Recipe Shed

Mexican slow-cooked beef (and all the trimmings)

Apologies in advance for the lack of pictures in this one.  Didn’t realise it was going to be SO good…

I’ve been slow-cooking pork for months now, following the recipes in “Wahaca at Home” with great success and to much adulation from the family.  “Make your own wraps” has become one of the family’s firm favourites.  I took a pot of the Pork Pibil to a bring-and-braai held at one of the local halls and was asked if I was a chef!  Stunned.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I signed up to the Mexican Food newsletter and this little beauty dropped into my inbox…


  • 1 tablespoon of cooking oil
  • 2kg beef – one large slab, for preference.  Recipe calls for chuck roast, I used a Tesco topside joint. Given that it’s going to cook for 8 hours, you can use a cheap joint.
  • 25g cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon annatto (achiote) paste (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons chile powder (ground chiles)
  • 2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 oz can chopped green chiles* (didn’t do this as I hadn’t got them in the cupboard! Shame on me.)
  • 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 pint/500ml water or beef broth

I’ve de-Americanised the recipe, cups to pints and so on


Heat a large saucepan or pot over medium high heat and add in the cooking oil. Swirl it around to coat the bottom of the pan or pot. Sprinkle the flour over the roast and rub it in evenly over the surface. Carefully place the beef into the hot pan and let it sizzle for 2-3 minutes or until it’s browned nicely. The idea is not to cook it, but to sear the outside to seal in the juices. Turn the roast over and sear the other side. If the roast is thick enough, you can also brown the sides as well.

Place the roast into a slow cooker (or, as I did, carry on in the pan you fried the beef in and stick the oven on to 110C). Use a spoon to smear the annatto paste over the top. One at a time, sprinkle on the ground cumin, chile powder, oregano, garlic, cocoa and salt. Add a can of chopped green chiles, and the can of tomatoes. You can pour them right on top of the roast. Peel the onion, and chop it into quarters or smaller. Add those in as well. Pour the water or beef broth into the bottom of the crockpot, it should come up at least an inch or two up the sides of the roast. You don’t want the liquid to come up too high, or it will be soupy.

Cook at 110-130C for 7-8 hours. After the time is up, the beef should be fork tender and fall apart easily. There should be barely any liquid in the bottom of the pan and what is left should be of a gravy consistency. Use two forks or a slotted spoon to remove any large chunks of fat from the roast. Shred the remaining beef by pulling it apart into chunks or strands. Mix the liquids and beef together until it is well combined. We had this with hot tortillas, chipotles en adobo, pink pickled onions, rice and beans.

The original of this recipe can be found here: / Mexican Shredded Beef and I urge anyone and everyone to sign up to their newsletter.

Cook-Along Friday

#CookalongFriday – Burgers

Nothing finer than making your own burgers.  You get to choose your own flavours, how much chilli you want to add in, the meat you want to use – and given the range of stuff that’s become available in my local butchers it could be anything from Buffalo to Zebra!

Anyway, this is a great one for getting your hands dirty.  Squidging the mix between your fingers is very, very satisfying. and it makes the kids happy!

So, for the burgers, you’ll need…

  • Meat. About half a kilo of whatever meat you like should make enough burgers for your average family.
  • Onion.  1, large, finely chopped (okay, put it in the Magimix and blitz the damn thing. How’s that for finely chopped?)
  • Flavourings.  This is where you get to have some real fun…
    • If you’re using lamb, then mint is essential.
    • If you’re using pork, you can try apple, chilli, or apple and chilli…
    • Beef goes with just about everything.  Chuck some spring onion chunks in, maybe some ‘shrooms,
    • Egg, 1
    • Breadcrumbs, about 1:5 with the meat, so 100g breadcrumbs for 500g meat.
    • Philadelphia or similar brand of soft cheese.


  • If it’s a coarse mince, blitz it a bit to make it finer.
  • Chop your flavourings finely
  • Mix everything except the Philadelphia evenly, really working everything together with your fingers (or your kid’s fingers).  Treat it like Christmas cake and get everyone to get their (washed and clean) hands in and make a wish!
  • Grab a handful a bit bigger than a golf ball and flatten it.
  • Place a teaspoon of the Philadelphia into the middle of the flat bit, grab a handful a bit smaller than a golf ball and make a lid
  • Squeeze the edges together to make sure there are no gaps that the Philadelphia can ooze out of.  It will happen while you’re cooking, but if you minimise the problem now you’ll save a lot of fuss.
  • Dust with a little plain flour on both sides.  My local butcher makes some excellent burgers, they roll the edges of lamb burgers in a mix of mint and chilli, the edges of pork burgers get breadcrumbed.
  • Leave to chill for half an hour before cooking.


  • Put a little oil into a heavy-based frying pan, medium-high heat
  • Cook until done.  This obviously depends on the size and thickness of your burgers.  Turn them regularly while cooking to stop one side from burning too much.
  • When the Philadelphia starts to ooze out (that’s when, not if), they’re pretty much done.  When it’s starting to ooze, that means it’s hot right through to the centre.
  • Serve with bread rolls and suitable condiments.  My kids swear by tomato ketchup, I prefer a strong mustard or chilli sauce.
  • If you’re a fan of unnecessary garden, serve with a salad of your choice.
There’ll be one more Cookalong Friday next week, then I’m off for 2 weeks and you’ll be left to your own devices.  Unless, of course, anyone’s wanting to step up to the plate and write me a guest recipe?