My Roots

IMG_3194I’m notorious for asking people, “What would be your last supper? I mean if you knew you were going to die tomorrow, or on death row, what would be that last ultimate meal?”  Some people answer with something incredibly elegant (think five stars).  However, I think most people go back to comfort.  In fact, when Ben’s office had a celebration dinner for his five year anniversary, his co-worker called to see about his favorites.  All of them very simple comfort foods (garlic mashed potatoes, steak, chocolate cake with ice cream).

Mine are Mexican comfort foods.  Growing up in Yuma, AZ (a border town) has quintessential Mexican food.  There are the special Mexican restaurants in Yuma, the taco stand 10 miles west from Yuma in Algodones, Mexico or in my adopted family’s home, where Mrs. Carrillo taught me how to make nopales con carne & Mr. Carrillo taught me the value of using salt to suck out the flare of jalapenos on my tongue.  One of my favorites is Machaca, but not machaca huevos.  The best is the machaca burrito from the beloved Chili Pepper (sidenote: it’s great how people who grew up in Yuma and moved away still salivate hearing the words…a B&C burrito (bean & cheese)…and upon return will stop at Chili Pepper before seeing the folks).  The machaca burrito is a savory meat at it’s best.  Truly there is something comforting about sucking out flavorful juices from this slowly simmered shredded beef.

So if I had one last meal, I would definitely have a machaca burrito on the menu.  What would yours be?

Machaca Tacos (printable recipe)

I know many Americans prefer flour tortillas; but, please do yourself a favor and use warmed corn tortillas and you won’t regret it.  However, if you make burritos than use homemade flour tortillas.  Recipe adapted from

Marinade Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • juice of two limes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or olive oil

Machaca Ingredients:

  • 2-3 lb Flank Steak
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 fresh jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1-14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (I used Tabasco)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • vegetable oil for searing beef.

For the marinade, combine all the ingredients in a bowl then whisk to an emulsion.  Add the beef making sure every piece is evenly coated.  Cover & refrigerate overnight.  Before preparing, drain thoroughly and allow meat to come up to room temperature for about 30 minutes.

In a large dutch oven or soup pot, heat a few tablespoons of ol over medium-high heat until very hot.  Sear the beef until a rich brown color is developed on all sides, as well as bottom of pan.

When all the beef is browned nicely and removed from the pan, add the onions, peppers and garlic to the hot pan.  Saute for a few minutes then add the remaining ingredients to the pan along with the beef.  Bring to a boil, scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pan.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer slowly for about 2 1/2 hours.  The meat should be very tender and should easily fall apart when pricked with a fork.

You can either take the meat to a cutting board to pull it apart with forks, or do it right in the pot.  Once you shred it, cook it on simmer for another 30-45 minutes.

Heat the tortillas on stove top for best results.

**I liked mine a bit liquidy, but you can cook in the last part until the liquid is reduced and very thick.


About Kamille

daughter of the most high.wife.mother. sister.daughter.aunt.friend.baker. culinary seeker.singer.storyteller. hospitality giver.foodie View all posts by Kamille

9 responses to “My Roots

  • Paige

    Yum! I’ll have to try this recipe. Have you ever tried using a different cut of meat? I wonder if a 7-bone steak could work? I’m just thinking of how to cut cost a little.

  • Kamille

    Paige the only other meat that I think would work would be a skirt steak or roast. I guess think meat that is best when slow cooked, in order to give it that tender melt apart effect. Hope that helps. I bought two flank steaks from Cost co & put them in the deep freezer. Both weighing around 2 1/2 – 3 lbs each & I think costing $12.00 for two.

  • Liz

    Kamille… I so enjoy reading your blog. I also wanted to say that the pictures you take are just awesome! You’ve got great perspective and the photos really compliment the text! Hugs to you and yours 🙂


    • Kamille

      Liz I never responded to you and thanks so much for your kind words. And I have taken to heart what you’ve said about my pictures. In fact, today as I was taking a picture the word “perspective” popped in my head:)

  • Stacy

    Mmm. This looks right up my alley. But I must admit, I am hesitant to do the corn tortillas. 🙂 I love me some flour tortillas. 🙂

    Have you ever cooked this in a crock pot, Kamille?

    • Kamille

      Stacy I haven’t tried a crock pot for it, but used my dutch oven. However, I think it would be easy to adapt it by using the crock pot. You would want to brown it on the stove top first and then transfer it to the crock pot. And I think throwing the veggies straight in the crock pot would be fine and forgoing the step of sauteing them.

      as for flour tortillas, I would use flour for burritos while using corn for tacos. but of course it’s whatever entices you the most:)

  • hzaida

    I was looking around WordPress for some good Mexican recipes and stumbled upon your blog. I also grew up in Yuma and just drove through over a week ago and wouldn’t you know it… I mailed myself a huge package of CP. Our 8 day diet of CP came to end yesterday and sadness now resonates. 🙂 I look forward to trying your recipe.


    • Kamille

      How fun is it that we both grew up in Yuma. I will be checking out your blog. I have cravings for CP many times a year. What school did you graduate from? I went to Kofa, class of ’97.

  • Mrs. Carrillo’s Spanish Rice « Evangitality

    […] spoken of my adopted family here & here.  My love for genuine Mexican food is not something I can keep hidden.  In fact, just the other […]

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