Smoked Mexican Cuisine

Grilled Flat Iron Steak Fajitas 

Carnitas Style Mexican Pulled Pork

Mexican Machca Shredded Beef

Grilled Mexican Style Veggies

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Grilled Flat Iron Steak Fajitas

  • Prep time 25 mins.
  • Cook time 25 mins
  • Serves 4 – 6
  • Hardwood (Mesquite also mix with a fruit wood, such as Orange)

Marinade flat iron steak with lime, orange juice, and then sear the steak and veggies.

Ingredients
Flat Iron Steak Fajitas:
  • 2 to 3, 3/4-inch thick Flat Iron Steaks
  • 2 Bell Peppers, Cut into thin Strips
  • 2 Poblano peppers, Cut into thin Strips
  • 1 large Sweet Onion, Cut into thin Wedges
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, TO TASTE
  • 10 Flour Tortillas, Warmed
  • 4 oz Queso Fresco or Cotija Cheese, to serve
  • Salsa, to serve
  • Sour Cream, to serve
Marinade:
  • 2 Limes, Juiced
  • 1 small Orange, Juiced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
  • 2 tsp Agave or Honey
  • 1 TSP Chile Powder
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
Preparation

For the marinade: In a small mixing bowl, combine the lime and orange juice, garlic, agave, chile powder, cumin, salt and oregano. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.

Put the meat in a resealable plastic bag and pour the marinade over it, mixing to coat well. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

Drain the marinade from the steaks and pat the meat dry with paper towels. Discard the marinade. Lightly season steaks with salt on both sides.

When ready to cook, start your grill according to grill instructions. Set the temperature to a smoke setting of 200  degrees and preheat, lid closed 10 minutes. Smoke flat iron steaks for 45 minutes.

Remove steaks from grill and increase the grill temperature to 450 degrees F and preheat, lid closed 4-5 minutes, more if necessary. Put a 12-inch cast iron skillet on the grill grate to preheat for the vegetables.

Prepare the vegetables: Combine the bell pepper, poblano strips and onion wedges in a mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Stir to coat. Set aside until ready to cook.

When grill reaches temperature, sear each side of the steak for 2 minutes or until meat reaches an internal temperature of 135 degrees F for medium-rare.

Transfer steaks to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice the steak against the grain on a sharp diagonal.

Toss the vegetables into the hot skillet and sauté until nicely browned but still tender-crisp. Work in batches if necessary.

Serve meat with tortillas, vegetables, cheese, salsa and sour cream.

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Pork Carnitas Recipe with Mexican Style Pulled Pork

Pork Carnitas with Mexican Style Pulled PorkStart this recipe with a 7-8 lb Boston butt cut from the top portion of the pork shoulder. Instead of trimming the fat off the pork, cut slits diagonally across the fat cap going in opposite directions. This creates more surface area for the seasoning to form bark and the fat gets crisp and delicious!

Develop some flavor inside the meat, and to do this use a marinade to soak the butt overnight.

Marinade

Here’s the recipe for the Marinade:
– 32oz Orange Juice
– 5 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce (about ½ small can)
– 1 Orange quartered
– 2 Limes halved
– 1 Onion quartered

Now Prepare the Pork Butt

Place the Pork Butt on a large platter and season all sides with my Salt, Pepper, Garlic. For a simple ratio use 1 part salt, ½ part granulated garlic, and ¼ part ground black pepper.

Make sure to sit the pork butt fat side up. You should see the score marks in the fat cap. Chop the Chipotle Peppers and spread over the top. Be sure to get it into the crevasses created by scoring.

Next you’ll need something big enough to hold the pork butt and the marinade. I use 2 ½ gallon zip top bags you can find at the supermarket. The pork butt goes into the bag and then orange juice and onions. Squeeze the lime and lemon quarters into the bag as well.

Get as much air out of the bag so the pork butt is covered and place it in the refrigerator overnight. It needs at least 12 hours in the marinade but I’ve went as long as 24.

The next day remove the pork butt from the marinade and discard the liquid. Use paper towel to blot the pork butt of excess moisture and place it on a platter or pan for seasoning.

For the seasonings you need: Ground Cumin, Ground Chipotle Powder, Ancho Chili Powder, and Cinnamon. You can find these at most supermarkets but if you have a Pensy’s spice store nearby I suggest giving it a visit. The spice selection there is amazing.

The first layer of seasoning is more of the All Purpose rub I mentioned earlier. This blend goes great on everything and it’s the foundation of basic tastes that everyone is familiar with.

The other seasonings are used to create the Mexican flavor I want the pork to have, and I really don’t measure how much of each ingredient goes on the pork butt. Just eyeball each, one-by-one, and season all sides of the pork. Lastly, just for a little extra color, sprinkle on The BBQ Rub. It has enough cumin, chili powder, and paprika to go right with Mexican flavors.

