Braised Beef Pasta Salad combines all the flavours of spicy Mexican tacos loaded onto pasta shells for a super tasty large batch pasta salad. Slow oven braised beef covered in a spicy chipotle sauce blend then shredded and piled high onto the cooked pasta and tossed together with fresh pico de gallo, creamy avocado, crumbled cheese and chipotle aioli. Serve this salad with extra lime, cilantro and the braising liquid for fun taco inspired meal.
Our love for tacos runs deep. They are one of our all time favorite foods which led to us coming up with this crazy concoction of a recipe that is this taco-styled pasta salad. We adopted the method of making Barbacoa beef to be the primary feature of this recipe. Typically Barbacoa is meat that’s been covered in banana leaves and slow cooked underground in an oven until its extremely tender and shreds easily. Well we don’t have banana leaves or an underground oven, so we’ve used what’s at our disposal and the results are pretty darn good. In some instances, Barbacoa beef can be made with beef, which is what we’ve used for this recipe. Of course more commonly seen in traditional Mexican cuisine it is usually made with goat meat.
During the prep, it’s important to sear the meat on all sides as this will help create somewhat of a seal on the meat while it’s braising. This will lock in those juices and flavours used in the liquid. Once the meat has been seared, its important to cover it completely in the sauce. For the sauce we used a good amount of chipotle peppers in adobo and some of the sauce it comes with and mixed that with traditional herbs and spices such as oregano, cumin, clove and garlic. In some other recipes you may see the use of onion, vinegar and beer however these are used tend to be used for Birria.
Once the meat is cooked and has been shredded, it’s time to cook the short cut pasta. Cover the beef and keep warm while you’re doing this. Gather the rest of the toppings by making your pico mix. The pico is best if it has a little bit of time to rest. During the resting phase, the ingredients have time to blend and become less acidic. For the dressing we utilized some of the braising liquid, it’s packed with loads of flavour and we couldn’t let that go to waste. We used it to mix together a simple creamy dressing by combining it with greek yogurt, sour cream and lime juice. Add as much liquid as needed to get to your desired taste.
This salad can be eaten at room temperature or cold if refrigerating. If storing leftovers, this salad will keep a few days refrigerated and is great for multiple meals. We recommend only adding avocado to the portions being eaten right away and refreshing the salad with a touch more lime juice and chipotle aioli to sort of bring it back to life. This recipe makes a large batch of beef and is perfect for multiple meals. If you’re a planner it great for making this salad and you’ll have enough for some tacos! WIN WIN 🙂
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