1 1/2 cups Mexican Coca-Cola* (cane-sugar sweetened) or another cola (not diet)
12 to 24 warm corn tortillas (6-in. size; use 24 if they're thin and floppy)
Accompaniments: chopped avocado, red onion, and cilantro; thinly sliced pickled jalapeños; and crema Mexicana* or regular sour cream
How to Make It
Make sauce for beef: Wipe chiles clean with a damp cloth, stem and seed, and tear into pieces. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add chiles and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups water, the cumin, tomatoes, oregano, and 1 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until chiles are softened, about 10 minutes. Purée sauce in a blender until very smooth.
Meanwhile, season beef with the remaining tsp. salt. Heat the remaining tbsp. oil in a 5- to 6-qt. pot over medium-high heat. Brown beef, turning occasionally, 10 to 14 minutes. Discard fat, if any.
Pour sauce into pot and add bay leaf, cola, and a little water if needed to barely cover meat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until beef is very tender, 3 hours.
With a slotted spoon, transfer beef to a plate. Let cool slightly, then tear into shreds, discarding any fat or gristle. Meanwhile, boil sauce over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and reduced to about 3 cups, 10 to 30 minutes. Stir in beef and heat a few minutes until hot. Remove bay leaf.
Make tacos: With a slotted spoon, transfer beef with some sauce to a bowl. Spoon beef into tortillas (double tortillas if they're thin), tuck in accompaniments, and serve with remaining sauce if you like.
*Find in the Latino foods aisle or spice aisle of a supermarket, or at a Latino market.
Make ahead: Through step 3; chill, covered, up to 2 days.
oh my, was this good!!!! I cooked it as a 'what do I have in the fridge' meal, so prepared with 1 lb of flank steak, and didn't have the chilies called for so added about 1/2 cup of green chilies and about a teaspoon of ancho chili powder. if you don't have corn tortillas, put this meat on hamburger buns for a southwestern sloppy joe!!!!
I made this exactly as written except I let it simmer for about 5 1/2 hours and I used non-Mexican soda for convenience. The beef was falling apart and required no forks to shred. The flavor was great. This is a must do again!
This was very good. We fixed it in a slow cooker for 12 hours - not nearly done after 6 hours as a previous reviewer recommended. It is a good way to use chuck roast when it is on sale without having to make a soup or pot roast.
Made this for Cinco de Mayo and it was a huge hit. I made it basically as written but used one less ancho chile and used cumin rather than cumin seeds. After doing all the searing and I sautéing on the stove top, I cooked it in a slow cooker for 6 hours and then shredded it. I boiled down the remaining sauce until it was very concentrated and put it all back in the cooker on warm during the party.
I just made this last night and we loved it. It takes some time so plan ahead. I cooked the beef for 3 hours to get it soft enough. My husband thought it was a little sweet at the end and suggested a bit more salt and adding some black pepper, but I liked it just how it was.
I've made this recipe a few times with regular US coke and Mexican, difference in using the cane sweetened soda is noticable. I do not brown the meat, cut the salt in half and instead of cooking on the stove, I put it in a slow cooker on low for six hours or until the meat is falling apart on its own - if you have to shred the meat with a fork its not cooked enough (IMHO). I've also made this with pork butt and am planning on trying it with chicken. Meat is also great for nachos. Add a little cinnamon and Mexican chocolate and you get an easy mole.
Very easy and tasty and reliably comes out just as promised per the recipe. Also makes a nice braising liquid for lamb shanks, in particular if you can find them in "osso bucco cut". We find the sauce needs boiling for quite a bit longer than the recipe says to bring it to the right thickness at the end.
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