THE LUCKY TACO FOOD TRUCK has been serving up fresh, authentic and delicious tacos to appreciative fans for years – and now you can recreate their recipes at home. As well as tried-and-true classics, you’ll find one-off special editions, their famous Lucky Taco Pink Pickle, hot sauces and mouth-watering favourites from the Frizzell home kitchen, including Sticky Cider Ribs, sweet treats and refreshing drinks. Jazz up taco night and pick up hot tips from the dynamic duo, including the ultimate taco-eating stance, how to feed a crowd like a boss, and what to put on the menu for a variety of fun fiestas.
BEEF CHEEK CHILLI
Oh, the magic of slow-cooking the tough bits of the beast! The cheek meat in this recipe is tough all the way through until it’s suddenly fall-apart tender and juicy. This is a great winter warmer, but we’d eat it any day of the year, and the leftovers are perfect for freezing. Otis reckons it’s so easy it’s one of the few meals he can make without constantly annoying Sarah to ask, ‘Am I doing this right?’
- 1kg beef cheeks
- canola oil, for frying
- 2 white onions, finely diced
- 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks, finely diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and finely sliced
- 2 tsp chilli flakes
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 beef stock cube, crumbled
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 400g can tomato pulp (we use Mutti)
- 2 tbsp tomato ketchup (we use Heinz)
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 cube of dark chocolate
- zest of ¼ orange
- 1 tsp Lucky Taco Chipotle Hot Sauce (see below)
- salt and cracked black pepper
- 400g can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- sliced red cabbage, to garnish
- coriander leaves, to garnish
- queso fresco, to garnish
Trim sinew off beef cheeks. This takes a bit of time, but it must be done! Make sure you have a sharp knife. Once trimmed, cut beef into bite-sized chunks.
Heat a large frying pan over high heat. Add some canola oil to the pan. In batches, brown the meat. Don’t over-crowd the pan — if you do, the meat will boil instead of brown.
In a large pot, heat some canola oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, celery and carrot. Sauté until soft.
Increase heat and add browned beef. Add all the dry spices and crumbled stock and mix well.
Pour in red wine and water, and bring to the boil for a few minutes.
Add Worcestershire sauce, tomato pulp and ketchup, red wine vinegar, lime juice, chocolate, orange zest and hot sauce. Season well with salt and pepper.
Bring to a very low simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 3 hours. Check and stir every 20 minutes or half an hour.
After the 3 hours, taste the meat — it should be meltingly tender. If not, keep cooking for a further half-hour, or until it is! Add the kidney beans for the last 5–10 minutes of cooking and stir through. Season according to taste.
Add some sliced red cabbage on top for crunch, and some fresh coriander and queso fresco. Serve up the deliciousness alongside crusty bread, or steamed rice. Hearty and delish.
NOTE: ONLY add your kidney beans at the end. If you add them at the beginning, they can catch on the bottom of the pot and burn. This will ruin your chilli and you will have a little cry (yes, this happened). We’re SAVING you from this sadness.
LUCKY TACO CHIPOTLE HOT SAUCE
We’ve always joked that as soon as people learn how to pronounce it, chipotle hot sauce becomes their favourite. We even made T-shirts and tea towels featuring our Chipotle Sauce bottle with a speech bubble saying ‘CHIP – OAT – LAY’ to help get the message across. This member of our hot sauce family is known as the ‘mild child’, but it sure follows through with a welcome smoky kick!
MAKES APPROX. 1 CUP (250ML)
- 60g red capsicum, stalks removed and de-seeded
- 100g canned chipotle peppers
- 4 tsp fresh orange juice
- ¼ tsp salt
- pinch of ground white pepper
- 2 tsp white sugar
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
Preheat oven to 180°C. Prepare and roast red capsicum (see note below). Remove skins and place flesh in a large pot.
Add remaining ingredients, then bring to a boil for about 5 minutes until ingredients have softened. Blitz with a stick wand. When cool, transfer to an airtight container. Store in the fridge; it will keep for at least a month.
NOTE: To roast capsicums, you want to use your oldest frying pan — one with a relatively thin base for quicker (more intense) cooking. Or just put capsicums over an open flame if you have gas elements. Once the skin is blistered and charred, leave them to cool in a plastic bag. That’ll loosen the skin for easy peeling.
Extracted from The Lucky Taco Cookbook by Sarah and Otis Frizzell. Photos © Victoria Baldwin. Published by Penguin Random House NZ. RRP $50, available now!