As soon as the grill hit 275 it’s time to start cooking. Center the Pork Butt on the cooking grate and close the lid. There’s no need for opening the cooker for at least 4 hours. I want the outside to develop a nice crust or bark. Keep a close eye on the temperature of the grill and adjust the fuel or air as needed. It’s also perfectly ok to cook this pork butt at lower temperatures; just remember it’s going to add time to the cooking process.

During the first four hours do not the least concerned with internal temperature of the pork butt. It’s all about the color of the bark. Open the lid at 4 hours and you’ll see that it’s starting to look a little crusty and maybe even turning a bit dark in places. This is perfect. Now it’s time to braise the pork and make it fall-apart, tender.

Take the pork butt inside and place in a large aluminum pan. For the braising liquid you’ll need:
– 32oz Tomato Juice
– 16oz Orange Juice
– 1 Onion quartered
– 5-6 cloves of garlic smashed
– 2-3 Bay Leaves
– 2 Guajillo Peppers (dried)
– 2 Limes quartered

Pour the juices into the pan around the pork about 2 inches. Make sure you’re using a pan big enough to hold the liquid. You can reduce the amount of juice used if you use a smaller pan. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, peppers, and limes. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and place back on the grill still running at 275 degrees.

It should take about 3-4 hours for the pork butt to fully cook from this point. The target finishing temperature is right at 200 degrees. I usually set the alarm for 198 and check the meat with a hand held thermometer to feel for tenderness.

When the probe slides in with little or no resistance the pork butt is done. It also has a built in thermometer of sorts. When you can pull the blade bone out clean, I guarantee you the butt is ready.

Bring the pan inside and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. Now that the pork has rested for a few minutes, remove it from the braising liquid and place on a platter. You can reserve the liquid for later use if you plan on reheating the pulled pork. Strain the liquid and let cool. Skim the fat off the top and refrigerate. Then just pull the pork. Leave it in larger chunks instead of chopping it. I makes for a better taco that way.

Lay two tortillas on a plate, place a mound of pulled pork down the center. Garnish with a couple slices of avocado and radish. Next a little cilantro or in my case a lot! Then the best part:

Chipotle Sour Cream Sauce
– 8oz Sour Cream
– 4oz Mayo
– 4-5 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (chopped)
– ½ Fresh Lime (juice only)
– ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
– salt and black pepper to taste

It’s best to mix this sauce up ahead of time and let it rest in the refrigerator for an hour.

Last but not least squeeze a fresh lime wedge over the taco and a few shakes of your favorite Mexican hot sauce. This is one serious pulled pork taco!

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Mexican Machca Shredded Beef

This easy and succulent shredded beef can be loaded into tacos, enchiladas, or to top off mile-high nachos. Toss with any Chili BBQ Sauce for an added zest.

  • Prep time 20 mins
  • Cook time 2.5 hrs
  • Serves 4 – 6
  • Florida Hickory & Orange or Tangerine

Ingredients

  • 1 qty. (3 lb) Boneless Chuck Roast
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • as needed Traeger Prime Rib Rub
  • 2 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
  • 1 qty. (about 1-1/2 cups) Large Onion, Diced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, Stemmed, Seeded, and Diced
  • 1 Poblano Pepper, Stemmed, Seeded, and Diced
  • 1 Jalapeno Pepper, Stemmed, Seeded, and Diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 qty. 14.5 oz. Mexican-Style Diced Tomatoes with Chiles
  • 1-1/2 cups, or more as needed Beef Broth
  • 1 Fresh Lime, Juiced
  • 1 Tbsp. Chili Powder, or More to Taste
  • 2 tsp. Ground Cumin
  • 1-1/2 tsp. Oregano, Preferably Mexican
  • to taste Salt and Peppe
Instructiions

Place the chuck roast in a roasting pan (or sturdy disposable foil pan) and coat it on all sides with the Worcestershire sauce. Season it generously with Traeger Prime Rib Rub.

When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes).

Remove the meat from the roasting pan and place it directly on the grill grate. Smoke for 1 hour. Set the roasting pan aside; you will need it later.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan or frying pan, saut the onions, bell pepper, poblano pepper, jalapeno, and garlic in the oil over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, beef broth, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt and pepper and bring to a boil over high heat.

Reduce heat, and simmer the tomato mixture for 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning, adding more chili powder, cumin, or salt and pepper as needed. Transfer the smoked chuck roast to the reserved roasting pan.

Increase the temperature of the grill to 300F.

Slice the roast into 4 or 5 chunks of roughly equal size. Carefully pour the hot tomato mixture over the meat and cover it tightly with a lid or heavy duty foil.

