Flanken is a delicious cut of beef, described in Dictionary.com as:
“…a strip of meat from the front end of the short ribs of beef.”
“Jewish Cookery . a dish of this meat boiled and often served with horseradish or a horseradish-flavored sauce.
1945–50; < Yiddish, plural of flank…”
I make tacos out of this wonderfully versatile recipe. Here I make it with beef flanken, but If you choose to make it with chicken instead, or your favorite tofu strips it will be equally good.
3 strips of beef flanken.
1 garlic clove
12 Chile De Arbol chili pods
3 large firm but ripe tomatoes
2 large garlic cloves unpeeled
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
Corn tortillas (optional if you are making tacos)
Rinse the meat, place it in a pot and cover it with water to which you've added a garlic clove and a small piece of onion. Bring the water to a boil and then lower heat, so that the meat cooks at a high simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until it is very tender and falling off the bone. Drain the meat and allow it to cool. When cool enough to handle, shred the beef, discarding as much fat as possible. when you have shredded all of the beef place it in a large strainer and rinse it with very hot water to discard excess fat.
On a dry griddle or in a non-stick frying pan, toast the chili pods on the stove top over medium heat.
With a pair of tongs, turn them over after about 5 minutes and when they are evenly toasted remove them from the heat, and set them aside. On a separate griddle or non-stick frying pan repeat the same process with the tomatoes and the garlic. Roast them on the stove top turning them often until they are browned, softened and the skin is peeling off. The garlic will toast at the same time, turn it as well so that it also browns evenly. When all of the ingredients are evenly toasted remove them from heat and allow them to cool for a few minutes.
When cool enough to handle, cut the stems off of the chili pods, put them into a small saucepan with boiling water, and boil them for 5 minutes. Pour the 1/2 cup of water into the blender jar. Quarter the roasted tomatoes and add half of them to the blender. Peel the roasted garlic cloves and add them to the blender along with the piece of onion and the salt. Pulse the blender and liquefy the ingredients for about 30 seconds, add the rest of the tomatoes and liquefy for another minute.
Place the olive oil in a large saucepan, and heat it well on high heat. When the oil begins to smoke immediately add the salsa from the blender, bring it to a boil, stir well, and allow it to simmer for about 3 minutes. Add the shredded flanken and simmer for 5-8 minutes.
If you like tacos, warm up either a corn or flour tortilla fill it with a tablespoon or two of the flanken and if you like, add chopped onion, avocado, and/or cilantro, roll it up, eat it while very hot, and Get ready for heaven!