View Full Version : Navajo tacos, ala Canid

03-07-2011, 08:57 PM
Due to a string of coincidence and the fact that it was off season, we where unable to locate good Navajo tacos the entire desert trip. These are a touristy treat not to be missed if possible.

To rectify this; I decided to create my own recipe. As I live in california, and the law requires me to put avacados on everything, this dish diverges from the traditional tourist food of the desert states, but I did my best to keep the recipe as southwest as I could.

The sauce: I pureed two large tomatoes, three large hot chilies (the over-riper the better), a teaspoon of salt and two tablespoons sugar and simmered for 15 min to reduce somewhat. This was removed from heat and allowed to cool. Next I dressed two large prickly pear fruit and placed these and the sauce base in the blender. These where again pureed and then poured through a strainer, spooning the bottom until the solids remaining are mostly dry, leaving predominately the seeds and a small amount of fibers. This was tasted, and because prickly pears are out of season and these where not well enough ripened and had little sweetness, I decided to sweeten them up, and some 1/8 cup or so of orange juice from the fridge seemed just the thing. Not appropriate for this recipe, but anything to save a recipe and it turned out excellent in any event.

The vegies: The oven was preheated to 400f. You could do this all in a dutch oven easily. Black beans where prepared until tender (I actually cheated and bought them canned). sweet corn kernels (same deal, different can. Next time, I will roast husked corn on the cob over the grill/fire, leaving them smoky and fire-kissed). Squash ( I recommend immature winter squash - or maybe chayote for both flavor and texture, but chose mexican summer squash from the supermarket due to limited selection). These where placed in a casserole dish with salt, cumin, oregano and half an onion, diced. This was drizzled with oil and placed in the oven for 20 min, taking it out to mix occasionally. Avacado, tomato and prickly pear where sliced for topping later. The prickly pear require care while slicing to facilitate removal of any mature seeds (the large black ones) or you must take care not to bite down on them hard.

The beef: A skillet was preheated med-high with several Tbs. oil and 1lb of beef stew meat was sliced to a more consistent size and half an onion was diced. This was added to the skillet with some cumin and oregano for zest, and when browned, it was salted to taste. sevral Tbs. of the sauce was added for good measure of flavor, and in hopes the tomato and cactus fruit would help tenderize the beef. It did. This was set aside.

The frybread: I made a simple shortening frybread: wheat flour, shortening, baking powder, salt and warm water to a thin dough consistency, fried crisp both sides on a hot, oiled skillet. Make sure they are still pliant, and stack them as you take them off the skillet so they stay that way.

Assembly: the frybread is topped first with the vegie mix, then beef and then garnished with sliced tomato, avocado and cactus fruit. this is drizzled with the sauce to preference (read: very liberally). Enjoy.


Justin Case
03-07-2011, 09:06 PM
Dang !!! that looks GOOD !

03-07-2011, 09:08 PM
oh snap; this should have gone into the recipes section.

03-07-2011, 09:10 PM
That does look awesome, maybe I will try to make some for myself.

03-08-2011, 02:56 AM
It seems like every event we have in our area there is a food stand selling the " Indian Tacos" I just can't pass one up.

03-08-2011, 03:34 AM
I thin k I am going to make this tomorrow but with ground venison/pork mix.... 2/3 venison 1/3 texmex spiced pork......

03-08-2011, 03:59 AM
we took some over to the lady's mom and she liked them as well. we'll have to make them again soon.

I have plans to develop the recipe for the sauce into something special. It's got great potential.

03-08-2011, 07:38 AM
YUM! We might diverge from the recipe slightly, using venison instead of beef. Haven't had good tacos in a long time, so we might get to try it this week. Gonna show the missus tonight when I get home from work.

03-08-2011, 08:21 AM
If I had venison I wouldn't have used beef, I can tell you.

I had hoped to pick up some goat instead, but didn't find the chance.

03-08-2011, 09:36 AM
Looks yummy. I moved the thread to the recipe section.