Grilled Tortilla Stuffed with Pulled Pork, Monterey Jack cheese, and Refried Black Beans
Ingredients for the carne desmechada (pulled pork):
1 kilo flank steak or pork shoulder, sliced into large cubes
salt and black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
2 cups water
1 1/3 cups sofrito (recipe below), divided
2 medium white onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2/3 cup green bell pepper, small dice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 can (250 grams) whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
3 bay leaves
2 cups beef stock or water
1/4 cup soy sauce (preferably Lee Kum Kee or Kikkoman)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 small can refried black beans
8 flour tortillas
1 cup sour cream
1 cup grated Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese
1. Season meat with salt and pepper.
2. Add 1 tablespoon of canola oil in a large pot and heat over high heat until smoking hot. Working in batches, brown the meat in the pot, turning the meat around once in a while to brown all the sides.
3. Place the browned meat back in the pot and pour in the water and 1/2 cup of the sofrito (recipe below). Bring to a simmer and cook covered until meat is very tender. Let the meat cool down in the liquid before proceeding.
4. Once cooled, shred the meat by pulling apart the meat fibers with your hands. Set aside. Reserve the cooking
5. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a pot and sauté the onions and garlic for a few minutes or until onions are cooked.
6. Add the bell pepper and sauté for 2 more minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook until the tomato paste is slightly browned. (This reduces the acidity of the tomato paste and intensifies the color.
7. Add the remaining sofrito and cook while stirring for about 3 more minutes. Add the whole tomatoes, bay leaves, beef stock, cooking liquid from the meat, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, cilantro, black pepper and the shredded pork. Bring the mixture to a simmer and slowly cook for about 30 minutes or until meat has absorbed some of the liquid.
8. Check seasoning and add more soy sauce if needed.
9. To assemble the tortillas, spread 1 tablespoon refried beans on one side of the flour tortilla.
10. Spread about 1/2 cup pulled pork over the refried beans. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon sour cream.
11. Top with 2 tablespoons grated cheese and fold the flour tortilla over.
12. Grill the baleada on a grill pan or nonstick pan until slightly toasted and cheese is melted.
How to make sofrito:
2 large red bell peppers
1/4 kilo leeks or scallions
1 large white onion, cut into wedges
3 1/2 tablespoons garlic, peeled
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1. Grill bell peppers, leeks or scallions, and white onions on charcoal until charred on the outside. (You can also char the vegetables directly on top of an open flame from a gas stove.)
2. Blend grilled vegetables together with garlic, olive oil, cilantro, salt, pepper and cumin to form a smooth paste. Sofrito can be stored in the freezer for later use.
Recipe from Food Magazine. Photograph by JC Inocian. Styling by Katherine Jao.