Beef Barbacoa and Spiced Cauliflower Tacos with curtido and cashew lime crema


1 ½ lbs Pre brand chuck roast

1 ½ tsp sea salt

1 ½ tsp ground pepper

2 Tbsp canola oil

1 12-oz bottle of malty beer like Goose Island Oktoberfest from Binny's

1 cup beef stock

2 fresh habaneros, halved (can substitute with jalapenos or omit based on heat preference)

2 cloves of garlic, smashed

1 lime, halved

1 small red onion, roughly chopped

1 small bunch of cilantro stems, leaves reserved for garnish

2 Tbsp salted caramel cashew butter from NOW Foods

1 Tbsp cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 325°

Season beef with salt and black pepper. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the beef, searing well on all sides until rich brown, about 10 minutes total. Add beer, stock, habaneros, garlic, lime, onion and just the stems from the cilantro, reserving leaves for serving. Bring to a boil, then cover and transfer to center of oven. Turn the meat using tongs after one hour, then continue to braise for another 1 ½ hours or until very tender.

Using tongs, transfer the meat to a large bowl. Let cool slightly, then shred the meat using two forks. Transfer 1 cup of the braising liquid (removing any of the solid ingredients caught up in the ladle) to a medium bowl. Add cashew butter and cider vinegar, then whisk vigorously to create an emulsion. Add to a skillet over medium-high heat, and boil until liquid has reduced to 1/3 cup, about 5 min. Pour over shredded meat, stir until liquid is absorbed. Keep warm until ready to serve.

For The Curtido (quick pickle)

1 medium red onion, very thinly sliced*

¼ head of red cabbage, very thinly sliced*

4 tomatillos, quartered*

1 carrot, cut into matchsticks*

*feel free to mix up the types and quantities of veggies to taste, allowing enough to fill a pint jar

½ cup water

¼ cup white vinegar

¼ cup cider vinegar

1.5 Tbsp maple syrup

1.5 tsp fine sea salt

Pack the vegetables into a quart jar. Heat the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan until simmering. Pour over vegetables. Allow to cool for 15 minutes on the counter without the lid, then seal and place in the refrigerator while the beef braises. Leftovers will keep for 2-3 weeks in the fridge.

For The Spiced Cauliflower With Cashew Lime Crema

1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets

2 Tbsp canola oil

½ tsp smoked paprika*

½ tsp chipotle chile powder*

½ tsp garlic powder*

½ tsp smoked sea salt; can substitute regular fine salt*

¼ tsp dried coriander*

¼ tsp cumin*

*or use 2 ½ tsp pre-mixed Mexican seasoning in place of these spices

2 Tbsp salted caramel cashew butter from NOW Foods

¼ cup lime juice

1 large lime, juiced (approx. ¼ cup)

1 clove of garlic

½ jalapeno pepper, seeded

Water to thin crema as needed

Preheat oven to 425°

Toss cauliflower in bowl with oil and spices until evenly distributed. Spread in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes, turning halfway. Keep warm until ready to serve.

For the crema: Add cashew butter, lime juice, garlic, and jalapeno to a small blender and pulse until smooth. Add water to thin if needed.


1 pkg corn tortillas

2 avocados, cubed

½ cup queso fresco, crumbled

Chopped cilantro leaves

Slivered radish

Using tongs, warm tortillas one at a time directly over a medium-low flame on a gas burner, about 15 seconds per side.

Top half for the meat eaters with beef, curtido, avocado, radish, cheese and cilantro. For vegetarians and vegans, top the other half with spiced cauliflower, curtido, avocado, radish, cilantro and a drizzle of the crema. Or place all ingredients out in separate bowls for a "build your own" taco bar.

Serves 6-8

Leslie Meredith

All recipes are unedited

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