A lot of people talk Anna's Taqueria in boston. They talk Boloco, Mexicali, and Baja Fresh. Boca Grande, and even the king of burrito chains Chipotle. As far as I am concerned, all that talk is trash. With me, talk of burrito chains starts and ends with Qdoba. There was a Qdoba downstairs from my old job working in boston. I had a card that got me one free burrito for every 10. I must have had 5 free ones by the time that year was up.
So here I am casually living my life, when I get a call from Mandi who is away on vacation. Hey Dan, I was just thinking of you while having my lunch. Oh really? I said. What is that... that sound... that familiar chew? That stuffed mouth voice. WHERE ARE YOU RIGHT NOW?!?!?!?!?!?!!? Qdoooooooba. That's why I thought of you. My life was instantly ruined. See I can forget. Force myself to forget. The Pangs. The cravings. But shoved in my face like that? (ear?) No. No way could I forget now. I would not rest until I got what I craved. But I was just starting my 2 week diet. Friday, I decided, would be my salvation. My oasis day where I could skip the diet and feast on a homemade Qdoba clone. I invited some people over and got to work.
Bear with me today if you can, cause I did not get a ton of pictures, and they aren't the best quality, for a few reasons. For one, as I said, Mandi is gone and it is helpful for one to cook, and one to snap the photos. Second, I was a little behind and had a messy house(again, Mandi is gone) so I was running around trying to clean and cook at the same time. Third, I was having a lot of fun with my friends, and totally forgot to take enough pics!
So this part is the night before. I threw in a flank steak and chuck roast, and some water to cover the meat half way, and put it in the oven covered at 300 degrees for 2 and a half hours.
The meat was nice and tender at this point.
The longer thin strands of beef are the flank steak, while the chunkier pieces are the chuck. It was actually a nice combo!
Who knew pinto beans are freckled when dry? These went for an 8 hour soak. This is actually before work on the day of the party when I am prepping the beans.
Oh yea, did I tell you to save the stock you made when you braised the beef? Cause you should. This is a few hours before the party. Take that beef fat off the top of the stock and add it to the pan the beans will be going in. Separate this stock into 2 parts -1 cup and "the rest".
Add some onions and bacon to the beef fat and sweat everything down a bit. Next add jalapenos and garlic, then the soaked, drained, and rinsed beans. Add the "the rest" portion of the beef stock and a little water to cover the beans. Simmer uncovered for an hour and a half or so, checking for tenderness. Then you can just shut off the heat and let them sit on the stove warm till you are ready to use them!
Here I just sautéed some oil garlic and jalapenos, added the beef, added the 1 cup portion of stock, some cumin, and chipotle.
Yum these beans were really really good.
This chicken was marinated for 4 hours in lime juice, olive oil, chile powder, and molasses and then grilled, none of which I took a picture of! Where are you Mandi? The blog is suffering!
The blog isn't the only thing suffering from mandi's absence.
It always cracks me up when the chow line forms in my kitchen.
This is the face of utter excitement.
Whoa there is rice too??? Cook some long grain rice. After it is done and you fluff it up, add a few squeezes of lime and a handful of chopped cilantro. You will have the exact Qdoba rice!
I would always keep ordering stuff until it was too big for the Qdoba workers to close. Now here I did the same thing to myself!
This totally fulfilled my Qdoba needs.
I already wrote a lot about the methods, cause the pictures weren't as detailed today, but here are some more vague directions!!! This is a simple meal where exact measurements don't matter guys. Don't be afraid to taste things! Also I made enough for an army so I don't have accurate amounts in my head.
Shredded beef - 1 large or 2 med onions, 5 cloves of garlic, handful of cilantro, sprinkles of dried Mexican oregano, handful of marjoram and oregano from our garden(buy fresh, or omit). Add beef, I did about 3 or 4 pounds. Salt everything, add water halfway up meat. Simmer low or put in oven at 300, 2 hours.
Shred beef with hands/forks. Strain stock and place in fridge.
Tomorrow, take everything out. Take one cup of the stock, and save the rest, and any floating fat solids for the bean recipe that follows. Dice a jalapeno and 2 cloves of garlic. Throw in fry pan with olive oil. Add beef 2 minutes later. Mix well. Add chipotle and cumin and the cup of stock. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Beans - soak dried pinto beans 8 hours. In a pot add beef fat from other recipe, little olive oil, diced onions, and 6 strips of bacon. Cook 3 minutes. Add diced garlic and jalapeno, cook 2 minutes. Strain, rinse, and add beans. Add the rest of the stock from beef recipe. Pinch of salt. Stir, then leave alone simmering lightly for an hour and a half.
Rice - Cook long grain rice to box instructions. when it is done, fluff it up with a fork and add some chopped cilantro and squeeze a lime in there. Again - taste it and maybe add more.