Tuesday, October 07, 2008

In search of West Texas asado

Have you ever had asado? Nope, not carne asada. Asado. You haven’t? Don’t worry; I hadn’t either until a couple of months ago. But I don’t think it’s too farfetched for me to say it’s now one of my favorite dishes. Here’s how I learned about it.

Last year, I was dashing through the Times Square subway station during the morning rush hour and I saw a man wearing an Austin College T-shirt. Austin College, my alma mater, is such a small school that you seldom see people sporting kangaroo pride. So even though I was late, I had to stop and chat with him.

It turned out he was my year and yet I couldn’t place him until he said where he was from. “Of course!” I said. “You’re the guy from Gun Barrel City!” And then my memories of him all fell into place. I mean, when someone comes from a place with a name like Gun Barrel City, how could you ever forget him?

He was only in town for a few days, but when he returned to his home in Odessa, Texas we started an occasional correspondence. When I decided this summer to fly into Midland—the sister city to Odessa—I contacted him and he graciously offered to take me to dinner.

I arrived on a Sunday and since the area has a large Catholic population, most places were closed. After much research on his part, he finally settled on Ajuua’s. I was delighted to see that the restaurant was packed with Mexican families and most of the men were wearing cowboy hats and boots. This was going to be good.

“You should get the asado,” he said.

“Carne asada?” I said.

“No, asado,” he said. “It’s a local specialty.”

He then explained that asado is pork slow cooked in a red-chile sauce. It’s similar to New Mexico’s carne adovada, except adovada is made with New Mexican red chiles and asado is made with anchos.

I very excited to try the asado, but unfortunately, it was so wonderful that the restaurant was sold out for the evening. It wasn’t until two days later when I stopped at Fabela’s on my way to the Midland airport that I was able to try this regional dish. And after a bite, I understood why it was the local favorite—tender bites of pork were covered in a smoky, garlic-rich sauce brightened with Mexican oregano and cilantro.

When I returned to New York I asked, nay, begged Mark to give me a recipe. He consulted with a friend of his who graciously shared with Mark his family’s recipe. Some of the proportions were strange (apparently, Mark’s friend was a bit vague on certain points, not willing to completely divulge his family’s method) but after tinkering with it, I managed to recreate what I felt was a passable asado that would not insult the taste of any of the good citizens of West Texas.

Now don’t be put off by the time involved in making this—yes, day-before prep is involved, but with a little planning you can be eating your own bowl of asado within 12 hours. And if you don’t have a disco—the Mexican wide skillet made from tractor parts (also known as the Mexican wok)—Mark has generously provided directions on how to weld your own, if you are so inclined. Or you can use a Dutch oven, wok or regular cast-iron skillet, too.

West Texas Asado (adapted from Mark Flowers)
Ingredients:
16 dried ancho chiles
1 large head of garlic (10 cloves or dientes as it’s said in Spanish) the cloves crushed.
3 pounds of boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons of lard, bacon grease or peanut oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup of cilantro, chopped
2 teaspoons of Mexican oregano (or regular oregano if you can’t find Mexican oregano)
Salt and pepper to taste

Method
1. Take the chiles and remove stems and seeds (can reserve seeds to spice up asado later). Place chiles in a large bowl, pour warm water over them and then add two crushed cloves of garlic and 1 teaspoon of salt to bowl. Let soak overnight or for eight hours.
2. After chiles have softened, throw out the soaking water (it will be bitter) and place chiles in a blender with 1/2 cup of fresh water. Puree until a thick paste is formed—it should be about four cups of puree.
3. In a saucepan, sauté on medium heat the diced onion in one tablespoon of lard, bacon grease or oil until cooked and starting to brown, about ten minutes. Add the remaining 8 cloves of crushed garlic (about 1/3 cup) and cook for one more minute. Add the chile paste, 1 cup of water, the cilantro, Mexican oregano, salt and pepper.
4. Cook chile sauce on medium heat for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Don’t be alarmed, but it will probably dramatically bubble and heave.
5. Generously salt and pepper pork cubes. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of lard to a disco, Dutch oven or skillet (may do this in batches) and brown meat on all sides.
6. Add chile sauce to meat, and cook covered on low heat for 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
7. Serve topped with cotija or wrapped in flour tortillas.
Serves 8.
Note: When using dried chiles, you want them to be soft and pliable like raisins
—this means they're fresh. If they're brittle and crumbly, they're old and not worth the money. I spent the better part of a Saturday afternoon searching for fresh, affordable anchos in lower Manhattan and I found the best ones were, of course, at a Mexican market (Zaragoza on Avenue A).

