Sunday 3 March 2013

Mexican Spicy Beef Tortilla Recipe

Today's recipe is from a region of the world I do not often visit, at least culinarily speaking — Central America.

Here we have a classic recipe form Mexico for a tortilla-based layered dish that is something reminiscent of an Italian lasagne (but quite a bit spicier).

Mexican Spicy Beef Tortilla

Serves: 4

This could be considered to be a Mexican take on a lasagne, with the meat mixed with rice and layered between Mexican tortillas and baked in a hot salsa-style sauce.
Mexican spicy beef tortilla recipe


1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 fresh red chilli, de-seeded and sliced
350g (12 oz) braising steak, cubed
1 tbsp oil
225g (1/2 lb) cooked long-grain rice
beef stock, to moisten
3 large wheat tortillas
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

For the Salsa Picante:

2 x 400g (14 oz) tins of chopped tomatoes
1 tsp ground cumin seeds
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 garlic cloves, halved lengthways
1 onion, quartered
2 fresh red chillies, roughly chopped
1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
water, as needed

For the Cheese Sauce:

50g butter
50g (1/2 cup) plain flour
600ml (2 1/2 cups) milk
115g (1 cup) Cheddar cheese, grated


Begin with the salsa picante. Combine the tomatoes, garlic, onion and chillies in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Pour into a pan, add the spices and oregano then season to taste with salt. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and continue boiling for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat at this point, cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes. By this time the sauce should be thick but still of a pouring consistency (dilute with water if it looks too thick). Set aside until needed.

For the cheese sauce: Melt the butter in a pan, scatter over the flour and stir in to form a roux. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, then whisk in the milk. Continue stirring constantly until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Stir in the cheese (but reserve 2 tbsp). Cook until the cheese has melted then take the sauce off the heat and set aside.

For the meat filling, combine the onion, garlic and chilli in a large bowl. Stir in the meat. Heat the oil in a pan, add the meat mixture and fry until the meat has browned. Stir in the rice and enough stock to moisten. Adjust the seasonings to taste.

Pour 1/4 of the cheese sauce into the base of a round oven-proof dish. Sit the first tortilla on top then spread half the salsa on top, followed by half the meat mixture. Repeat this layering process then add half the remaining cheese sauce and then the last tortilla.

Pour over the remaining cheese sauce and sprinkle the reserved cheese over the top.

Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 180ºC (350ºF, Gas Mark 4) and bake for between 15 and 20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

Serve hot with a crisp, green, salad.

For more Mexican recipes, please visit the Celtnet Mexican recipes and cuisine page. For more beef recipes, why not visit the Celtnet beef cuts and recipes page?

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