Saturday, February 4, 2012

Ropa Vieja Lettuce Wrap Tacos

Perfect for a dinner party or an upscale SUPERBOWL nosh, this makes a heaping portion of Ropa Vieja.  Shredded beef flavored with cumin, beef stock, tomatoes and peppers, this dish definitely has some flair.

The lettuce wraps serve as a naturally gluten and grain free vehicle for this delicious flavor combination.  If you are serving it to a gaggle of people unconcerned about digestion, then corn tortillas would certainly work.  There are also some tempting SCD and GAPS friendly tortillas that I would like to try- another time. 

Served alongside the tacos we ate a fresh cabbage slaw flavored with lime juice and apple cider vinegar.  The zingy flavors and cabbage crunch pair really well with the savory, soft beef. 

We went all out with the taco theme and topped the stewed and shredded beef with thick yogurt, guacamole, salsa and chunks of good feta.  They really were delilcious, but you could definitely pair down the options.  Just guacamole was really tasty if you're looking for dairy free and the yogurt, cheese and salsa were great together if you're looking for a richer taste. 

Can you tell that we went back for more after our plates were empty- standing over the counter filling our leftover lettuce pieces? 

Ropa Vieja Lettuce Wrap Tacos

3 lbs beef roast
1 qt gf beef stock
1 large can diced tomatoes with the liquid
1 red and 1 green pepper sliced
1 onion sliced
2 tsp crushed garlic
1 bay leaf
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
2 T tomato paste

Head of Green Lettuce (whole leaves)
Guacamole (I use Trader Joe's)
Hard white cheese (farmer's cheese, coquita or feta)

Fresh Cabbage Slaw

1 bag shredded cabbage (that's all Trader Joe's had!) or half a cabbage
1-2 T honey
2-4 T apple cider vinegar
juice of 1 lime
drizzle of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

For the Ropa Vieja, combine all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
Remove the beef roast from the crock pot and on a large plate, shred with a fork.
Remove the liquid from the crock pot and place in a large sauce pan.
Heat on high on the stove top until the liquid has reduced by half (about 20-30 minutes or so)
Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary
Return the reduced liquid and shredded beef back to the crock pot, or combine in the stove top sauce pan, and cook on low until heated through and you are ready to eat

To make the fresh cabbage slaw, first whisk the honey, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, salt and pepper to make a dresshing.  Once mixed, add in the cabbage, mix well.  Let sit to marinate for 15-30 minutes so the flavors can meld.

GAPS Legal Tortillas with Coconut Flour from Nourished and Nurtured
Almond Flour Tortillas from Healing Cuisine by Elise
Chia Seed and Quinoa Flake Tortillas from The Spunky Coconut
Garbanzo Bean and Flax Seed Tortillas from Eat The Cookie

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