Mark Flowers explains how to make your own disco (for cooking, not dancing)
1. Get the materials: One disc harrow blade (go to www.tractorsupply.com and search for "Grizzly Stallion Blade Plain 20 in.”; one 1.25"x 1.25" seven ga piece of steel; and two 3/8" diameter x 4” wide square "U" bolts.
2. Cut the small piece of steel to fit the square hole in the disc. Weld that piece into the hole.
3. Weld the “U” bolts on opposite sides of the underside (the convex side) the disc to serve as handles.
4. Grind away the rough edges of the welds so that the interior of the disc and the underside of the disk are smooth.
5. Sandblast the disc to remove the remant black paint. (I don't have a sandblaster, so I took my disc to “Nipco” a machine shop here in Odessa. They didn’t charge me. When I offered to pay, they said, “Hell, that didn't take but a minute, besides, I wouldn't feel right charging you to strip your disc.” Mighty neighborly, I thought.
7. Season it like I’m sure your grandmother did her cast-iron skillet. Cook with it over a gas flame.

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85 comments:

Greg said...

http://www.mrdutchoven.com/cookware.htm#Discada

You can buy Discadas from the above link.

Homesick Texan said...

Greg--Thanks! I see they're in NM--is that where you get your gear?

Kalyn said...

Oh wow, this sounds fantastic. I love ancho chiles Great post!

Anonymous said...

I gotta say, your blog has turned into one of my favorite things to see pop up in my reader! I've made carnitas twice now based on your directions and they've been nothing short of wonderful!

Keep up the good work.

Steph said...

Mmmm, this sounds amazing! I'm definately going to have to try this soon!

San Antonio Rose said...

Wow, that sounds awesome and fairly easy to make! Pork, lard, garlic, onions, ancho chilies- what's not to LOVE? I've been in California for 20 years, and while it sounds very Tex-Mex, I don't recall anything quite like that in my 30+ years in south Texas. Must be a West Texas thing....or known by a different name elsewhere? Thanks, as always!

Cheri (aka "The Mom Lady") said...

It's a small world, isn't it? We lived in England, Norway and the Caribbean and never ceased to be amazed at who we'd run into! Either someone we knew or someone who knew someone we knew.

I'd never heard of these either and I'm orignally from Lubbock! I'm in Houston now and will be trying to concoct these this winter - sounds like s great dinner on a cold, crisp day.

The "hole in the wall" Mexican restaurants are ALWAYS the best!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

OMG, it looks ever soooo good! Even if I've just got out of bed, I could gobble that dish... Flavorful and very pleasing!

Cheers,

Rosa

crystal said...

I've been reading this for a long time but have never commented. Why aren't you and Mark married?? he sounds like a boy version of you! also, i told people at work about your site the other day- one was a chef who lives in nyc by way of texas and was saying he's always missing the food.

Greg said...

HSTex,

I have some of the dutch oven tools found on the site. He (Robert Murphy) has a Discada cookbook too.

Asado looks like it is very close to Adovada.

Kimberly said...

I was trying to explain this to my roommate the other day, and he kept asking, carne asada? I kept saying, "No, no. Asado." It made me second guess myself. This post made me feel not crazy. Thanks! That doesn't happen too, too often.

This weekend I made stewed beef pretty darn close to Jumburrito's (you did hit up Jumburrito while you were in O-desolate, didn't you?) with the green chiles I managed to find at the farmer's marked here in Massachusetts. Your blog always makes me want to cook things that remind me of the good parts of West Texas. Thank you.

Jerry said...

I guess because West Texas is still a mystery to me. (Never really went past Abilene except the trip to L.A.) But man that sure sounds yummy. If only I had 12 hours. Hmmmm....

Mark said...

After finding the great flour tortilla recipe on your blog, I subscribed. I haven't made any other of your recipes, but the articles are always entertaining. Like, today, I 'm thinking about tracking down a 1.25"x 1.25" seven ga piece of steel and two 3/8" diameter x 4” wide square "U" bolts. Here in Tokyo.

There's virtually no zoning in Tokyo. So there's a mom & pop metalworking shop around the corner among the homes and apartment buildings in my neighborhood. I'm sure they can also do some sandblasting.

