Spring sports season has begun at my home which means afterschool is crazy,
so I rely on my slow-cooker to put out a scrumptious meal without a lot of hands on time from me.
This recipe was inspired by a classic Mexican dish consisting of meat being marinated or stewed in adobo with spices and chilies.
I put a modern, bright California spin on it by incorporating pineapple juice, mango peach jam, a brown sugar rub and
fresh avocado salsa with cabbage and salty Queso Cotjia cheese for a scoring soccer kick finish.
Afterschool is beginning to taste easy.
Brown Sugar Rub
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teapoon salt
½ teaspoon white or black pepper
1 Tablespoon of cooking oil
2 lbs. cheap roast meat like a bottom round or chuck roast sliced by the butcher into ¼ inch slices going
perpendicular to the grain to create tender, small pieces of meat for the tacos
1 – 20 oz. can pineapple chunks with juice, separated
½ – 6 oz. can of tomato paste, use only 3 oz.
½ cup peach, mango, orange jam by E.D. Smith (my favorite flavor enhancer!)
¼ cup soy sauce
1 medium onion, large chop
7 garlic cloves, crushed- paper skin removed
5 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, a 7oz. can in the Latin food aisle of grocery store, I prefer Embasa brand
2 cups beef broth
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
6 sprigs of fresh thyme, marjoram and oregano
12 Corn tortillas
4 limes, cut into wedges
Green & purple cabbage, finely sliced
Queso Cotjia cheese, crumbled (a Mexican fresh cheese that tastes similar to Feta cheese, substitute if needed)
Remove the roast meat from the packaging and pat dry with a paper towel.
Blend the brown sugar rub ingredients together and rub it all over the beef plus, in-between the slices.
Set aside for a few minutes while you mix the California adobo sauce.
Combine the pineapple juice, tomato paste, jam, soy sauce, onion, garlic, chipotle peppers, beef broth,
ground cumin and salt in a blender, vita mix or food processor;
whatever you’ve got, give it a good spin to a smooth puree.
Now, heat up a skillet with oil over medium heat, (I prefer to use a cast iron skillet, but anything you have will do).
When the oil is hot, sear both sides of the meat being careful not to burn the brown sugar;
we are just looking for a sweetened, brown crust.
On to the slow-cooker we go with our browned beef and freshly mixed California adobo sauce.
Place in the meat, making sure it is nice and comfortable,
pour in the sauce, surrounding the beef in a delicious hug;
add your sprigs of fresh herbs, turn your slow cooker on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
The last step is to prep for the pineapple, avocado salsa and finish the toppings,
then skip on with the rest of your day, dinner is cruising toward DONE.
1 – 20 oz. can pineapple chunks, sliced smaller if need be
1 – 15 oz. can black-eyed peas, rinsed
1 -15 oz. can black beans, rinsed
1 avocado, diced
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
½ red onion, diced
1 red chili, minced
1 Serrano green chili, minced
1-2 limes, juiced
If making to serve within 2 hours, combine all the ingredients into a serving bowl, stir gently and taste often.
You are looking for bright, smooth, and slightly sweet with some heat. Add salt and pepper to taste;
if it needs to be sweeter, add a dash of sugar or a few Tablespoons of juice, (orange, mango, apple, pineapple etc.). Store in the fridge.
Pulling it all together in 10 minutes
1. Taste the meat and sauce, add a dash of salt if the flavors need a bit of coaxing to stand out
and definitely add a good spritz of fresh lime juice to brighten up the sauce.
2. Tear the meat into small chunks, it should just fall apart.
3. Heat the tortillas in a skillet over medium-low heat until heated through
4. Combine the salsa ingredients
5. Line up the toppings
6. In a warm tortilla, layer the meat, a bit of sauce, cabbage, salsa, Cotjia cheese and a squeeze of lime, if so inclined…
7. Holler, “Come and get it!”
8. California Carne Adobada Street Tacos are served.
1. I have noticed the more I can do ahead of time, the easier dinnertime is;
so If you are prepping the salsa and cabbage slices in the morning for dinner that night,
keep the ingredients separated and the avocado whole until you are ready to serve. Store in the fridge.
2. When making the California Adobo sauce, if you would like to add the leaves from the fresh herbs
directly to the blender to puree with everything, be my guest.
I added them after the fact because the leaves fall off while cooking and then I just remove the stems before I serve the sauce.
It was easier for me, and plus, it made for a more colorful photo.
4. Flank Steak or skirt steak is usually used in Carne Adobada,
if you wish to use this cut of meat instead, marinate it for 2-8 hours in the California adobo sauce,
then grill it in a grill pan over medium-high heat for a few minutes each side and serve with the pineapple, avocado salsa and corn tortillas.
5. Use leftover carne adobada in breakfast eggs, as a stuffing for tamales or enchiladas.
Use the leftover sauce as a base for a Mexican inspired tomato soup.
All the leftovers, except for the salsa, can be frozen up to 3 months.
For the printable version of the Pineapple, Avocado & Bean Salsa recipe, CLICK HERE
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