As I mentioned in my previous post – 5 surprising benefits of lockdown – one advantage of being stuck at home is that we have more time to enjoy meals together. Usually we’re too busy rushing to swim lessons, music practice and various other after school clubs, to take our time and savour our food.
Cooking is such an important part of my life, and it’s a skill that you’ll always need, especially if you want to stay healthy. So, I’ve been using this extra time to teach the children some of my favourite recipes.
As a family we’re huge fans of Mexican cuisine. We’ve never actually been there, though it’s certainly on the top of my list of places to visit when lockdown is over. We fell in love with Mexican food when we were holidaying in Southern California.
We’ve been lucky enough to go to California several times in the past five years. Firstly, my sister lives in LA and got married a couple of years ago so we were there for the wedding. Secondly, my husband undertook some research in San Diego , so we lived there one Summer. California’s certainly know how to do Mexican food extremely well. It’s tasty, vibrant, fresh and spicy – everything I like in a meal.
This recipe is one I adapted myself from tasting many pulled beef tacos. I bought the beef from Alden’s Meat Market in Osney Mead, Oxford. It was extremely well priced. They also deliver to all OX postcodes. It’s nice to be able to support local during this challenging time. They have a fish shop nearby too.
I bought a large chunk of beef brisket about 1.8kg. I cut in into four large pieces and seared it on all sides for 30 seconds to get some flavour going. In my Nutribullet I bended 1 can of tomatoes, 1 tbsp of chipotle paste, juice of 2 limes (any citrus works – especially orange), 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 large red onion, 6 garlic cloves, half a chicken stock cube. I poured this mixture over the beef, topping up with about 1/2 a pint of water. Then placed everything into the oven. Cooked on 140C for 5-6 hours. You could use a slow cooker if you have one I guess. You know when it’s ready because the meat just pulls apart.
To accompany we made fresh tacos with masa harina flour. I bought this taco press from Mexico via Ebay after one of the times we’d been to California. We use it most weeks. You can easily use hard shell tacos or flour tortillas from the supermarket instead. Even rice is delicious. I make a simple coleslaw with lime juice, mayonnaise and coriander, and of course, some delicious guacamole and jalapenos if you like it hot!
We sat around eating our tacos whilst doing an online quiz with my family who are also in lockdown in various parts of the country, as well as my sister in LA. It was a very funny afternoon. We had to rein act a scene from the Lion King film and send it in for adjudication. As the only family to have children, I think we were at an advantage!
There was enough pulled beef for 8 people, so I’ve frozen half to enjoy another day.
What meals are you enjoying during lockdown?