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Old 08-07-2014, 01:51 PM   #41
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Can you still get the Mission tortillas in the refrigerated case? None of our Local groceries carry them anymore.
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Old 08-07-2014, 02:03 PM   #42
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Can you still get the Mission tortillas in the refrigerated case? None of our Local groceries carry them anymore.
Try here Craig....

Contact :: About :: Mission Foodservice
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Old 08-07-2014, 02:09 PM   #43
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Taco meat!

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Originally Posted by Kayelle View Post
Caslon, once you master how to cook your own taco shells you'll never go back to those brittle nasty shells in a box.

Here's how Mama taught me. Have all your taco fixin's ready to go. I buy the super size yellow corn tortillas.
In your largest skillet, pour in about an inch of veg. oil, and get it hot on med heat. With tongs, lay a tortilla into the oil just to wet it, and quickly turn it over, wetting the other side. With the tongs, quickly flop one side over the other forming the "taco" shape. Lightly fry on each side. I can get three of them into my largest skillet, with round edges facing outward. Don't cook them too much because the seam will crack if you do. Drain them on paper towels, and fill all three of them with all the fixin's, then begin on the next three. They must be eaten right away, so while hubby is eating, I cook mine. It takes some practice to do this, but it is SOOOOOOO worth it. I repeat, those hard boxed shells are nasty.
Let me know if you try it......you won't be sorry.

Brilliant, Kayelle! I will be trying this!

Craig, ours sit out on the shelves. No refrigeration needed, and the package I got states it's good till the end of September.
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Old 08-07-2014, 02:14 PM   #44
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...With the tongs, quickly flop one side over the other forming the "taco" shape. Lightly fry on each side...

Kayelle, if you do this, doesn't the folded tortilla fry in a 'closed' shape? Then if you pry it open to fill it, it breaks? Or do you take it out of the oil before it gets brittle?
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Old 08-07-2014, 02:40 PM   #45
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Andy, I like them soft, so I take them out of the oil while they're still pliable.

My daughters like them more on the crispy side though, so I hold the folded tortillas open with the tongs, fry one side, then flip them over and fry the other till it's as crispy as they like them, while still using the tongs to hold them open. Plenty large enough opening to fill them that way.
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Old 08-07-2014, 02:42 PM   #46
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Kayelle, if you do this, doesn't the folded tortilla fry in a 'closed' shape? Then if you pry it open to fill it, it breaks? Or do you take it out of the oil before it gets brittle?
Yes, if you try and fry it too much the seam will break when you fill it.You don't want them brittle. The point is to not pry it open. I scoop the meat into it gently and it works fine with the rest of the goodies to follow.
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Old 08-07-2014, 02:53 PM   #47
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Andy, I like them soft, so I take them out of the oil while they're still pliable.

My daughters like them more on the crispy side though, so I hold the folded tortillas open with the tongs, fry one side, then flip them over and fry the other till it's as crispy as they like them, while still using the tongs to hold them open. Plenty large enough opening to fill them that way.
I know your kids are also grown and gone now like mine, but it must have taken you ages to hold all those tortilla's open one at a time. I had boys who could eat a dozen at a sitting.

You're a better Mom than me Cheryl. My kids only got them Mom's way.
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Old 08-07-2014, 02:53 PM   #48
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Back to the meat part

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I would like to be able to make slow cooked taco meat, the kind that roadside stands or drive ins make. Stringy and authentic tasting. Then I'd like to learn to oil fry the taco shells. I was once working in a couples home who had an elderly mexican maid cook who cooked up the meat beforehand and fried up the taco tortillas for them for lunch. My mouth was watering and I was so envious of them. To them it was just another meal for lunch.

I wonder if I would know how to cook genuine slow cooked taco meat and do the oil fried taco shells, but I keep telling myself to try. I don't even know where to start, but slow cooking the seasoned meat all day is how they do it. As for oil frying the tortillas and folding them, I suppose I could get that part learned.
Did the meat part of your question get answered. You can put about anything inside a corn tortilla and call it a taco, and a lot of it is great eating, and there's no one authentic taco meat. You're saying saying stringy and slow cooked so I'm thinking shredded and braised. Easy-Peasy.