Place the roasting pan on the grill grate. Roast the meat for 2-1/2 to 3 hours, turning the meat chunks over in the juices once or twice. (Use tongs to lift the lid or foil to avoid steam burns.) If the pan seems dry, add more beef broth. The meat is done when it is very tender and can be pulled apart easily.

Let the meat cool slightly, then shred with a pair of forks. If not serving immediately, return to the tomato mixture, cool, cover, and refrigerate. (Machaca can be made for up to 3 days in advance)

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Grilled Mexican Style Veggies

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Grilled Mexican Style Veggies

Ingredients
  • 1 green, yellow, & red pepper
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • Salt & Pepper
Instructions
  1. Cut peppers and onions into slices.
  2. Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix well.
  3. Light your BBQ and place BBQ plankettes in the box . We recommend orange or if your daring, mesquite wood or a combination of both.
  4. Wait until the heavy smoke clears and wait until the temperature reaches 350°
  5. Sear over BBQ at high heat 350° -400° for about 5 – 8 minutes. You want the peppers to remain firm, so don’t grill too long!

Now you have either a main dish or an addendum to your tacos or burritos

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Cochinita Pibil (Yucatán-Style Barbecued Pork) Recipe

Cochinita Pibil (Yucat\u00e1n-Style Barbecued Pork) RecipeReal cochinita pibil is not spicy, but it has a uniquely sweet, earthy aroma imparted by bitter Seville oranges, achiote, charred garlic, and a host of other spices.

Why It Works
  • Toasting the spices in oil helps them develop flavor to lend to the marinade.
  • A combination of lime, orange, and grapefruit juice mimics the flavor of the Seville oranges commonly used in the Yucatán.
  • Wrapping the pork tightly in banana leaves trap moisture, resulting in more tender meat.
  • Smoking on the grill imparts the smokiness you’d expect from a traditional pib oven.
Ingredients
  • For the Marinade:
  • 1 whole head garlic, separated into individual unpeeled cloves
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) lard or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup achiote (annatto) seeds (1 1/2 ounces; 40g)
  • 2 tablespoons (about 6g) Mexican oregano
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 (3-inch) Ceylon cinnamon stick, or a 1.5-inch piece of cassia cinnamon (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons (about 8g) whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon (about 4g) whole cumin seed
  • 1 tablespoon (about 4g) whole allspice berries
  • 3/4 cup (175ml) bitter (Seville) orange juice, or 1/4 cup (60ml) each lime, orange, and grapefruit juice
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) soy sauce
  • Kosher salt
  • For the Pork:
  • 4 pounds (1.8kg) boneless pork shoulder or 6 pounds (2.7kg) bone-in pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch-thick slabs
  • 6 to 8 banana leaves (see note)
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 12 bay leaves
  • To Serve:
  • Warm corn tortillas
  • Yucatán-style pickled onions and salsa
Directions
  1.  Thread garlic cloves onto a metal skewer and grill directly over the flame of a gas grill until completely blackened on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes. Alternatively, toss them in a dry skillet over high heat until blackened. Peel the blackened skins when cool enough to handle.
  2. Heat oil or lard in a skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add achiote, oregano, cloves, cinnamon, black peppercorns, cumin, and allspice and cook, tossing and stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a blender along with peeled garlic, bitter-orange juice, vinegar, soy sauce, and a big pinch of salt. Blend until smooth. Season to taste with more salt. It should be quite salty and have a consistency like ketchup. If too thick, thin it with water until it flows slowly.

  3. Pour marinade over meat and rub it in with your hands. Cover, refrigerate, and let it rest at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

  4. Lay out 2 to 3 overlapping banana leaves on a work surface. Place 1 piece of pork in the center and layer with some of the tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, and bay leaves.

  5. Form a tight parcel by folding the bottom side up and the top side down, then rolling in the sides. Secure parcel with kitchen twine and transfer pork to an oven-safe baking sheet or disposable aluminum baking tray. Repeat with remaining pork and banana leaves.

  6. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Alternatively, set half the burners on a gas grill to the medium-high heat setting, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes.

  7. Place a few large hardwood chunks on the coals (no need to soak). Place aluminum tray or baking sheet on the side opposite the fire and close lid. Smoke pork, aiming for a temperature between 250 and 300°F inside the chamber the whole time, until a metal skewer inserted into pork shows no resistance, 4 to 5 hours total. (Adjust heat by adding coals and/or adjusting the air vents.) Add extra wood chunks to the coals once per hour.

  8. Remove pork from grill and transfer parcels to a deep platter, shallow bowl, or rimmed tray. Unwrap banana leaves and serve immediately, shredding pork with two forks, soaking it in drippings, and stuffing it into tortillas with pickled red onions and salsa.