Thursday, February 24, 2011

What did I tell you??!

FYI - An article in this months Gourmet Traveller Australia, about how good and easy making your own tortilla/tacos are!
http://www.gourmettraveller.com.au/tortillas.htm

Friday, February 18, 2011

Here is my first recipe!

TACO'S AUSTRALIANO

So after returning from Mexico, I had the biggest cravings for slow roasted meat after visiting that local taco stand. I love bringing dishes back from overseas and putting my own twist on them, so I figured a slow roasted lamb would be a perfect substitute to the pork or beef they had in Mexico. This dish requires a bit of patience and thinking ahead, but it is so simple and I GUARANTEE  it will not disappoint. I have made a recipe for and 8 hour slow roasted lamb, and have done a home made taco and salsa to finish it off! You can always buy pre-made tortillas, but if you give this homemade recipe a go you will never go back. I made 12 tortillas from only 2 cups of flour, which makes it WAY cheaper and WAY more delicious. Seriously I can't stress enough how important it is to give making your own tortilla's a go, you wont regret it. So here it is!

Ingredients:

1.8kg Lamb Shoulder (marinated for 24 hours before cooking in below marinade)

Marinade (made 24 hours in advance of cooking):
2 Red finger chili's
2-3 Birdseye chili's (Depending on how hot you like it!)
5 Sprigs of fresh rosemary leaves
8 Sprigs of fresh thyme leaves
1 Big handful of fresh coriander
The zest of 2 lemons
Juice of 1 lemon
2 Heads of garlic
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
2 Teaspoons of salt

"Masa Harina" Yellow corn and white corn flour
Tortilla/Taco Recipe
2 Cups of Masa Harina
2 Pinches of salt
1&1/4 cups of water
*I bought the mexican flour from http://www.fireworksfoods.com.au/ You could subsitute for plain flour if you don't want to go to the effort, but I would if I were you! Or try to find a mexican supplier in your home city.


Salsa
3 Tomato's
1/2 White onion
1 Avocado
Handful of coriander
Juice of 1 lime
Pinch of salt and pepper

Method



1. 24 hours before you are planning to serve the Taco's, make the marinade by putting all the ingredients for the marinade in a blender or a mortar and pestle and blend/pound until a chunky paste is formed. Gently score the fatty side of the lamb shoulder and rub the marinade into the lamb well, cover and refrigerate overnight.


2. 8 Hours before you want to serve the taco's, set a fan forced over to 120, or 130 for conventional.
In a heavy based pot with a lid, place the lamb shoulder in the oven for 8 hours. Making sure you baste the lamb with its own juices every half an hour after the fat starts to melt at around 3 hours time.

3. To make the tortilla's/taco's add 2 pinches of salt into 2 cups of flour and pour on a clean workbench, and carve out the middle so that the you are able to pour the water in slowly without any water coming through cracks. Slowly add bit by bit of water and mix in the flour from the inside out. You may need to add more water if it is too dry or add more flour if it is too wet. The dough will not be like a normal flour dough (unless you substitute the Masa Harina for normal cooking flour), it comes together well, but is not as elastic as a normal flour dough. You don't want it to be too sticky or runny, you want it to be held together but not crumbly at all.

4. For the salsa, deseed and dice the tomato's, white onion and avocado. Finely slice the a handful of coriander and add all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Juice 1 lime and season with salt and pepper and mix well. Taste the salsa, and add more or less of what your taste requires. I like a zing from the lime and a bit of salt to lift the flavour a bit.


5. As the lamb shoulder enters it's last 30 minutes of cooking you can start pressing/rolling out the taco's. I actually bought a mexican tortilla press to make things easier, and managed to break it after doing about 3 or 4 tortillas!

Brand new

Broken!


But I figured a lot of people wouldn't go out of the way to buy one, so its probably happened for a reason! So this way is a bit easier..... Basically you find a small plate that has a ridge in a circle on the bottom that is about the size you want. You roll a walnut size ball of the dough, put in in between 2 pieces of baking paper so it doesn't stick. Then use the plate to flatten the ball, and a rolling pin to smooth it out until it is about 2mm thick. Making sure you move it around so that you keep the nice circle shape! I made this video so you see what I mean!

video

6. Then all you need to do is cook them. Cook them on a good heavy based non stick fry pan without any oil, for about 1 minute each side. Or until the firm up but don't go crispy, you want them to be cooked but if they go too crispy then they will crack when you try to fold them up and eat them! Too keep them soft I like to wrap them up in a moist tea towel, then microwave them when ready to serve (in the moist tea towel) so they are nice and soft!

Authentic taco's (no deep fried stuff here!)
7. Now that you have everything ready, all that is left to do is get the meat out and tear it up! It is that easy. Here you can see the difference between when it was marinading and when it has finished cooking.... All of the garlic has caramelised, and the marinade is nice and sticky!

Nice and sticky!

Just grab a pair of tongs or two forks and remove the bones, then just shred the meat apart... It's honestly the best way to eat meat. The best part is that sticky marinade gets broken up into the meat, it adds such incredible flavour! Just so you know how soft the meat becomes, I had to upload another video..

video

Now the fun part... Eating it.
8. To assemble, just grab a taco fill it with some meat, then salsa, fold it up and shove it in your mouth!!
guarantee it will satisfy, and it is totally worth the time involved! Authentic mexican at home with a bit of an Australian twist! My recipe made about 12 taco's... But I had a lot of meat in each one! You can always make more! I hope you enjoy!!!!

The torn up lamb shoulder...

The finished product!

PS - Apologies if there are any mistakes, I'm not an english major ;) 

I am thinking my next recipe should be the real recipe for my Chocolate Delice ?!!!! The ones on the internet are wrong! Time to put a stop to that!