Ancho chiles? Can't even get normal fresh chiles here.
By the way, I worked on-air at KOZA-AM radio in the late 1970's. Anyone in Odessa-Midland then will know.

Marcos said...

I grew up in Midland, where did you try to go to dinner? I LOVE carne asado, and I crave it from time to time up here in Oregon. I can't believe I left a place with such good food for non-stop rain. I love your posts. Thanks for the quick reminder of home.

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

Mmmmmmmm, thank you! This recipe made me so excited today that I had to blog about it BEFORE I made it ;-) Your photos are drool worthy.

Jessica AKA Pickles said...

wow, small world... I found your blog not long ago, but I didn't know that you were an AC alum. That's so crazy to me. I'm actually a current student there.

Crazy Austin College people are EVERYWHERE...

Anj said...

Made me laugh in the comment above (O-desolate). I was raised there and we called it 'Slodeatha'. Haven't been there since I graduated high school. It's true the little hole in the wall places are the best! I was in San Angelo this past weekend. The prickly pear cactus were in abundance -- it really made me feel good to see those wide open spaces of West Texas.

radish said...

this looks heavenly.. and with my new staub i am looking to make something just like this :)

lara said...

My dad uses the Disc (over a flame outside) to cook fajitas, waaaay over in East Texas.

Amber said...

I certainly miss my Texas food -- and this certainly sounds delicious -- but I really realize how far away NYC is when I try to think about how I would make my own disco. The image of me trying to weld on my fire escape is quite amusing...

Esmeralda said...

Oh, my gosh!! Asado IS my favorite dish!! When my mom makes it, I love to dip a tortilla in the yummy sauce while it cooks. It is actually something we have at Thanksgiving! I know this sounds a little weird, but I love it over my mom's cornbread dressing. I don't need no stinkin' gravy!!
PS I am originally from even further west than "Slow-death-a", Pecos! :)

Brenda in Texas said...

Hi Lisa, I sure enjoy your blog, it's so entertaining. I have lived in central Texas
all of my life and I've never even heard of this wonderful dish before. I must try it this
weekend. I immediately thought of you this week when I got my electric co-op magazine.
There was a story about chili cook-offs in Texas and a nice little bit about Texas Red.
Keep up the good work, the recipes are great
but I love your family stories even better.
OH, and btw in Stephenville, Tx. those woks
are called plow discs.

Homesick Texan said...

Kalyn--Aren't anchos awesome?

Anon--Thank you! And I'm so pleased to hear the carnitas work so well for you.

Steph--It's good stuff!

San Antonio Rose--It's completely a West Texas thing--I'd never heard of it either, but apparently it's a big deal in that part of the state. They even have asado cook-offfs.

Cheri--It's wonderful on a chili day--it keeps both you and your home warm.

Rosa--Well, it's actually quite tasty with scrambled eggs--it makes great breakfast tacos, too.

Crystal--Ha! Where does your chef friend work?

Kimberly--Glad to help! Sadly, I didn't go to Jumburritos but I'll have to check it out next time I'm there.

Jerry--Patience is key! Plus, you can eat kolaches while you're waiting.

Mark--And I bet they have plow discs in Japan, too. That's a shame they don't have chiles, though, Might have to try growing your own.

Marcos--I think he wanted to go to Jorge's. Do you know it?

Just a Plane Ride Way--Well, that's a first! Enjoy!

Jessica--No way! A fellow Roo! And that sounds very AC--letting a student do an abroad program in Norway instead of the usual France, Germany or England.

Anj--Poor Odessa--where's the love? And I love prickly pear but have never made anything with them. What do you make?

Radish--Asado is definitely Staub worthy!

Lara--That sounds wonderful!

Amber--Ha! I had the same thoughts! I don't think my neighbors (or landlord) would take kindly to my welding on the fire escape!

Esmeralda--Nope, that sounds really good! Next time I whip up a batch of asado I'll make some cornbread stuffing to go with it.

Brenda in Texas--Thank you! And Electric Co-Op Magazine! I haven't thought of that in years--such a fun read!

prtybrd said...

Oh my gosh, I almost fell off my chair when you mentioned Gun Barrel City. My mom lives about 15 miles from there on Cedar Creek Lake, and even people that have lived in Texas their whole lives have no clue where it is. This recipe looks scrumptious, so of course I'm going to have to try it. IF the local A&P here in Jersey has the peppers I need. Otherwise, it might be time for a Texas care package from my mom.

robin @ cavair and codfish said...

