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Family Tortillas

by meg.k (follow)
Dinner (2274)      Family (1525)      Mexican (79)     
This is a great go to meal for anyone who has a lot of mouths to feed.

Start with a soft tortilla underneath a generous serve of tomato simmered beef and mix and match salads, beans, salsa and cheese for the perfect tortilla done your way.

It's easy on the wallet as well as your time and the true beauty of this dish is that everyone creates their own signature combination so no need to worry about any picky eaters.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour (or 20 minutes if you're in a hurry)
Makes: 12 Tortillas, serves 6 hungry people

250g beef mince
1 medium sized onion
1 clove garlic

1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbs corn starch
1/2 tbs cumin powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chilli powder/flakes
1/2 tsp salt

12 regular sized tortilla bread flats
1 400g tin of kidney beans
1/4 lettuce
1 red capsicum
1 medium sized carrot
1-1.5 cups cherry tomatoes
1 cup grated cheese
1 cup sour cream/natural yogurt
600g salsa

First we want to get the meat sauce cooking so that it has time to really develop the flavors.

Roughly dice the onions and garlic and put them in a sauce pan with the beef mince on a high heat. We're going to brown these ingredients to give our sauce a richer and more complex flavor.

Once everything is browned up you can add the spices and the tinned tomato along with 1/2 cup of warm water. Note that this recipe as about as mild as they come. Feel free to warm it up by adding additional chilli powder/flakes.

At this point you can decide if you're in a hurry or if you can manage to wait a while. If you need your meal more quickly, bring the heat up to high. The mixture should come to the boil and you'll need to stir frequently to avoid it burning on the bottom. Beware, it's likely to start spitting so a splatter screen or a lid is a good idea between stirs.

At this temperature it should be ready in about 10 minutes. At this point, turn off the heat and add half of your salsa.

If you have some time to kill, instead of bringing the mixture to the boil, turn the heat low and very gently simmer it with a lid loosely on the top. The extra cooking time will help the beef to tenderize and the tomato flavors to condense and sweeten.

Leave it to cook for between 30 mins to an hour, stirring occasionally. Again, once it's done, add in 300g of salsa.

While your beef is cooking you can get onto the salad and the beans.

For the salad, simply finely dice the capsicum and tomato, grate the carrot and shred the lettuce.You want everything to be in nice small pieces so it folds into the tortilla easily.

For the beans, we're going to lightly fry them on their own. The added heat gives them a nutty flavor, kind of like pop corn. This helps them to stand out in all the other strong flavors.

Lightly oil a frying pan and add the drained and rinsed beans. Fry for 5 mins on high then transfer to a serving dish.

Once everything is all ready to go, the very last step is to warm the tortilla flats. Open up the bag and remove the little blue sachet before microwaving them for 1 minute. Trust me that will be more than long enough.

Wrap up the bags of tortilla flats in a clean tea towel to help keep them warm and soft.

From here it's up to you how you like it. I would suggest you start with a flat bread with about 3 tbs of the beef sauce, a pinch of each of the salads and 1 tbs of salsa. But I'm sure it wont take you long to create a perfect formula of your own.

You can wrap up your tortilla two different ways. If you like to pile them high and aren't too worried about some morsels escaping, arrange your filling in a line right through the middle of the flat bread and simply fold in half to eat.

Or if you can manage to keep the filling down a little and want some extra security, don't quite meet one of the edges and fold up the spare bread to make a bottom before folding in the sides.


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