Meltin' Beef and Oxtail Fajitas

This week I'm taking part in live below the line so my last regular meal needed to be a big filling one, Discovery threw down a Ready, Steady Cook style recipe challenge to come up a dish from a bag of their ingredients to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.

As soon as I saw the fajita kit in the bag I was reminded of some gorgeous tender slow cooked beef fajitas we had in Canada, the beef was so tender it melted in your mouth. I knew that was the recipe I wanted to recreated, they were the best fajitas I've ever tasted...

oxtail slow cooked fajitas
Fajitas filled with melting braising steak, oxtails, red peppers, onions, brown rice
and Discovery Mexican spices, salsa and garlic herb sour cream
500g braising steak
3 medium sizes oxtails
3 medium onions
2 liters water
A sweet red pointed pepper
Brown rice
A discovery fajita kit and sour cream
or your own combination of Mexican inspired spices, tortillas and salsa

Fry to onions and oxtail until browned and set aside
Mix the fajita spices with 2 liters of water.
Spice wise this is all I'm adding to this dish as this little packet has everything you need

Deglaze the pan with a little of the fajita stock
Then add the steaks, onions, oxtail and the remaining stock
Simmer uncovered for 4 hours to reduce to a thick stew

Simmer for 4 hours
reduce for a melty meat filling

20 minutes before the beef is ready, boil the rice and dice the peppers
Take out the oxtails and slide any meat still clinging to the bone back into the beef
Serve with finely sliced sweet pointed peppers, you don't need to cook these they are sweet and juicy and will add a little crunch to this meltingly soft dish.
Roll into tortillas with a good dollop of herb and garlic sour cream and salsa.

It seems to pretty to roll up
A fistful of fajita
The results were sublime, succulent tender braised beef steak that falls apart when you look at it. The onions melted away and the oxtail gave rich deep flavor and a lovely brown hue to the dish. My one tip would be not to over fill the tortillas as you don't want a single drop of this silky filling to slip out. I added the rice to bulk these out for a main meal but if you are adding nachos and sides you wouldn't need it.

What was in challenge the bag?

discovery mexican kitFajita kit with tortillas, salsa and spice mix
The tortillas were lovely and soft and rolled easily. I like the convenience of this kit but there's not very much salsa for four people and I prefer wholewheat tortillas which don't seem to be available in a kit. The spice mix is great combination of Mexican flavours and you can buy that separately which is what I've done in the past with the tasty taco mix but I did find it to be a little on the salty side.

Garlic and herb soured cream
I was surprised to find a bottle of soured cream in the bag but this is pasturised cream so it keeps out of the fridge until it's been opened. This carries a label stating it has mild taste but I found the garlic was really strong, it's got green bits in it but I couldn't identify the herbs (chives and parsley) through the overwhelming garlic. I liked the handy squeezy bottle, I didn't quite get the knack of controlling the flow but it's not like your piping a cake, it's great for getting that soured cream on without any mess. Plus, the size of the bottle means that there is plenty to go around. Definitely shake it up before using, my first squirt was a watery one.

Cajun spice and sauce
This jar was the mild version and it has a mellow Cajun flavour, great for kids or those that don't want too much spice. There are dry spices separated from the sauce so you can do a dry rub of the meat to infuse the flavours and it gives the meat a great colour too. Like the rest of the products from the challenge bag, convenience is king with this sauce, it has all the spices you need ground up and ready to go. We are off camping next weekend and space is limited as much as I'd like to, I can't carry the contents of my spice rack so I'll be picking up one of these to take with us and it will certainly warm us up at the end of a long day trekking.

What are you cooking up for May bank holiday weekend? Why not make it Mexican?

*Discovery provided their products for this recipe challenge