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Tic tac-os

Are you ready to have your tiny little mind blown by these meaty, cheesy and spicy Quesabirria tacos? If you've got a few hours to spare these could be the perfect dinner. Recipe from the wonderful Andres Galindo (top tip, watch the accompanying video for extra info!)

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 4 hours

Makes: Enough for 4 people, with leftover sauce to whip up a delicious chilli con carne

Ingredients birria "sauce":

8 guajillo chilies

4 morita chilies

1 ancho chili

1 small plum tomato

2 garlic cloves

1tsp oregano

2tsp ground cumin

1tsp black peppercorns

1tsp whole cloves

1 small bay leaf

1/4 small onion

30g salt

33ml white vinegar

1 kg stewing beef

200 ml vegetable oil

Ingredients tacos:

200g Monteray jack or cheddar cheese

Corn tortillas

1 bunch cilantro

1 onion

Lime for serving

Salsas for serving

1. Is it chilli in here?

Firstly, get the spicy señoritas acquainted by popping 8 guajillo, 4 morita and 1 ancho chillies into a saucepan with 4 cups (1446ml) of water. Boil this until the chillies are soft (about 10 minutes) and then strain, but reserve that chilli liquid gold!

Next, the small tomato needs the same boiling treatment, add that into a saucepan with some boiling water and cook for a couple of minutes.

Once it's been in for a couple of minutes, take it out and add it to a blender-friendly vessel (you already know for us that means peg-leg friendly) along with the pre-boiled chillies, 500ml of the chilli water, 2 garlic cloves,1tsp oregano, 2tsp ground cumin,1tsp black peppercorns,1tsp whole cloves,1 small bay leaf,1/4 small onion, 30g salt and 33ml white vinegar. Blend it up baby!

Heat up the 200ml of oil in a saucepan and add this chilli paste stirring for 15-20 minutes and watch it magically turn bright red while you inhale those wonderful chilli aromas.

Meanwhile, cut your beef into 5cm pieces and season well with salt and pepper, you salt & pepper bae you.

Once the chilli sauce has had its 20 odd minutes, add the beef along with 500ml of water. Bring this to the boil and then let it simmer for 3 hours, coming back every so often to give it a stir and check it's still simmering. Nighty night my beefy boy.

2. Return to tender

While the beef is cooking, prepare your tic-tac-toppings (slice and dice that cheese, onion and coriander)

When you rejoin your beef, you should have an absolutely glorious layer of dark oily goodness on top.

Skim this off, and place in a bowl to the side ready for some taco wizardry later.

Next scoop out all of the meat, and finely chop it up( Sexy legs and apron combo optional, although apron highly recommended when working with red pigmented foodstuffs).

You want to put back roughly 20% of this meat into your sauce. So if you originally had 640g of beef, add back in 128g but you can also just use those eyeballs of yours to guesstimate 20%. Pop the remaining meat to the side and add some sauce to keep it moist.

3. Tac-vengers, Assemble!

Now for the fun bit. Pretending you're an old school Ford employee on the first production line. Heat up a frying pan, dip one of your tacos into the bowl of skimmed off oil, then add it to the now hot pan. After a couple of minutes it should be ready to add some cheese and then meat. Leave it open for a minute or so then fold it up cooking it until it's crispy (around 3 minutes) See below timeline for a taco cooking guide : ah so beautiful just like the phases of the moon, including the well-loved beef and cheese phase around the middle of the month!

Repeat with your remaining tortillas. To serve them, add toppings (coriander, onion and lime) as required and drizzle or dip with some of that delicious meaty sauce.

Dink and sink!

Food for Thought

Lizzy says: "Although I've never visited Central or South America, I would still count myself as a taco aficionado and these bad boys would rank top in my experiences of tacos. It was quite a lot of fun having to go around London and find the ingredients (chillis and corn tortillas) for the recipe as well, and I managed to score lots of Mexican chilli based sweets to sample as well. The recipe did take a super long time, but it was nice that you could leave it and not fuss over it at all. I also ended up making the tacos like a production line, eating one and then making one, which took away from the experience. Nonetheless, I will always dream about these 10/10"

Kate says: "I genuinely think this is one of the most flavourful and delicious recipes we've made thus far on GWS. I'm not even sure what kind of wizardry that is, because the kicker is that this recipe is super easy and has no business being so delicious for so little effort. The meat is just bursting with a subtle but fiery heat and this with the creamy cheddar and crispy tacos shells is just something else. Dip it into the sauce you've made and prepare to have your mind blown. I think this would be a great one to do with friends, especially because of the hands-off cooking time. An easy 10/10 "

10/10 Gasps


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