Recipe | Mexican Machaca

6:58 AM

This recipe was an accident. I filled a bag with those Hatch chiles you're seeing in all the grocery stores right now, absolutely clueless as to how I was going to use them.. but I was going to figure it out. I had thawed a couple pounds of pork at home, figuring I could make a rendition of Chile Verde with it.

Once home with my prize of chiles, I asked google about all the possible recipes that included Hatch chiles & pork shoulder. Right as I found something to try, Seth goes into the kitchen and informs me "..this is beef." Shit. I must have not had enough coffee on board when I pulled it out of the freezer.

I could have still tried the same recipe.. but we've made chile verde-style dishes with beef and it's just not as good. So I asked google about Hatch chiles + beef. Not alot came up, nothing with many reviews, and no good pictures. I judge recipe pictures hard - I will rarely click on a recipe if the pictures are awful - if it doesn't look good, it may not be good, or at least worth taking a decent pictures. #sorrynotsorry

But as I scrounged around the web looking for ideas, I came across a recipe using dried beef (basically jerky), and re-hydrating it and shredding it.. it was called Machaca (which means shredded beef). Similar dishes had a Venezuelan take with various ingredients I haven't heard of and called it Pabellon Criollo or Carne Mechada.

I had no idea what I was going to do, but it was a good day to experiment.

I stuck with the initial method I had used to prepare Chile Verde & Chile Colorado. Searing the meat, adding in onion, garlic, peppers & broth and letting it simmer for awhile. From there I took a cue from a traditional Machaca recipe and strained the meat from the cooking liquid and finished it in a frying pan with more garlic, onions & peppers until it was almost burnt, letting various pieces become crispy.

Our house smelled amazing, the robust, earthy & smoky aromas & flavor profile of the Hatch chiles are incredible. I was thrilled with how this turned out, Seth was super impressed and couldn't stop eating it. It does make for a great taco or enchilada filling, but I also served it Venezuelan-style with fried plantains and it was perfect  (sorry, I ate it all before realizing I didn't get a picture). Black beans, cilantro and a little avocado also make for great additions to round out the dish. I decided to call this Mexican Machaca, even though I did not shred the meat. It's fun to say ;) and the finishing method most resembled how this traditional recipe had always been prepared.

Mexican Machaca

serves 8-10

  • 4lbs bottom round beef or chuck roast
  • 6 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 8 Hatch Chiles, diced, (seeds removed from half of them**
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cups beef or bison broth
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 -14oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes

1. Trim off excess fat and cube the beef into 1 to 1 1/2 inch cubes.

2. Preheat a large stock pot to high heat. Heat 2 tsp of olive oil, then add 1/2 of the meat, season with salt & pepper and sear on all sides. Transfer the seared beef to a large bowl and set aside.

Repeat with the rest of the meat.

*Note: Searing the beef in two batches allows for a good sear. Adding all of the meat at once will “steam” it.

When the second batch has seared, pour the first batch back into the pot, add half of the onion, 3 tbsp of the garlic, and half of the Hatch chiles. Add 2-3 cups of broth, enough to cover the meat. Stir to combine.

3.  Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to low.  Keep it covered and simmer for about 75-90 minutes, stirring occasionally. The beef should become so tender it will fall-apart when poked with a fork.

4.  When the beef is done cooking, strain in a colander. You can choose to reserve the cooking liquid for continued use, (or use more broth instead). Place the beef in bowl and set aside.

5.  Heat the remaining 2 tbsp of oil in frying pan, add the rest of the garlic, onion & Hatch chiles, saute until soft and starting to brown. Add the beef to the onion mixture. Let the beef brown, but not burn, periodically scrape the meat from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the tomatoes, lime juice & 3/4 cup broth or cooking liquid. Let simmer 10 minutes, or until the liquid is mostly absorbed.

Serve with your favorite fresh sides & toppings are you're all set! I'd love to hear your feedback on this, just scroll to the bottom. Any variations, suggestions and reviews are super helpful and fun.

Just a note on peppers: Hatch chiles are only available in August every year, and are exclusively grown in the tiny town of Hatch, New Mexico. They are similar in appearance to their milder cousin, the Anaheim Chile, but offer a bolder, smoky, robust flavor.  You can use pre-roasted chiles, but the longer cooking method of this recipe takes care of the tough skins, and frying at the end roasts the remainder of the chiles. If you use this in the off-Hatch-chile-season (that's a thing right?), you could use Anaheim, Poblanos or even canned green chiles... although, canned green chiles are like adding nothing but color, you would be best served to use fresh chiles. :)

**If you don't have gloves on hand when chopping your chiles, when you're done, cover your hands in olive oil - rub it into the tips of your fingers well, then wash with dish soap to remove the chile oil. Seth cut the chiles and even though these are pretty mild, his fingers soaked up enough of the oil that they were burning for a couple hours until we googled some remedies. #thankyougoogle

Comment down below, I'd love to hear from you!

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