May is here! Sunday was May Day; did anyone else create candy baskets for the neighbors on May Day when they were kids? Or as adults? No judgement here…I do like a nice candy basket.
I used to love creating the candy baskets for May Day. Actually, they were candy in ziplock baggies or red solo cups with pipe cleaners taped to the inside to create the “basket.” I think that’s how we used to do it…either way, it was enjoyable to run to the neighbor’s house, drop the “basket,” and then ring the doorbell and dash away. Almost as if you were ding dong ditching them, but leaving them a lovely gift of sweets instead.
The start of May is always enjoyable here in Wisconsin. The weather is FINALLY getting warmer, the trees are starting to show leaves, those really pretty cherry blossom trees are flowering….I love it.
Another beautiful thing about early May, is Cinco de Mayo! The idea of celebrating with margaritas, salsa, guacamole, and tacos sounds delightful. Now of course I know that this is not the historical significance of the holiday. Many people don’t actually know the historical significance of Cinco De Mayo. The only reason I do, is I took a history of Latin America class in college, #greatest class ever. Short story, the holiday is due to the victory of Mexican troops in the mid 19th century at the Battle of Puebla. Look it up, very interesting.
In honor of this holiday, I have decided to make Beef Barbacoa Tacos and Jicama Slaw.
Barbacoa originated in the Caribbean; however, its commonly made in Mexico using either beef, lamb, or goat. The beef is usually from parts of the head of the cattle, i.e. cheek or tongue. (Don’t knock it till you try it!) I made my recipe with shredded beef, not tongue or cheek, but with beef chuck roast, cooking in the crock pot on low with various peppers and seasoning for 8-10 hours.
I had added a slaw with it, as I love a little crunch with my tacos, specifically, a jicama and carrot slaw. Jicama is called a “Mexican Turnip.” It’s a root vegetable, with a fruity, earthy flavor, that is incredibly good for you.
Top with some homemade salsa or guacamole, and Voila! You have yourself a great, Cinco De Mayo feast!
Ingredients- Yields 6-8 servings
- Flour Tortillas
- 2-3 lb chuck roast
- 4 dried guajillo chilis
- 2 dried new mexican chilis
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp beef base *can substitute 2 bouillon cubes or 1 cup beef broth
- 1 orange
- 1 lime
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 onion, quartered
- 2 tbsp chipotle powder
- cotija cheese, crumbled *optional
- salt + pepper
In a small saucepan, rehydrate chili peppers by simmering them in water on stove top over high heat
Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes
Let cool for 5 minutes
Season beef with chipotle and salt and pepper
Place beef in crock pot
Pour in chilis with cooking liquid
Squeeze lime and orange juice in crock pot and add with onion and garlic
Cook beef on low in crock pot for 8- 10 hours
Slice Jicama and carrot very thin, add to mixing bowl
Add scallions and cilantro, mix
Add vinegar, oil, lime juice, and salt and pepper, mix together
Chill until ready to use
When meat is done, discard of citrus, onion, and peppers
Shred beef in crock pot
Add beef to tortillas, top with slaw, cheese, and any remaining condiments