The jaffles are good at Bowen Hills cafe, Project 41. So good, in fact, the lunch rush for them often sees a queue out the door and down the stairs.

While they also offer freshly baked pastries, quiches and sweets, as well as salads, subs and sandwiches, jaffles are Project 41’s biggest sellers. A quick scan of the menu reveals why – a chipotle pulled-pork jaffle with baked beans and cheddar cheese; the Reuben, with pastrami, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese; and the truffled mac’n’cheese. Project 41 take its jaffles seriously.

So when it came to developing a new filling combo, chef and owner Stefan Blee says he wanted to create a dish customers hadn’t seen before. Enter his Mexican pulled-beef jaffle, combining his love of slow-cooked meat with a passion for Mexican cuisine.

Blee says there is much to love about Mexican fare, from “the deep and rich flavours of the marinades, spices and different types of chilli,” to “the bursts of fresh flavours from fruits, salsas and herbs, and the different textures as well.”

The new jaffle features lightly spiced, slow-cooked, pulled beef layered with braised black beans, Philadelphia cream cheese and corn relish, served with tortilla crisps.

The corn relish “has a beautifully balanced acidity,” says Blee, while fresh ingredients such as corn, peppers and cucumber offer plenty of crunch. “The Philly cheese is there to soften the big flavours from the braised meat and punchy relish,” he says. “It provides a slight richness.”

Blee says the versatility of Philadelphia cream cheese makes it an effective base for many dishes. “It has a beautiful smooth texture that works well in desserts as well as savoury dishes.”

And his secret for making a delicious jaffle at home? Is it scouring the globe for hard to find, rare ingredients? An expensive, industrial jaffle-maker? No. “Use plain white sandwich bread only,” says Blee.

Project 41’s Mexican Jaffle
Serves 1.


2 slices white sandwich bread, medium thickness
2 spreads of Philadelphia cream cheese
1 spread of butter

Pulled beef
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1kg beef chuck
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1L beef stock

Braised black beans *
1kg dried black beans
Reserved cooking liquid from the beef

Hot corn relish *
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 cups onions, chopped
1 red capsicum, seeded and chopped
4 cups corn kernels, grilled
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 cup castor sugar
2 tbsp sea salt
½ tsp ground pepper
½ tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
1½ cups chardonnay vinegar

Tortilla crisps *
5 12" flour tortillas
Baking oil
Sea salt
Smoked paprika
Olive oil

*Can also use supermarket alternative


Pulled beef
Mix together seasoning, herbs and spices and rub all over beef.
In a heavy-based pot, brown the beef on all sides. Remove and set aside.
Add onion and garlic to the pot and cook over a medium heat until soft. Add beef and stock, bring to a low simmer and cook covered for 4–5 hours or until falling apart.
Once cooked, remove the beef (reserve the liquid for the beans) and shred with a fork.

Braised black beans
Soak the beans in cold water for 24 hours in the fridge, changing the water twice.
Drain the beans and place in a heavy-based pot with the beef cooking liquid and bring to the boil. Reduce to a steady simmer and cook uncovered for approx 40 minutes or until the beans are tender. The sauce should be slightly thickened.

Hot corn relish
Place all ingredients in a heavy-based stock pot and cook uncovered over a medium heat for 30 minutes.

Tortilla crisps
Cut tortillas into triangles and spread onto baking trays sprayed with baking oil. Sprinkle with sea salt, smoked paprika and olive oil and bake at 180°C until crisp and golden. Cool and store in an airtight container lined with baking paper.

To serve
Lay out bread. Spread thin layer of pulled beef over first slice, followed by 2 tbsp of braised black beans and 2 tbsp of corn relish. On the other slice, spread layer of Philadelphia cream cheese (approx 2mm thick) and place on top to close the sandwich.

Spread a thin layer of butter over top and bottom of jaffle. Place in pre-heated jaffle maker and cook until golden.

Serve with a side of the tortilla crisps.

This article is presented in partnership with Philadelphia Spreadable Cream Cheese. Featuring the signature smooth creamy texture of Philadelphia cream cheese, we've worked with some of our favourite cafes to design this limited edition lunch menu item, available in-store now.

PHILADELPHIA is a trade mark of Mondelez International Group used under License