Mexicans have a propensity to drink beer like it’s water, probably because that’s what it tastes like for the most part. So travelling throughout Mexico, it’s not uncommon to come across bars rocking out the Michelada. It’s a tasty way to zing up the humble, watery Mexican beer with some hot sauce, tomato juice and lime juice for some acidic balance. The Mexicans often offer up the drink with Clamato, a clam and tomato concoction. It’s available from USA Foods in Moorabbin if you’re game, but the store also a great resource for imported hot sauces. Either way, the Michelada surprisingly refreshing and altogether the best match to any Mexican meal.
With this in mind, our quest for this season’s food and drink collaboration couldn’t have been easier. With the city still in the grips of a Mexican frenzy, there was no shortage of chefs to step up to the plate. But the simplicity of the Michelada and its Baja influence meant that there was only one real choice: Raph Rashid and his recently rolling Taco Truck.
Off the back of his extremely successful Beatbox Kitchen, the vinyl wrapped truck cruising the streets looking like a boom box, the new Taco Truck brings a Baja style taco offering to Melbourne’s thoroughfares and backstreets, with a focus on their signature fish taco.
Rashid came to the collaboration with a mash-up of his own, taking the concept of a burger from the Beatbox Kitchen and mixing with style and flavours from the Taco Truck. Fajita-style meats for the burger, mixed in with spicy undertones, topped with the creaminess of a fried egg matched the Michelada to a tee. In Rashid’s words, “It’s spicy, salty, creamy and beefy.”
Rashid is known for his dislike of measurements, preferring to balance and perfect as he goes. This theory works well for you at home, with both the burger and the drink needing a personal touch to match your own love or tolerance for spice and heat.
As we come into spring, the trick is to make this stuff at home and head down to the park for a picnic. This spiced up food and drink collaboration is sure to bring the heat, even if the Sunday sun forgets to come to the party.
TACO TRUCK X BEATBOX BURGER by Raph Rashid
- 150g skirt steak, minced
- 150g short rib, minced
- 2 white rolls
- 1 brown onion, sliced
- 1 can chipotle peppers in adobo
- 2 eggs
- 1 dried Habanero chilli
- shredded cabbage
- salt flakes
- olive oil
Mix both the meat cuts together in a bowl, trying not to over-work the meat. Cover with cling wrap and put in fridge to chill. Heat a little olive oil on a low flame and slowly soften the onion, add 1 chipotle and 2 tablespoons of the adobo to the onions. Cook the onions for around 10 minutes then remove to a bowl. Heat a small skillet over low flame and dry fry the Habanero for a few minutes, turning it frequently so it doesn't burn. Remove the chilli and let it cool. Chop the chilli finely into flakes (I suggest using gloves).
Heat a heavy-based pan over medium heat. Take 150g of meat and work into a patty approximately 1cm thick. Salt the patty and place in pan. Let cook until you feel the need to flip (about 3 minutes). With a metal spatula, scrape the patty off the pan and flip. Whilst the meat is cooking, take some onions and hit them in the pan, then place them on top of the patty. Cook the patty the same way you like your steak to be cooked. Medium-rare for me. Lift the patty out and let it rest.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over low flame and add a pinch of the chilli flakes (more if you like it hot). Cook for 30 seconds then add your egg on top of the chilli. Let the chilli cook into the bottom of the egg and once the white has set remove from the pan.
Then we build… Toast and butter your bun, then add your patty, topped with fried egg and shredded cabbage. Then on with the lid.
MICHELADA by Dave Kerr
Take a big beer glass, rim the edge using a lime wedge and invert into a dish of kosher or rock salt to form a rim.
Use these measurements as a rough guide. If you’re too heavy on the spice, add a little more tomato juice to neutralise the effects. Stir with a plastic picnic knife or similar implement.
- 20ml fresh lime juice
- 5 dashes Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon ETA BBQ sauce
- 5 dashes El Yucateco Habanero hot sauce
- 50ml tomato juice
- Top with a can of Tecate or similar Mexican cerveza