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Machaca is a dish prepared with dried shredded beef which is brown in color and rough in texture. The word machaca is derived from machacado which means crushed or pounded. A machaca recipe makes use of dried and spiced meat that is rehydrated and pounded for making it soft and eatable. The beef is usually dried to preserve it so that it can be used later for cooking.In Tucson and Sonora, it is known as Carne seca

History And Origin Of Machaca

Machaca recipe has its origin in northern Mexico. Though drying the meat is one of the oldest forms of preservation, drying it with chilies and spices was first done by the cowboys of Northern Mexico. Earlier, it was sold as jerky to the U.S. This dried beef is still sold for cooking and for snacking purpose in Mexico.

Making Machaca

Machacas is preserved by shredding beef and combining it with salt. The process involved for making it is marinating, cooking, shredding and then drying. The drying of beef helps in its preservation and gives a unique flavor and texture when rehydrated and is used in various beef dishes.

Serving And Eating Machacas

Dried beef can be eaten as a snack or can be further used for cooking machaca recipes.

In Tex- Mex cuisine, it is eaten as a staple food and served with taco and tortilla fillings. Here it is mostly used for dry preparations. However, in Phoenix; this dried beef is used for both gravy and dry preparations. Machacas cooked with onions and peppers are eaten with tacos, burritos and eggs. In the state of Chihihuahua, machaca is eaten with eggs for breakfast. White Zinfandel, Margaritas and Tequila are the drinks that pair well with machaca recipes.

Popular Machaca Recipes

  • Carne Machaca- This recipe is very simple yet versatile mainly used to fill enchiladas, tacos, tlayudas. The beef is marinated in cumin, blacpepper, lime and Worcestershire sauce and then combined with onions, chilies, and tobasco sauce. The dish is then used for filling or eating as it is.
  • Machaca Con Huevos- This machaca recipe makes use of eggs along with chopped onions, garlic and tomatoes. All the ingredients are mixed with dried beef and cooked. The final product is scrambled egg withdried and spiced beef which is eaten with breads as a main course dish.
  • Slow cooker machaca-In this machaca recipe the beef is combined with pork and cooked in a slow cooker overnight. The dish which is made is tender, juicy and mouth melting. It is mostly served with cheese, sour cream and tortillas.
  • Machaca burritos- The machaca recipe uses various ingredients such as kidney beans, peppers, chilies, onions, and bell peppers. The beef is cooked with these ingredients and spices such as salt, pepper, cumin, garlic are added to enhance the flavor. The beef is cooked for about two hours and then served with cheese and salsa.