Monday, February 6, 2012

A Month of Soups: MachacaTaco Soup

Welcome to the Southwest again. You won’t be surprised that lots of the soups and stews on this blog are inspired by where I live!

Today’s MachacaTaco Soup starts at least the day before. FIRST you have to make the machaca beef, a spicy, shredded beef that you’ll serve for dinner in tacos or tostadas.

The recipe I use for machaca beef is from friend and fellow author Annie Weissman. Check her out at

Annie’s Slow Cooker Machaca Beef

2 ½-3# boneless chuck roast

2 T homemade taco seasoning (or one package of commercial taco seasoning)

2 c salsa (use the heat you like--I use mild because of the taco seasoning heat)

Trim off visible fat. Rub roast with taco seasoning on all sides. Put into slow cooker. Dump on salsa. Heat on high for 6-8 hours. Remove roast from cooker and shred it. Discard fat chunks. Return shredded beef to pot liquor. Stir around and let cook another half hour.

Remove contents of slow cooker to a sieve and squeeze the juices from the meat. A 3# roast makes ~4 cups of shredded meat. Reserve 1 cup of the beef and save for later. Use remaining meat for dinner. If any is left, add to the reserved meat.

Put pot liquor into refrigerator and skim off hardened fat before using in the soup.

You might be able to do this with chicken, I don’t know why not, but I’ve never tried it.

Unfortunately (she says, head hanging), I got distracted by the Internet schtick, and the pot of soup kinda burned. Yep. Black-bottom burned. Impossible-to-scrub-off burned. Sigh.

Now, as it turns out that gave the soup a smoky taste that, while not what I was going for, wasn’t awful. In fact, it added that outdoors, southwest vibe hard to get otherwise. Typically DH prefers soup that didn’t burn. However, read his rating below! I may be onto something!

Machaca Taco Soup (serves 8-10)

Reserved juices and meat from Slow Cooker Machaca Beef

(about 2 cups beef and 1 cup pot liquor)

2 cans diced tomatoes with seasonings

1 can Mexicorn

1 can black beans

1 can pinto beans

1 or 2 4-oz cans chilies (optional)

3 c thinly sliced lettuce

2 c fresh diced tomatoes

2 c shredded Mexican cheese

2 large avocado, diced

½ c sour cream

Tostado or taco shells, hard

Corn or wheat tortillas, soft

Mix machaca beef and juices in a pot over medium heat with diced canned tomatoes, corn, beans, and chilies (if adding). Stir. Add broth. Slow simmer for one hour.

Roughly break two taco or tostado shells into a bowl. Pour taco soup over shells. Add lettuce, fresh tomato, cheese, avocado, and dollop of sour cream on top. Serve with warm tortillas, corn or wheat or both! We have apple and orange slices as a side.

DH’s Rating: 5 Tongues Up! This soup is an unexpected combo of flavors and textures with all the taco makings on top of the soup. DH said, “It’s great, but isn’t this just chili?” Well, sorta.

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