Dried ancho chilli are sweet and mild in flavour - and this chilli is very mild. Feel free to add 1-2 dried chipotle chile to the sauce if you want to spice things up a bit more. This is delicious served with sliced pickled jalapeño or pickled red onion. Beef cheeks are wonderful for slow cooking, but you could just as easily use another slow cooking cut such as short ribs.
Preheat oven 160°C
Tear the chilli into strips and remove the seeds.
Toast in a dry pan, then soak in 1 cup boiling for 20 minutes.
Put the chilli, ½ cup of the soaking liquid and the remaining ingredients into a blender, adding more ancho soaking liquid to get a smooth paste.
Remove any excess silver skin from the beef. Heat the oil in oven proof heavy-based pan.
Season the beef with salt and brown on both sides, remove and set aside.
Add the onions to the pan and cook until lightly coloured, add the sugar and lightly caramelise.
Place the beef back in the pan along with the adobo sauce and the beef stock.
Bring up to a gentle simmer, cover and cook in the oven for 2 ½ - 3 hours or until the meat is very tender.
Add a little water to the pan if it looks like drying out.
Shred the meat with a couple of forks.
Serve in tortilla with pickled jalapeño, scatter with onion and coriander, and some salsa verde. Serve lime wedges.
For the adobo:
1 dried ancho chilli
2 cloves garlic, peeled
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cm piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
For the beef:
1.5 kg (approximate 4) beef cheeks
1-2 tablespoons oil
2 onions, chopped
2 teaspoons sugar
2 cups beef stock
corn or flour tortilla, warmed
1 small onion, minced