Gorditas with Shredded Beef (Gorditas con Carne Deshebrada)
This recipe is wonderful! I made it for a family gathering with mostly Mexicans in attendance and wowed everyone!!
(Adapted From Rick Bayless’s Mexico: One Plate At A Time)
For the beef:
1 1/2 lbs boneless beef chuck steak, cut into 4 pieces
3 small white onions, diced
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 T vegetable oil, plus oil to a depth of 1/2 inch for frying
1 28-0z can of good-quality whole tomatoes in juice, drained and chopped (I pureed them)
3 serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
1 t chipotle chili powder
Salt to taste
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the meat with 2 quarts salted water, about 1/3 of the onions and 1/2 the garlic. Simmer until meat is very tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Strain, reserving the broth for another use. When the meat is cool enough to handle, shred it into coarse strands with your fingers or two forks.
Wash and dry the saucepan, set over medium heat, and add the 1 tablespoon oil. When hot, add 1/2 of the remaining onions and cook until golden, about 6 minutes, then stir in the remaining garlic and cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes, chiles, and chipotle powder and cook until most of the juice has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Stir in the meat and simmer for a few more minutes. Taste and season with salt as needed. Keep warm.
For the gorditas:
1 3/4 c powdered masa harina mixed with 1 c plus 2 T warm water
1/3 c Pamela’s Gluten-Free Baking & Pancake Mix
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 c grated Mexican queso anejo (can substitute grated Romano or Parmesan)
1/3 c chopped fresh cilantro
Heat a heavy cast-iron or other heavy nonstick griddle over medium. Knead the masa to make it pliable, adding a little water if necessary to achieve a soft-cookie-dough consistency. Knead in the Pamela’s baking mix, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Divide the dough into 10 portions and roll into balls; cover with plastic to keep from drying out.
Line a tortilla press with two pieces of plastic cut to fit the plates (a food storage bag works well for this). Gently press a ball of dough between the sheets of plastic to about 4 inches in diameter (about 1/4 inch thick). Peel off the top sheet of plastic, flip the gordita, uncovered side down, onto the fingers of one hand and gently peel off the second piece of plastic. In one flowing movement, roll the gordita off your hand and onto the heated skillet. Bake for 1 1/2 minutes, then flip and bake for 1 1/2 minutes on the other side. The gordita will be lightly browned and crusty on the top and bottom, but still a little uncooked on the sides. Remove and set on a plate. Repeat this process with the remaining gorditas.
In the cast-iron or other deep skillet, heat 1/2 inch of oil over medium to medium-high until the oil is at about 350 degrees. One by one, fry the gorditas, turning them over after they have been in the oil about 15 seconds, and cooking them for a total of about 45 second, or until crisp but not hard. Most will have puffed up a little. Drain on paper towels.
Once the are all fried, use a knife to cut a slit in the thin edge of each one about halfway around its circumference, opening a pocket. Fill each gordita with about 1/4 cup shredded meat, a little onion, grated cheese, and cilantro.
Serves 10 as a snack, or 4-5 as a meal.