Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Mexican Beef Parcels

Before I begin, I have just remembered that I didn't tell you about our recent trip to the cinema, Gold Class I might just add, thanks to Magnum Ice Creams and the upgrade coupon. So naturally we bought 4 boxes of ice creams to get the four coupons as we thought it would be great to take the kids as a special treat. Now I think they are addicted to Gold Class as they already asked when they could go there again and that was before the movie started!! Once they had enough of raising and lowering their seats and settled, they were amazed that the drinks that we ordered in the foyer were then delivered by a waitress just as the movie started. So what movie did we see?

Julie and Julia, of course! And I loved it. I must say at times I sensed several pair of eyes glancing at me with the look of "OMG you are so like that at home when you are blogging!!" Funny enough until I came across the world of food bloggers I thought I was the only crazed one obsessed by food! The movie enthralled me, not only about Julie and her blogging (my hobby turned obsession also) but admired Julia Childs for the determination and the steps she took to get her book publish all those years ago, years before computers and email. It's a movie I would recommend

So now for the food blogging part of this post...

I have confessed before that I adore filo pastry as it is so versatile and can be used for both sweet or savoury foods. Filo pastry is also good for the weight watcher and it contains far less fat than that of puff or shortcrust pastry.

These Mexican Beef Parcels are always a hit in our house, in fact any filo parcel always goes down well. I guess you could say they are somewhat a flavoured cheat's meat pie although it's not filled with stewed beef and gravy! And overall much better for you.

The trick to making the perfect parcels is first to ensure that the meat beef isn't tough after it's been cooked in the oven is only to flash fry it in the beginning. Do not over cook it at the frying stage, even if it's not completely browned or it will be unenjoyable in the parcel. Remember while the parcel is cooking so is the meat. Also when assembling each parcel make sure that the filling is cool. If it's even too warm the parcel will be very hard to wrap up.

Mexican Beef Parcels

Serves: 4
Points per serve: 6

cooking spray
500 grams beef strips
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1/2 red capsicum, diced
1/2 green capsicum, diced
1 packet taco seasoning
1/2 cup water
1 400g tin diced tomatoes
8 sheets filo pastry
sweet paprika to garnish, optional

Spray a frying pan with cooking spray and flash fry beef in batches for 1 -2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Recoat the frying pan with cooking spray and cook onions, carrots and garlic for 5 minutes or until softened. Add capsicums and cook for a further 5 minutes. Stir in the taco seasoning and water until fully combined. Add the tomatoes, mix well and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes or until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Once sauce mixture is cooled stir through the beef strips.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Place one sheet of filo pastry on a board or work bench with the smaller side closest to you and spray with cooking spray. Cover with a second sheet of pastry. Place 1/4 of beef sauce mixture at one end of the pastry rectangle. Fold over both edges, spraying the folded area down the length of each side and then roll up to enclose filling. Repeat until all 4 parcels have been made. Place on a foil lined baking tray and spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle with sweet paprika, if using.

Cook in oven for 15 minutes or until cooked through and pastry is golden.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)


Chef E said...

How did I miss this one? I love Tex-mex, mex anything for that matter...are you old enough to remember Jack-the-box had these fried burritos? I had a horrible weakness for them, and it was my first job working there...can you say OD...

Jo said...

Sorry Chef E - we don't have Jack-the-box here in Australia so I don't know of them at all. But I too love tex mex. We don't cook it too often due to it's usual high fat content.