The hardest part is starting with the right cut of meat. Use bone in chuck roast or pork butt. Chuck is from the beef shoulder. Butt isn't the pig's backside. It's the best part of his shoulder.

Put it in some liquid, bring it to a boil, then turn down the heat enough to just barely bubble. Cook that way (simmer) for at least 2 hours, probably longer until the meat wants to fall off the bone when you lift it up.

That's all it takes to make wonderfully tasty stringy taco, tamale, stew, hash, omelet, you get the picture meat.

But wait, there's more!...but all of it is optional.
  • If you want to you can brown the meat first to make it even better. Heat some fat in a heavy frying pan. The fat could be anything, bacon grease, vegetable oil or pork fat you peeled off the top of refrigerated leftovers the last time you did this. Rub some salt into the outside of your big hunk of meat and put in in the hot fat. Every few minutes roll her a bit till she's brown all over. Take the meat out, pour off the fat and save it for later, deglaze the pan, that is, put a little water or other liquid in the pot and scrape the stuck bits (fond) off the bottom with a wooden spoon and add them to the pot with the meat.
  • If you want to speed things up a bit you could first cut your big hunk of meat into roughly two inch pieces. If you decide to brown the pieces do it in batches so there's some room between them in the frying pan. When you simmer the smaller pieces check them more often because if the meat overcooks it gets mushy and looses flavor.
  • If you put your big browned hunk of meat in a pot with only enough liquid to go maybe half way up, put on the lid and cook it in the oven at 325F or so. Say you braised it and charge twice as much. The meat that wasn't submerged will brown some more and taste better. What started out as water is now sauce and since it is less diluted it tastes better too.
  • After the meat is brown but before you deglaze you can improve the sauce even more with some veggies. For anything Mexican I like onions, garlic, and poblano peppers. Pour off and reserve all but a tablespoon or so of fat and add your chopped vegetables. Cook and stir on med. high til the peppers soften a bit and add to the meat pot. Cooking the veggies aka mire poix, soffritto or softrito, depending on your hat, should have deglazed the pan but if not then do that too.
  • Add spices and chiles. I usually settle for cumin and ancho chiles for beef or guajillo chiles for pork, but you can use whatever you like. I don't get into arguments about it but, by chiles I mean dried peppers. Store bought chile powders are blends of ground chiles and spices. You can grind whole chiles yourself in a spice/coffee grinder and add them to the sofrito. Toast them and take out the seeds first if you want. You could also drop the whole chiles into the braising liquid for a little while then fish them out, remove stem and seeds, puree in blender and return to the pot.
  • If you want to you can add some big hunks of veggies to the liquid at the beginning of cooking in which case you'll toss them out at the end because they'll have given all they've got to the sauce. Or you can add them about 45 minutes before the meat is done and eat them with your meal. The vegetables in the sofrito will have pretty much disappeared into the sauce.
  • Make a lot more of this stuff than you need because you won't be able to resist eating a lot of it as soon as the meat is done but, what you want to do is save a bunch of meat and put that sauce in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning take the fat off the top and save it for whatever's next. Now that sauce is liquid gold. Whatever you do with it will be spectacular.

Lots more can and has been said on the subject. Shelf-loads of books have been written. This ought to get you started though. You can also grill and pan sear taco meat but use different cuts for that. Save the good stuff like shoulders, shanks (ankles), tails, and short ribs for braising.
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Old 08-07-2014, 02:54 PM   #49
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Brilliant, Kayelle! I will be trying this!

Craig, ours sit out on the shelves. No refrigeration needed, and the package I got states it's good till the end of September.
That is just it, the refrigerated ones didn't have the preservatives to be shelf stable. They taste fresher.

Thanks GG!
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:11 PM   #50
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That is just it, the refrigerated ones didn't have the preservatives to be shelf stable. They taste fresher.

Thanks GG!
Where we live, tortilla's are delivered daily along with bread. I can see it being an issue in other parts though.
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