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Mexican Beef Nuggets with Jalapeño Jam and Corn Purée


This special dish is a perfect appetizer or main for a holiday meal. These Mexican beef nuggets are cooked and then fried until perfection, with a perfect balance of subtle spice. Serves 10 – 15

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Prepare the Beef Nuggets


Salt and pepper the meat and brown in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once brown, remove and sauté the onions and garlic for a few minutes, making sure to add oil if needed.


Add the ancho and guajillo pastes along with the ground cumin and coriander to the pot and cook for one minute, stirring constantly.  Deglaze with the beer, add the meat, orange zest, oregano, salt, and pepper to the pot.  Add water until the liquid level covers the meat. 


Bring the pot to a boil then cover and place in an oven heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for around three hours.  Check that the meat shreds easily. 


While still warm, remove the meat pieces from the braise and shred into a nine- by 13-inch baking pan.  Strain the liquid and add agar: use approximately three-fourths teaspoon per cup of liquid for agar powder or three-fourths tablespoon per cup of liquid for agar flakes.  Bring to a boil. Add enough liquid to the shredded meat to almost cover the meat. 


Place the pan in the fridge overnight to set.  The next day, remove the set shredded meat from the pan and cut into two-inch cubes. 


Coat the cubes in flour, egg, and panko.  Freeze and save for later or fry in 350-degree oil until browned and crispy.  If using frozen nuggets, defrost before frying.

Prepare the Corn Puree

Makes about 2 cups


Break the corn in two and cook in a medium-sized pot with the almond milk and salt until the corn kernels are soft, about 15 minutes.


Remove the corn from the pot, reserving the cooking liquid, and remove the kernels.


Using a blender or stick blender, puree the kernels with most of the cooking liquid until a nice puree has formed. Add more of the cooking liquid to the puree if it is too thick. Season with salt and serve.

Prepare the Jalapeno Jam

Makes about 1 cup


Small dice the jalapenos; you should have about two cups, discarding the seeds and white parts. Mix with the kosher salt and sugar, place in a container and refrigerate overnight.


The next day, place in a small pot and cook along with the simple syrup over medium heat until it thickens and the liquid reduces. Cool and enjoy.