“Tinga” is a traditional dish from the center states of Mexico.
Pulled Flank steak and onion slices are simmered in a spicy tomato sauce with chipotle peppers until the meat is tender enough to shred with a fork. It is usually served over corn tostadas or tortillas covered with a thin layer of refried beans and topped with avocado slices Mexican Sour Cream and Queso fresco.
You can make “Chicken Tinga” or even “Vegan Tinga” by simply replacing the protein and substitute the beef with chicken or dry soy curls.
2 Lb. beef flank or rump steak
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
2 Lb. plum tomatoes, quartered
4-5 medium tomatillos
5 chipotle peppers in adobo, or to taste (see note)
3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
2 white onions, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
Place the beef in a pot and cover with water. Add the bay leaves and salt and pepper to taste. Boil over high heat, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Skim and remove all the foam from the top of the water as it starts to form and cover and cook over medium-low heat until the meat is very tender, about 2 hours. Remove the meat from the pot, let cool slightly and shred and pull apart, also be sure to save some of the beef broth as you will need it to thin down your sauce for the dish.
Place the tomatoes, tomatillos and chipotle chilies in a blender. Blend until smooth; strain through sieve.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook until onion has softened, about 10 minutes. Pour in the tomato-chipotle sauce and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook until sauce has thickened.
Stir in shredded meat and a couple of cups of the broth, season with salt and pepper to taste; cook over low heat, uncovered, until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Chipotle peppers in adobo are sold in cans. They are smoked dried jalapenos in adobo sauce. They add heat and a smoked flavor to your Mexican dishes.
Chef Martin Lopez