Friday, March 21, 2008

Mexican Spicy Beef Tortilla

This dish is not unlike lasagne, except that the spicy meat is mixed with rice and is layered between tortillas, with a hot salsa sauce for an extra kick.


1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 fresh red chilli, thinly sliced
350g/12oz rump steak, cut into small cubes
15ml/1 tbsp oil
225g/8oz/2 cups cooked long grain rice
beef stock to moisten
3 large flour tortillas

for the Salsa Picante

2 x 400g/14oz cans chopped tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, halved
1 onion, quartered
1-2 fresh red chillies, roughly chopped
5ml/1 tsp ground cumin
2.5-5ml/ 1/2 -1 tsp cayenne pepper
5ml/1 tsp fresh oregano OR 2.5ml/ 1/2 tsp dried oregano
tomato juice or water if required

for cheese sauce

50g/2oz/4 tbsp butter
50g/2oz/ 1/2 cup plain flour
600ml/1 pint/ 2/1/2 cups milk
115g/4oz/1 cup grated cheddar cheese
salt and pepper

1) Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Make the salsa picante. Place the tomatoes, garlic, onion and chillies in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Pour into a small pan, add the spices and oregano and season with salt.

2) Gradually bring the mixture to the boil, stirring occasionally. Boil for 1-2 minutes, then lower the heat, cover with a lid and simmer gently for about 15 minutes. The sauce should be thick, but of a pouring consistency. If it is too thick, dilute it with a little fresh tomato juice or water.

3) Make the cheese sauce. Melt the butter in a pan and stir in the flour. Cook for 1 minute. Add the milk, stirring all the time until the sauce boils and thickens. Stir in all but 30ml/2 tbsp of cheese and season to taste. Cover the pan with a lid and set aside.

4) Mix the onion, garlic and chilli in a bowl. Add the steak cubes and mix well.

5) Heat the oil in a frying pan and stir-fry the meat mixture for about 10 minutes, until the meat cubes have browned and the onion is soft. Stir in the rice and enough beef stock to moisten. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

6) Pour about a quarter of the cheese sauce into the bottom of a round ovenproof dish. Add a tortilla and then spread over half the salsa followed by half the meat mixture.

7) Repeat these layers, then add half the remaining cheese sauce and the final tortilla. Pour over the remaining cheese sauce and sprinkle the reserved grated cheese on top. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden on top.

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