I had attempted my Mom’s recipe for “Carnitas de Res” (beef carnitas) a few times before, but was not thrilled with the results. I tried using beef stew meat and a leaner cut of steak. The results were very dry carnitas. Rib-Eye on sale was the perfect excuse to try this recipe yet another time and I am so happy I did. I will confess, that I believe Mom may have used boneless beef shorts ribs originally for this recipe. As you can imagine, they were so tasty! She served these tacos with a super easy toasted chile de arbol salsa and diced onions. This was one of the rare times she would use tomato sauce to prepare a salsa. I would imagine that she did this for convenience, but the results are delicious. #tacoseveryday #familyrecipes
Once in a while, it’s ok to cut corners when preparing a recipe. For example, a huge pork shoulder roast can be replaced with a smaller package of boneless country-style ribs when a smaller portion is required. I do this all the time. I enjoy lean cuts of meats, but for some recipes, you must have the right cut of meat and some fat to yield a more flavorful and moist result.
Tacos de Carnitas de Res Al Vapor(Tender Rib-Eye Beef Carnitas)
I will never stop trying to recreate Mom's recipes. I may never get it just like hers, but it's the process that I enjoy so much. I honestly feel like she is there with me, guiding me and cheering me on!
- 2 rib-eye steaks total 1 3/4 to 2 pounds
- Kosher salt
- Fresh cracked pepper
- 2 cups water
- Olive oil or oil of choice
- Slice the rib-eye into 2 inch pieces and season lightly with salt and fresh cracked pepper. Transfer to a skillet, spread out evenly and don't overlap.
- Pour in the 2 cups of water. Cover and bring to a rapid boil. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking at a steady boil for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Once all the water has evaporated, drizzle meat with olive oil and stir to turn meat. Continue cooking to sear the carnitas, turning as needed for a few minutes. Ready to serve! Yields 4 to 6 servings for tacos.
For this recipe, the more fat the beef has, the better! It really needs a little fat for this cooking method. Otherwise it will be very dry in the end.
In the past I have attempted this recipe with other cuts of beef, but did not have the great results like this one. The beef really does need to have a bit of fat through out. Beef short ribs would be great for this recipe!
These tacos were prepared with a taqueria(small) homemade corn tortilla. Type “corn tortillas” into the search bar to see full recipe on site. Garnish with diced,sliced and chopped onion, radish, cilantro and lime.
Store bought tortillas are thinner than the homemade and may not hold up as well to salsa being brushed onto them. You can double up on the store bought ones for a heartier taco that won’t fall apart.
On the left a smooth chile de arbol salsa prepared with rendered beef stock. On the right, a toasted chile de arbol salsa.
Chile de Arbol Salsa-Two Ways
Toasted Chile de Arbol Salsa (Dark Red)
1 cup chile de arbol
2 cups tomato sauce
1-2 cloves garlic
Juice of 1 lime
Pinch of oregano
Salt to taste
On a comal or skillet that has been preheated, toast the chile de arbol peppers. Stir them often and toast to darken in most spots. Transfer to the blender, add all remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
For Smooth Chile de Arbol Salsa (Bright Red/Orange)
1 cup chile de arbol
4-5 roma tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, sliced
Splash of white vinegar
1/2-3/4 cup beef broth rendered from cooking barbacoa or beef roast.
Salt to taste
*The broth should have a little fat in it for this salsa. If it does not, drizzle in a little oil of your choice. I use olive oil, about 2 tablespoons.
Transfer chiles and tomatoes to a pot. Cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook at a steady simmerfor 10 to 12 minutes. Stir now and then. Drain water from chiles/tomatoes and transfer to the blender. Add the garlic, vinegar, beef broth and salt to taste. Blend on high until smooth. Strain through a wire mesh strainer. This salsa must be used in a timely manner.
Tips~Because of the added beef stock/fat, it will not last as long, but you can freeze it.
To serve “taqueria-style” tacos, brush tortillas with oil, preferably and fat renedered from cooking carnitas, barbacoa or roast. Warm on preheated comal(griddle). When ready to flip, brush tortillas with either salsa(I used the smooth). Flip and cook just for a few more seconds. Place onto plate, salsa side up and build your taco.