the heat and remove the meat pieces. Shred with a
pair of forks and return to the liquid. Reduce liquid until the meat
is almost dry.