What to make with that leftover adobo? Braised Beef Tacos

Use up that left over adobo from last week's tamales recipe to braise chuck roast and turn it into killer adobo braised beef tacos. Top them babies with tangy Mexican pickled onions (called escabeche de cebolla) and you've got a taco bursting with bold flavors.

Last week's recipe made more adobo than was needed and I mentioned it could be saved and used for another purpose. Today's recipe, tacos de res con adobo y escabeche de cebollo – or adobo braised tacos with pickled red onions – makes great use of that delicious red chile sauce. This recipe is super easy as the oven does all the work for you.

Any chuck cut will work but I opted for shoulder clod roast as I find it a little less fatty than your standard chuck roast and since you'll be using the braising liquid, you want the least amount of fat as possible. (For a primer on cuts of meat, the Certified Angus Beef website is very helpful.)

The adobo gets thinned out with some stock and a few more warming spices added like cinnamon (a perfect compliment to beef), cumin, clove plus more Mexican oregano. The sauce is poured over the roast which has already been seared on all sides then it's off to the oven for 2 ½ hours.

The resulting meat is tender and bursting with flavor. I've made them into tacos here with pickled onions infused with garlic and Mexican oregano. But the meat is equally delicious served over brown rice or stuffed between two slices of your favorite bread. Oh! And it makes a fantastic filling for tamales to serve along side those vegan ones you made.

Until next time my friends … xo, ani

Adobo Braised Tacos with Mexican-Style Pickled Red Onions
tacos de res con adobo y escabeche de cebollo

Serves 8-10


For the onions:
1 large red onion
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon coarsely ground coriander seeds
1 tablespoon whole dried Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds 
2 garlic cloves, peeled 
½ cup water
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar

For the meat: 
2 tablespoons avocado or canola oil
3 pounds of shoulder clod roast, or any chuck roast, trimmed of visible fat
prepared braising liquid 

For the adobo braising liquid: 
1½ to 2 cups adobo sauce (recipe here)
2½ cups beef stock, divided
1 tablespoon whole dried Mexican oregano
½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground cloves

For the tacos:
corn tortillas (assume 3 per person)
rough chopped cilantro, optional


Make the pickled onions: Cut the onion in half from root to tip, then slice thinly across the grain and add to a small non-reactive bowl along with the pepper, coriander, oregano, cumin and garlic. Add the water, vinegar, salt and sugar to a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. Once it reaches the boil, pour it over the onions. Let steep while you continue with the rest of the recipe.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sear the meat: Heat oil in a dutch oven on medium high. Once shimmering, add the trimmed roast and cook until browned, about 5 minutes on all sides, including the edges. While it sears, work on the braising liquid.

Prepare the adobo braising liquid: Add the adobo sauce to a blender along with 2 cups of stock and all the spices. Blend on high until well incorporated.

Roast the meat: Once meat is browned on all sides, pour the adobo over the meat, flipping meat so that it's thoroughly coated. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and roast in the oven for 1½ hours. Remove from oven, flip the roast and stir in ½ cup broth if the adobo has thickened. Replace lid and return to oven, roasting for another hour.

Assemble tacos: Remove the roast from the dutch oven to a plate and use two forks to shred. Return the meat to the dutch oven and stir into the adobo sauce. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of meat to a warmed corn tortilla and top with the pickled red onions and cilantro, if using.

Let leftover meat cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Will keep up to a week.