This is another “Food Paradise” favorite that I found on the Travel Channel. It comes from the Taco Guild Gastropub in Phoenix, AZ, ranked No. 2 on their countown. One of their signature tacos uses a rub that coats big chunks of beef with cocoa powder, espresso powder, Ancho chiles, plus a few more flavorful ingredients. Once the beef is saturated with the rub it goes straight onto a hot grill to sear. The beef is turned over each side to sear until it is a bit charred and dark in color. Next place the beef in a roasting pan and pour brewed coffee over it. Cover it with aluminum foil where it goes into a 300 degree oven for 5 – 6 hours. It is so tender and so flavorful when it comes out of the oven and virtually falls apart at the slightest touch. Taco Guild serves their tacos with a mango salsa topped with cotija cheese. I have to say they were spot on as the mango salsa added just the right amount of sweetness to balance the cocoa and coffee flavors. There was a lot of shredded beef to go around. I don’t know exactly how many tacos we ate but for several days we were in taco heaven.
First comes the rub. After several attempts on the amounts of each ingredients I finally came up with a good tasting rub. It’s about double what you need so I will scale it down for you. You will need cocoa powder, Ancho chile, Espresso powder, brown sugar, salt and pepper.
Cover with aluminum foil and place in a 300 degree oven for 5 – 6 hours. Turn the roast every hour so that each side simmers in the brewed coffee. As it gets closer to the 5 hour mark, test the beef with a fork. When it pulls apart easily or falls apart you will know it’s done.
Heat a cast iron comal and drizzle with olive oil. Heat corn tortilla for a few seconds on each side. Fill each tortilla with cocoa coffee braised beef and top with mango salsa and cotija cheese.
Cocoa Coffee Braised Beef with Mango Salsa
3 1/2 pound Beef Tip Chuck Roast, cut into thirds
Cocoa Coffee Rub, recipe follows
2 – 3 Cups Brewed Coffee
Mango Salsa, recipe follows
1/2 cup Cotija Cheese, crumbled
Cocoa Coffee Rub
2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
2 Tablespoons Ancho Chile
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1/2 Tablespoon Espresso Powder
1 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Store in air tight container.
2 medium sized Mango’s, peeled, cored and diced small
1/3 cup Jicama, cut into small matchstick pieces
2 small Red Fresno Peppers, diced small
2 Tablespoons Green Onion tops, sliced thin
2 Tablespoons Cilantro, roughly chopped
Drizzle of Olive Oil
Spritz of Lime juice
Combine prepared ingredients into a medium bowl and mix well. Refrigerate any unused salsa for later use.
Cut beef roast into 3 pieces. Prepare rub and coat beef over all sides. Heat a grill to high temperature, as close to 500 degrees as possible. Sear beef over all sides. The beef should be dark in color to almost charred. Place beef in a roasting pan and pour brewed coffee over top. Cover with aluminum foil and place in a 300 degree oven for 5 – 6 hours rotating the beef every hour or so. When the beef easily pulls apart with a fork it is ready. Shred beef with 2 forks, reserving some of the coffee broth (at least 1 cup) to rehydrate the beef.
Prepare corn tortillas on a cast iron comal with a drizzle of olive oil. Heat tortillas on each side for a few seconds. Blot dry with a paper towel.
Fill tortillas with cocoa coffee braised beef and top with mango salsa and cotija cheese.
Makes 24 – 30 tacos