Have you ever rendered your own lard? I'm curious to try it, but wonder if that would create an unremovable stink from my apartment. Would love to know if you've tried it in your place.

Homesick Texan said...

Prtybrd--I know--it's a pretty esoteric place. My Grandma Ashner lived in Mabank for a while, so I've actually been there!

Robin--Yes I have and here's the linkto the post about rendering lard.It's fun!

Bluebonnet said...

I connected with your blog through Kayln's & have been a fan of yours since. Little did I know we were fellow Roo's! And, to make it even crazier, my son was, until recently, a meteorologist with the Nat. Weather Service in Midland. While he was there, I traveled with him down to the border where he had to some hydrologist business to take care of. While there, we were treated to asado, prepared by the wife of the resident meteorologist. My gosh, it was so good, the memory remains! Thanks so much for the recipe. My home is now in Brenham, and while we have just about everything anybody would want, I haven't found asado!

Anne Stesney said...

I have a recipe for this that I ripped out of a Southwest Airlines magazine YEARS ago. I've never made it but it's one of those recipes I can't throw out. Now I'm motivated.

By the way "Slow-death-a" and "O-desolate" are cracking me up.

Larry said...

Lisa - very interesting about throwing away the soaking water because it is bitter. I think I have about 20 recipes that say to save it to use later - think I will use your technique.
Also appreciate the "raisin" recommendation on dried chiles - second time I have seen that in a week - looks like I will be throwing away a bunch of brittle chiles.

Camila said...

my mom adds a little brown sugar to her asado and it's heavenly...thanks for the post!

Katy said...

I started reading your blog a few months ago while on a search for the perfect refried beans recipe, but I didn't realize that you were a fellow AC alum! I graduated class of '94 (and I think Mark Flowers was '91) so we may actually have known each other! :)

Mark said...

Greetings from Odessa!

Lisa, Thanks for the generous treatment of my thoughts on asado. I've had a great time reading!

Kimberly and Lisa- I apologize for not introducing Lisa to Jumburrito. Jumburrito, like many places in Odessa, is closed on Sunday evenings. Lisa, if ever you return, I promise you a "jumbo stew meat w/ avocado and cheese" at a Jumburrito. Plus, with a little luck, I might be able to introduce you to Jose Cuevas, the genious behind Jumburrito, and one of the best political minds in Midland.

"Slow-death-a" and "O-desolate"- Y'all don't be haters! :-) Years ago, I was on a statewide board. After our business was done, we would gather in a hospitality suite to watch football, have drinks, play craps, etc. During the craps games, my fellow players used to chant, "Bring me some o' dat Slow-deatha money!" For whatever its worth, I think I finished my craps career about $100 up.

Marcos- other restaurants that I would have liked to have shown Lisa include Jorge's (on 42nd) and Jalisco (sw corner of University and Grandview), both in Odessa.

Esmeralda- I spend lots of time and know lots of folks in Pecos... You know Ma Wilson's Donuts? Well, mi primo Senor Florez is the guy who tried to teach me the asado recipe that I shared with Lisa.

Crystal- As to your rhetorical question about Lisa and me? Well, Lisa is far too classy a lady for a guy like me.

Everyone- Gotta go because my firm is about to throw a dinner party (grill roasted fajitas, beers iced down first thing this morning, and margaritas) here in Terlingua. Its going to be all you can eat and drink, and YOU ARE ALL invited. Come on out!

Mark from Gun Barrel City and Odessa.

kkryno said...

I love carne adovada! I'm sure I will add asado to my favorites.

Funny how you can run into old acquaintances in unlikely places. This is one crazy world.

Thanks for this one, I've got a pork roast with asado's name all over it! ;)

Esmeralda said...

For Mark:
Yes, I know Ma Wilson's! It was a regular stop on my Driver's Ed route back in high school!! I haven't been back in a really long time (I live in Austin now), but I have fond memories of my time in West Texas!

Paula said...

Boy, oh boy! I've never heard of this, but you can bet I'll be keeping an eye out now! This recipe sounds so good; I love ancho's! I'd like some of this and then a slice of your chocolate pie! YUM!

Katyroo said...

