Monday, December 8

12 Days of Breakfast Tacos: Mi Madre's Machacado Taco

I'll take #9 any day of the week. I literally at that taco for like 3-4 times a week when I worked just blocks from Mi Madre's Mexican Restaurant. You can't go wrong with Mi Madre's machacado & egg breakfast taco + I grew up eating machacado in the West Texas town of El Paso. 

So Mira Look! Taste test your own Machacado at Mi Madre's or make it at home via El Libro. Get it here

Mi Madre's #9: Machacado, Egg & Pico de Gallo Breakfast Taco
Photo by Dennis Burnett 

Excerpt from Austin Breakfast Tacos: Aurelio Torres, Mi Madre's Mexican Restaurant

Why do you think Austinites love breakfast tacos so much?
I’ve been in Austin since 1986. The breakfast tacos were not always popular. It was a food we’d hide and eat ourselves because it was the cheapest food, because people were eating sandwiches. The perception was that sandwiches were high class and tacos were cheap. I began telling people that the taco is the way to go. Why? Because it’s very portable, you can eat it while you’re driving; I can make tacos of sushi if you want! Anything can be placed in a taco.
In 1996, I won the best taco in Austin according to the Austin Chronicle. Awareness grew then; people began to see that it was ok to eat a taco. Now, the taco is diversified in so many ways that I am like,“YES! YES for Austin!”

Mi Madre’s Machacado Taco
In the beginning, we used to buy our machacado (shredded dry beef) from Monterrey because that is the most traditional place to get machacado. One of the reasons it is most famous in Monterrey is because it is the desert region of Mexico, and not too long ago we didn’t have refrigeration in those days, so people started preparing the meat and drying the meat to process it—dry it and salt it to process it and preserve the meat. After they dried the beef, they had to shred it, and they created machinery to shred the meat into machacado.

Now there’s a lot of processing, and the quality of the meat is suspect. There are people that say they might be processing donkey meat, and it might be true! How are you going to know? So that’s when I started to think, well, I should make my own machacado. I know how to do it, I just have to remember the whole process. So the way I do it is I buy the brisket, which is the cheapest cut, and we bake the brisket and then we shred it after that. After we shred it, we let it rest in refrigeration for about a week. And it did the trick for us because it would dry it even more. And it kept it safe. After that, we throw it on the griddle and we season it. We started putting black pepper, a little bit of cayenne. Even flavored machacado. You can put lemon in it or fajita spices. Up to this point, you can tell it’s really a lot of work, shredding it, pull out the gristle. Then, after we cook it on the griddle, we use a little bit of oil, but not too much. We let it roast a little bit. Then we put it in a food processor, and that’s how we shred it, with the spices and everything. It’s ready to be used. We pack it and refrigerate it. When I make the machacado myself, I accomplish three things: quality control, preserves the flavors and ensures the safety of my customers, which is of ultimate importance to me. I don’t even know if there is anyone else doing this, making their own machacado. It’s really a lot of hard work. And I learned how to make the machacado because every day my mom would send me to get a block of ice because we didn’t have freezers. And we would get the meat and cut up the steaks and have to process and dry it out right away.

2⁄3 ounce machacado, heated on the griddle with bit of oil
Pico de gallo 
Eggs, scrambled 
Tortilla, heated

Let the machado and pico de gallo mixture cook a bit before adding scrambled eggs at the end. Serve on top of a hot tortilla, fold and eat.

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