I reported and produced this story with Hannah Yi for DownsizeNYC, a production of The Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. The story focuses on downsizing in the current economy from lavish restaurant dinners to cheaper, home-cooked meals.
We challenged a former Lehman Brothers employee to throw a “recessionary dinner party” for four people that included an appetizer, entree and dessert. The catch? Jay had $30 for the entire party. Jay prepared these shredded beef tacos as his entree and was kind enough to share the recipe, which he says goes best with homemade salsa and guacamole.
To find out more about how New Yorkers are downsizing, visit DownsizeNYC.
Shredded Beef Tacos
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 4 hours
1.5 lbs. beef chuck
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon fresh black pepper
3 Tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
¾ cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
2 ounces baking chocolate
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 Tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon Ancho chile powder
2 dried bay leaves
1 Negro Modelo beer
12 small corn tortillas
Shredded sharp white cheddar cheese, for topping
Cilantro, for garnish
Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven over medium heat.
Add the garlic and onions and saute until onions are translucent.
Sprinkle the salt and pepper on both sides of the beef.
Place the chuck in the pot and let it sear for 3 minutes until a crust has formed.
Flip the chuck and sear the second side for an additional 3 minutes.
Transfer the seared beef, along with the sauteed onions and garlic, to a crock pot.
Add the crushed tomatoes, chocolate, cumin, cayenne pepper, Ancho chile powder, bay leaves and Negro Model beer to the crock pot.
Simmer the ingredients on low heat for at least four hours, or until the meat is fork tender and easily shredded.
Shred the cooked meat and assemble a taco by placing a portion of the shredded beef on a corn tortilla, topping it with the sharp white cheddar and fresh cilantro.