You find Roos everywhere! I'm heading back to Sherman next weekend for Homecoming (my 30th reunion!) - it's not quite the same 'atmosphere' since Anderson-Clayton stopped making salad dressing at that factory across the rr tracks~! My son is also an AC alum, but is in South Carolina, so can't get home for the hoo-raw.

And I know exactly where Gun Barrel City and Mabank are - we live outside Gilmer and wander through both towns periodically on our way to places.

Keep up the great recipes - you can take the girl out of Texas, but you can't take Texas out of the girl!!

Mike said...

I took a stroll through the Austin College bookstore recently...was up there as a juror for the US District Court....(guilty btw).

Annnnnnnyway, I picked up a "Kangaroo Soccer" t-shirt
for our girl. She "unofficially" collects university "soccer" t's. From SMU to Baylor to Rice, to Austin College of course.

....great post per usual.

Homesick Texan said...

Bluebonnet--Yay! A fellow Roo! And isn't asado amazing? You're right, you can't find it out in Brenham, but there's no reason why you can't make it at home!

Anne--I'm impressed that you still have the recipe. Every one I ever tear out of a magazine always finds itself in the garbage within months due to a mad fit of throw-away therapy.

Larry--Yeah, brittle chiles are no good.

Camila--Interesting--I'll have to try that next time!

Katy--Yep, I'm also '91 so are paths may have crossed at some point.

Mark--Welcome! And I'm looking forward to a Jumburitto in my future!

Kkryno--If you love adovada, you'll love asado, too.

Paula--I agree, that sounds like the perfect meal!

Katyroo--You do find them everywhere, but it's still always a surprise because we're not quite as ubiquitous as Longhorns and Aggies. And if Anderson-Clayton is no longer making salad dressing, current Roos just don't know what they're missing!

Mike--My old adviser was also the soccer coach--don't know if he still is though.

growler said...

Is that fresh oregano and cilantro? If so, what would the measurements be for dried stuff?

Homesick Texan said...

Growler--It's dried Mexican oregano and fresh cilantro. I've never used dried cilantro so I'd start with a couple of tablespoons and go from there.

Ginny said...

Ah, the Midland airport. The last time I was there, I tried to walk from the rental car lot back into the terminal and the sand storm was blowing so hard it unbuttoned three buttons on my blouse. Fortunately for the public, it left two.

Crafty Chick said...

Had to at least make your biscuits. Oh, my! Not sure if it's the dough-whacking (I followed the method very carefully), but they were the best biscuits I have ever made. I had dozens of biscuit recipes in my box that I can now throw away.

Anonymous said...

oh man! Ajuuas is wonderful!

I'm from Odessa...now living in Canada.

Christina said...

What a nice treat of home! I live in Chicago now but am originally from Seminole, TX (true west Texas) and my parents now live in Midland. I haven't had asado in ages! I used to order it from this great little place in Seminole. I can't wait to make it myself! Thank you for a true taste of home!

JO Muna-Duenas said...

Your photos make my mouth water up. I'm going to try this if I find all the ingredients. (Sometimes ingredients are hard to find here in Japan) Times like this when I miss Texas so much more!

Brave Sir Robin said...

Austin College?

Small world. I didn't go, but my best friend and his entire family went there!

I visited there earlier this year to see his son in a play.

brooke said...

I stumbled across this blog when I was looking for other food blogs... I am an Austin College graduate (2006)AND a homesick Texan in Oregon. I have a couple of blogs, too. One is http://platingforone.blogspot.com, which was supposed to be about cooking for one person, but has just turned into a cooking blog (for 1 or more people) and one about my life in Oregon. Neat seeing you on here!

The villager: said...

Asado sounds wonderful. Congratulations on your blog.

texasdawn said...

I love your blog. I just started one on Texas travel and have been really inspired by your content and photography. I used to live in New York, but had to give it up for tubing the Frio. My mom currently lives in Woodstock and wanted me to let you know that there is pretty good mexican food in Saugerties. Anyway, thanks for the blog and the Midland restuarant tip - I'll be there at Christmas and will definately check it out.

Olivia said...

Asado must be gorgeous. I bought a bunch of cilantro the other day, but it wasn't very cilantro-y. It's not fragrant enough whenever I encounter it here, I have noticed.

I didn't know there were Mexican markets in the city but now you've listed one, I shall look out for it.

tbsamsel said...

Shoot, I've been making asado for years and didn't even know it..

newlyweds said...

Yummy!!! What a great story behind the recipe.

Marcos said...

Jorge's is pretty good too. The first time I had real asado was at Jorge's in Midland. Good times!

tbsamsel said...

Re: the disk harrow blade.. my fabricator wants to know if it is tool steel or mild steel. This will make a difference in the cost of fabrication..

shelby said...

beautiful, beautiful, beautiful...the cool weather's coming and my NM heart is thumping after reading this recipe. can't wait to give it a go!

Tiffany said...

I lived in Texas for years and miss it so much! I am trying this tonight because I pointed it out to the hubby when you first posted it an he's been asking for it ever since. Nevermind that my born and bred Californian husband has no idea what he's in for!

Do you throw out the garlic cloves that have been soaking with the chiles or do you blend those up too? Just curious!

Homesick Texan said...

Ginny--Oh, my! For such a small airport, it's quite a trek from the rental car parking lot to the main terminal--I guess because it's all on one level instead of stacked like other places.

Crafty Chick--Awesome! I'm so happy they worked for you!

Anon--Yep, I hope to return someday! And I bet there's nothing like it in Canada, that's for sure!

Christina--You're very welcome--enjoy!

Jo Muna Duenas--Good luck sourcing the ingredients!

Brave Sir Robin--What's their name/age? Maybe I know them.

Brooke--Welcome! They're so many of us Roos!

The Villager--Thanks!

Texasdawn--Thanks for the Saugerties tip. Next time I'm there I'll have to check it out.

Olivia--Where did you get your cilantro? It might not have tasted cilantro-y because it's almost out of season. I've found that cilantro you buy at the Greenmarket is usually pretty fresh and potent.

Tbsamsel--Ha! Now your dish has a name!

Newlyweds--Thanks!

Marcos--Mark swears by Jorge's so I'm definitely going to try it next time I'm in town.

Tbsamsel--The web site says it rolled steel. Does that help?

Shelby--Perfect for a cool day! And you can Tex it up with some Fritos!

Tiffany--I used the garlic cloves that had been soaking with the chiles. Hope you and your hubby enjoy it!

Olivia said...

Hm, I got it at a local greengrocer's. I also bought a jalapeno that wasn't hot enough, tasted like a green bell pepper until I got to the seeds. If fresh jalapeno is always like that then I guess I would prefer Thai green chiles.

I hate to say that the only thing London beats NY on for flavor is the cilantro at Indian markets and Thai restaurants.

Brave Sir Robin said...

John Griffin - (about 52?)
Jill Griffin - (50)
Jennine Griffin - (48)
David Griffin - (47)

Mark said...

tbsamsel- I think tool steel (low carbon) is fine for the disc harrow blade. There was nothing special about the metal I used.

-Mark

Cowboy Boots on Beacon Hill said...

Question: for those of us who don't eat pork, would there be a comparable cut of beef or buffalo that would work well with this recipe?

Love, love, love this blog. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

I teach Texas History and I believe I came across a reference of asado (as well as atole) which was a "hearty soup" made by Coahuiltecan Indians while living in Spanish missions of Texas. It was their main meal of the day (lunch). Atole was a roasted corn side dish.

Audrey said...

This entry made me so excited. Almost 6 years ago, my husband moved me out here to West Texas. Even though I am a Texan, I never knew where Odessa was located. Our favorite place to eat is Ajuua's and we LOVE it. There isn't anything on their menu we haven't tried and we usually suggest to people to try their asado!

TexanNewYorker said...

I was in New Mexico this weekend and ordered a carne adovada burrito at a little hole-in-the-wall place, just because of this blog post!

Rev. Biggles said...

Hey Cowboy Boots,

You're looking for a brisket or ... I believe the bottom round. You're looking for cuts that could be used for a "pot roast".

Lordy, I've been cooking and eating such a thing for quite a few years and had no idea it actually had a name. And am lucky enough to have an exceptionally large local population of peoples from Mexico and mostly from El Salvador, the dried chile peppers are wonderful.

Cheers!

ps - Usually add good sugar to taste to offset the bitterness of the chile pepper.

The Mayor said...

Great recipe!
I threw in 1/2 t cumin and rendered fat from the meat as my lard. Last night it was great but this morning, it was otherworldly. Truly the breakfast of champions- champion caballeros! Yummy yum yum yum.

