I get a hankering every now and then for what I guess you could call tortilla soup, which is onion, garlic, garbanzo beans, corn kernels and chopped canned tomatoes stewed together with bay, cumin, chili and cayenne. Sometimes I throw shredded chicken into it, but not this time, dammit.
Usually I top it with cheese, avocado, sour cream (which is really Greek yogurt) and chips. But this time I just did some basil cheddar.
Braising is a way to get a lot of flavor into a piece of meat and be relatively lazy while doing it. The idea is to caramelize the outside of the cut, then let it simmer for a lovely long time until it breaks down, falls apart, and can be shredded by fork or by knife.
This started out with salt, pepper, olive oil and a strong sear on all sides. Then simmered in a bath of onions, garlic, tomatoes, a whole jalepeno, brown sugar and lime juice.
Cover that in chicken stock and let it bubble away, jollily, for a few hours. Eventually when the liquid has reduced by half or so I take the tenderloin out and shred it with two forks going at it from opposite directions. Then it’s back to the braising liquid, plus about a third of a cup of barbecue sauce. I like Kinder’s. Just look at those four hotties on the website. Also take out the jalepenos and lime halves at some point or they overwhelm everything.
I also made a simple slaw of red cabbage, celery and golden delicious apple from my dad’s backyard. A sneaky trick that I like to use is to hollow out the bread a bit before toasting so there is more room for the filling. Meat is the new bread.
And for your viewing pleasure: