(Allow 2 to 8 hours to prepare.)
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 garlic cloves
1/2 serrano chile
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon coriander
1/8 teaspoon Meat MagicTM spice
2 teaspoons peanut oil
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
COOKING THE MEAT
1 1/2 pounds skirt steak (Use flap steak if your butcher doesn’t have skirt steak. Don’t let your sweetheart catch you chasing skirt around town.)
1/2 green bell pepper
1/2 red bell pepper
1 serrano chiles
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup beef broth
1 7 ounce can diced tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
5 large flour tortillas
5 tablespoons sour cream
2 1/2 tablespoons salsa
5 lime wedges
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh cilantro
This is a dish that proves your dedication as a chef. Lots of ingredients and preparation, but lots of prestige as well. Go for it! Excelsior.
MARINATING STAGE (to be done up to 8 hours before cooking, if you have the time. This will improve the taste.)
Cut the skirt steak into 3 1-pound pieces; this is the traditional way. (The Powegian way is to immediately cut the steak into strips 1/2-inch wide by about 2-inches long. We Powegians have always been culinary rebels.) Mince the garlic cloves. Remove the stem and seeds, and insides of the serrano chiles. Mince the remaining outside of the chiles.
Combine the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, water, lime juice, garlic, serrano chile, salt, coriander, meat spice, peanut oil, and vegetable oil in big mixing bowl. Put the steak strips in the bowl of marinade. Be sure to thoroughly coat each strip. If you can, completely seal the mixing bowl with a plastic wrap cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. (Omigosh, are you late for work? Run!)
COOKING STAGE (Takes at least 2 hours. Did you call in sick so you could make this dish?)
Meanwhile back at the range things are heating up. (Once again employment makes the marinating stage pass quickly. That’s why we go to work.) Dice the onion, red pepper, green pepper, and outsides of two serrano peppers.
Coat the bottom of a large pot with 4 tablespoons vegetable oil. Cook it at medium-heat until hot. Gradually add and sear strips of steak. (Searing means to quickly cook the surfaces of a piece of meat so that it will retain juices in later, slower cooking.) Put seared steak strips aside on a platter. Leave the liquid and any tiny bits of steak in pot for next stage. Don’t throw away flavor!
Add onion, red pepper, green pepper, and serrano peppers to same pan. Saute for 5 minutes. Add beef broth, tomatoes, oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Add the marinated meat strips and juice to the pot. Heat at medium-high heat until it boils. (Kick out of the kitchen anyone who disagrees with your definition of boiling. You are the chef. You know.) Cover the pot and simmer for 2 hours.
If your skirt steak is still in three pieces, let it cool down on a cutting board. Now, using two forks or your fingers, shred the meat. Put the shredded steak back in the pot. Stir thoroughly and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. (Unless, you prefer the Powegian style where the excess juice makes an excellent soup. Ah, Poway!)
Warm the tortillas in a microwave. Put about 4 tablespoons steak mixture in the center top of the tortilla. Add, if desired, a tablespoon sour cream, a 1/2 tablespoon salsa, and a 1/2 teaspoon of diced cilantro. Take a lime wedge and squirt lime juice on top of the meat.
Fold in the tortilla’s two sides until they touch. Roll from the top of the tortilla down. Repeat this process 10 times and you will have 10 machaca burritos. And if you did recipe the Powegian way, you will have machaca soup as well. Olé.
1) All recipes demand fresh ingredients such as fresh cilantro. But let’s face it, there WILL be times when you find your blood pressure soaring as you need to go back to the store for the 32nd time for another missing, fresh ingredient. Or worse, your sweetheart has gone shopping for those 31 times and is muttering about going to Home Depot to buy a stainless steel Lizzie BordenTM ax. In moments such as these, it is best to take a more relaxed view of cooking and reach for that small bottle of dried parsley.
2) Just remember one amount of a dried spice usually equals three amounts of fresh spice. This one bit of culinary knowledge has saved countless marriages and lives.
3) It’s also a good idea to scan each recipe all the way through for key words such as “marinade for 8 hours” or “simmer for 2 hours” and allot at least 10 hours for cooking. Do not, do not, try to butter your boss up for a raise with this dish and expect to start cooking an hour before dinner time.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.