Robin said...

I have a question about the disco. I want to make my own but wondered if I would need a stand to place it on while on my stovetop? I was viewing the discs at TSC online and they look fairly shallow as does the one at Mr.Dutchoven. Until I actually get my hands on one I can't quite get a good feel for it. The dutchoven site sells a stand but I was wondering what you Texans did. By the way, I am falling in love with this blog. I grew up on Mexican food, my Grandma is from Nueva Rosita, Coahuila but we never had this dish or some of the others you posted. So this is great to find new recipes that will help me get my Mexican groove on. Thanks so much!!

Albert Chavarria Jr said...

OMG I have been looking for this for sooooooo long. Im from Odessa well actually from Crane wich is south of odessa. Asado was one of my favorite dishes growing up. I remember going to the burrito place and getting the asado burrito with cheese in it. OMG Heaven. Now I live in Alaska. Luckly we have pretty much all those things you can buy here as well. I asked my wife if she could make me some and she of course thought of Asada her being from Puebla Mexico. I said NOOOOOOOOOOO Asado. She had no idea what it was. She thought I was talking about Asada as well. But I finally found this site and showed her and she is now excited about trying to make it. Maybe I will call the burrito place in crane to see if they do anything different then yours. Cause I dont remember Asado being that watery. but hey if it has the same flavor and stuff I say HEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLL YEAH..... I just found your site and I already love it. I do miss my West TExas roots and my TexMex food. Hopefully I can take my wife and my kids back there to visit some day so they can see where I come from.

Mike said...

Lisa, I just stumbled across your blog a couple of days ago; you're now at the top of my reading list when I check my RSS feeds for the day! I'm another native Texan here (from a little town called Dublin), but I still have the good fortune to live in our home state (Houston!).

This asado recipe reminds me a lot of recipes for Posole, which is another southwestern/northern Mexican dish if you haven't had it. It's a huge favorite of mine, and it's also commonly seen as a Christmas or New Year's dish in Mexican homes. It's slow braised pork with ancho chiles and other spices, and also has the addition of hominy (which is the meaning of the Spanish word "posole"), and is served as a stew.

There is a great restaurant here in Midtown Houston called Farrago's, that makes a breakfast version of Posole that comes with two fried eggs on top, accompanied by a charcoal-grill toasted slice of french bread. Yum!

FrmPecosTx said...

Finally, asado gets its due!!! The only other thing that I would add is to refrigerate asado overnight before serving. (If you can make yourself wait that long!) Letting it rest overnight and then re-heating it the next day will intensify the flavors and give a wonderful complexity to the sauce. My grandmother used to do this when she made asado for big family gatherings around the holidays. She refused to serve it on the day that it was made.

From Amarillo said...

This is a very good recipe. I grew up in West Texas, but I've never heard of asado. I can't speak to the authenticity, but I can say it is one of the best chile meat dishes I have tried.

I always hate it when someone says a recipe is good but also says they did it differently. So here I go... I think there are a couple of changes that help but do not change the fundamentals.

First, I do not understand why you rehydrate the peppers overnight/8 hours! Every authority I am aware of says 15 minutes at most (e.g., Diane Kennedy and Rick Bayless). More than that simply reduces the flavor. I rehydrated them for 15 minutes, and the result was great -- no bitterness at all. Maybe you have a reason for a long rehydration time, and if so I would like your comment so I can learn something.

Second, I think a bit of efficiency can be gained by reversing the cooking of the onions and the browning of the meat. I browned the meat first, and then cooked the onions and garlic to your recipe. Then, instead of cooking the chile sauce in a separate pan, I added the chile sauce to the onions and garlic, and cooked the chile sauce for about the same amount of time. (One might need to deglaze the Dutch oven between the meat and the onion rounds. I used a bit of beef broth.) Then I added the meat to the chile/onion mix, instead of the other way around. This will save a sauce pan, but I think it also melds the chile flavors better with the onions and garlic.

Oh, and I agree with the last comment about refrigerating before eating. It makes a huge difference.

Regardless, this is a fantastic recipe, and you have a fantastic blog. I look forward to trying more of your recipes!

Anonymous said...

Thank You!!! I had the Asado at Ajuua's and was looking for it's recipe. Can't wait to try it.

Lisa said...

