Start these tostadas around lunchtime and by dinner you’ll have a slow cooker full of tender, succulent beef to prepare these colorful tostadas. If you’d rather not take the time to make the veggie slaw, you can top the tostadas with plain shredded cabbage instead.
- 1 1⁄2 lb. (750 g) boneless beef chuck, trimmed of most fat and
cut into 1⁄2-inch (12-mm) cubes
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 2 Tbs. canola oil, plus more for frying
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 small Granny Smith or other tart green apples, peeled, cored
and coarsely grated
- 1 cup (6 oz./185 g) canned crushed tomatoes
- 2 Tbs. cider vinegar
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1⁄4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1⁄8 tsp. ground cloves
- 1⁄3 cup (2 oz./60 g) golden raisins
- 1⁄2 cup (2 1⁄2 oz./75 g) toasted almond slivers, chopped
- 6 corn tortillas, each about 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter
- 2 to 3 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
For the veggie slaw:
- 1 cup (3 oz./90 g) coarsely shredded green cabbage
- 1 cup (3 oz./90 g) coarsely shredded red cabbage
- 1⁄2 cup (1 1⁄2 oz./45 g) shredded carrot
- 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into matchsticks
- 1⁄2 tsp. salt
- 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 tsp. sugar, to taste
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbs. cider vinegar
Season the beef generously all over with salt and pepper. In a large, heavy frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the 2 Tbs. oil. When the oil is hot, working in batches if necessary to avoid crowding, add the beef and sauté until browned on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a slow cooker.
Pour off most of the fat from the pan and return to medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute more. Transfer the contents of the pan to the slow cooker and stir in the apples, tomatoes, vinegar, bay leaves, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, raisins, 1⁄2 tsp. salt and several grinds of pepper. Cover and cook on the low setting for 5 hours, stirring halfway through if possible. The meat should be very tender.
When the meat is almost done cooking, make the veggie slaw. In a large bowl, combine the green and red cabbage, carrots bell pepper, salt, sugar, and pepper to taste. Drizzle in the olive oil and toss to mix. Drizzle in the cider vinegar and toss again. Set aside.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat and vegetables to a serving bowl. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Using a large spoon, skim the fat from the braising liquid. Add just enough of the liquid to the meat to make it juicy and discard the remainder. Fold in the almonds and keep warm.
Pour oil to a depth of 1 inch (2.5 cm) into a small frying pan. Over medium-high heat, warm the oil until hot but not smoking. One at a time, add the tortillas and fry, turning once with tongs, until crisp and golden, about 30 seconds for each side. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
Place a fried tortilla on each plate and top each with an equal amount of the beef picadillo. Top each with a generous spoonful of the slaw, sprinkle with the cilantro, and serve at once. Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma The New Slow Cooker, by Brigit Binns (Weldon Owen, 2010).