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This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 3.50 / 5 (10 votes)

Prep time:
30 min
Cook time:
3 hrs 15 min
Serves:
4

Aaron Craze’s crispy mini tortillas topped with spicy shredded beef make the perfect starter to a Mexican feast

Method

1. For the beef topping: heat a splash of oil in a large saucepan or casserole. Gently fry the leeks, roughly chopped carrots and red onion with the garlic for 6-8 minutes, or until the vegetables are beginning to soften.

2. Add the ox cheeks, thyme and salt and pepper to the pan and fry on a medium heat until the meat is browned all over. Stir in the wine, then add enough water to cover the meat by 1cm. Crumble in the beef stock cube then cover and simmer on a low heat for 3 hours, until the meat falls apart with ease. Remove from the heat and let it cool completely.

3. Toss together the finely sliced red onion, shaved carrot, green pepper and orange juice with a drizzle of olive oil. Lift the beef out of the cooking liquid and shred with a fork. Stir it into the salad and season well.

4. For the tostadas: stir together the flour, cornmeal and salt in a bowl. Melt the butter in a small pan and add to the dry ingredients, then slowly pour in the water a little bit at a time and mix with your fingers until it comes together as a dough.

5. Divide the dough into 8 pieces, then use a rolling pin to flatten each piece into a circle about 5cm in diameter.

6. Fill a pan with oil until 2cm deep and heat until the oil begins to shimmer on the surface. Line a baking sheet with kitchen paper. Fry each tostada for a minute or so on both sides until crisp and golden, then drain on the kitchen paper and sprinkle with a little sea salt.

7. To serve: place a slice of tomato on each tostada and sprinkle with salt. Heap a spoonful of the beef salad on top then a couple of strips of red chilli. Top with a piece of jalapeño and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Supply a bottle of chilli sauce so your guests can add it to taste.

Ingredients

  • olive oil, for frying
  • 1 leek, roughly chopped
  • 4 carrots, 3 roughly chopped, 1 shaved into strips
  • 2 red onions, 1 roughly chopped, 1 finely sliced
  • ½ heads garlic, cut horizontally
  • 2 ox or beef cheeks, trimmed
  • 1 handfuls thyme
  • 450 ml red wine
  • 1 cubes beef stock
  • 1 green peppers, finely sliced
  • ½ oranges, juice only

For the tostadas

  • 150 g plain flour
  • 150 g fine polenta, or cornmeal
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 20 g butter
  • 225 ml hot water
  • flour, for dusting
  • vegetable oil, for frying

To serve

  • 2 beef tomatoes, sliced into rounds
  • 1-2 red chillies, seeds removed, cut into shreds
  • slices of pickled green jalapeno peppers
  • hot chilli sauce

Tips and suggestions

You can save the beef cooking liquid and store in the freezer to use as a base for soup or gravy on another day.

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