Indio Viejo


To cook the meat:
2 lbs. of beef
1/2 an onion (to cook the meat)
1 sweet pepper
1/2 a head of garlic

To prepare soup:
12 oz of tortilla dough in pieces
6 oz of dry cheese (queso)
1 spoon of achiote (achiote paste is a popular coloring and flavoring in Central American cuisines and is made with annatto seeds, cumin, pepper, coriander, oregano, cloves, and garlic.)
1 pinch of pepper
2 eggs
1/4 cup of oil
1 onion in slices
1 sweet pepper in julienne strips
bitter orange (naranja agria marinade)


Cook the meat in enough water with all the ingredients (first list). Shred the meat finely, strain the soup (liquid) and save it. If using tortillas, leave them soaking in water for one hour. Blend the tortillas with garlic, pepper, and achiote. Add the eggs and mix it well with the soup (liquid- saved from cooking the meat), in a way that creates a thick mix.

In the oil, fry the onions and sweet pepper together with the meat. When they are well fried, add the mix of tortillas and continue to cook for about 20 minutes, moving it constantly. At the end add mint and the juice of the bitter orange.

Serve with white rice and platano maduro (fried ripened plantains).


Notes and Instructions

Notes: I added the words and phrases in italics to clarify parts of the original recipe lost in the translation. I used a slow cooker to stew the beef for easier shredding. I tested this recipe with chuck roast, but any less expensive cut will shred well. Stay away from expensive cuts of beef, which do not shred well and will therefore change the texture.

For the tortilla dough, I soaked 12 oz of shredded corn tortillas in a food processor with enough water to cover the pieces, for 1 hour before blending with the other ingredients. The achiote and bitter orange marinade can be found online or homemade if you cannot find them in a market near you.

Recipe and photo credit: Georgia Reader