Ran across your blog awhile back and again just now looking for asado recipes. I have to say I looked over alot of them before I came across yours, the fact that you tried to repeat what you had here in West Texas made up my mind.
I can't wait to try it!!

Anonymous said...

Im from West Texas and I am gonna try this recipe out...Asado is one of my favs! Hopefully it turns out like i expect this is def a west texan food...nobody knows what im talking about when i talk about this dish.lol so excited....

Anonymous said...

I believe it is a West Texas thing, even here in north or east Texas it is hard to find this, I still have not found it, been here 7yrs. Of course i am from odessa there you can find asado every where. Same as the other comments when asking for asado here in north texas area they want to give me asada or guisado. I have noticed though since I have been here in north Texas (Dallas area) that west Texas food is different from north and east Texas food, actually my option the Mexican food is way better in west Texas for sure. fyi on your asado I would suggest you put a fried over easy egg on top...

Anonymous said...

Bless you!
Me and my husband used to live in Midland for a while and got the taste of Asado there. Now being in California, my husband was going crazy searching for a taste of the actual Midessa Asado.
Yesterday, I gave it to him!
He couldn't believe that I had cooked it myself.
Both of us can't thank you enough.
xoxo

Anonymous said...

I am originally from Odessa, Texas and love asado. We recently moved to East Texas and I was craving some good ole' Mexican food (Asado), so we went to a Mexican food restruant and tried to order it. The people here have no idea what it is! They always ask if we want Carne Gusada...not even closly the same...Glad we found the receipt to make it!

Jennifer Burrow said...

I had my first asado at a little family owned place near Midland Freshman in Midland when I was in the fifth grade called the Luncharia. Been in love with the taste ever since. Your recipe is spot on in taste. My husband made it tonight and was impressed also. Kudos from two lifelong Texans.

Morgan H said...

Wow, I'm a resident of Big Spring, Texas - 40 minutes east of Midland. I recently married a fantastic West Texas man. He's been begging me to make asado, but I've had a hard time finding a receipe I understand. THANK YOU so much for this receipe - I can tell you already he will love it!

Anonymous said...

From Odessa and my hubby loves the asado my dos comprades. Never could find a recipie until I came across your blog. I cant wait to make it and see if my husband enjoys it. .

Anonymous said...

As a 6th Gen Texan and native Midlander i can't wait to try your recipe. Thanks for sharing your memories!

Robert Luedeman, attorney at law said...

I'm a yankee but this is good stuff indeed. I used New Mexico chile because it was all my local mexican grocery had at the moment. Thanks, La Tapatia #2. An excellent recipe. At least I'll be eating well when the snow is up around the cabin roof.

Jessica said...

Thank you for posting this! I recently moved from Odessa to a big city and I have discovered that NO ONE, I mean NO ONE, here knows what I am talking about when I ask where I can get an asado burrito. I love asado and chille verde. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

After living in Odessa for almost 25 years, I moved to S.E. Ok about two years ago. I didn't realize that asado was just a "local" dish until I tried to find it here. I had pretty much given up on ever eating it again.. Recently I took my wife (who is a local Okie!) to Odessa for a graduation. I took her to Dos Compadres an told she HAD to try the asado!! She was hooked!! As soon as we got home, she started looking for a receipe! And this is where we found it!! THANKS!! Can't wait to try it!!!

Anonymous said...

I found your blog over a year ago when I was eating lunch with my husband at Chuy's. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Chuy's! So we are eating lunch and he asked me what was in carne guisada... so I searched for it on my phone and found your blog. I used your recipe to make the carne guisada and OMG it was amazing! I use boneless short ribs for the beef because I love the texture and taste. YUM OHHHHHHHHHH

From your blog I discovered you had a cook book that I simply had to have! I LOVE COOK BOOKS! I have since tired several of your recipes, including this one. All of the things I have tired are WONDERFUL!

Something I added (because I wanted more flavor) was 6 oz. of pineapple/orange juice and it topped the flavor off.

I am a native Austinite (four generations of family living in Austin, TX) and LOVE Tex-Mex food. I have two friends that I consult with when I make your recipes, they are both native Austinite's and Hispanic, so I figure their approval is important. Both of them nod their heads and say "yes that is right" when I describe your recipes. As for this one they both agreed it needed tortillas (corn) and pico to round it out and OMG YES!

I truly believe you have NAILED the homesick Texan thing.

Thanks for gathering all the best of our Tex-Mex in one place!

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