Mexican Beef Bowls with Fresh Salsa &  Cotija Cheese

Mexican Beef Bowls

with Fresh Salsa & Cotija Cheese

25 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

This dish highlights a blend of traditional Mexican spices like ancho chile powder, smoked paprika, cumin, and more, which coat both our beef and roasted carrots. To mellow out the earthy flavors and bring it all together, we’re topping our bowls with a drizzle of tangy lime mayonnaise.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    820 Cals (est.)
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fresh
ingredients
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare & roast the carrots:
1 Prepare & roast the carrots:

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. Peel the carrots; halve lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Transfer to a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and 1/4 of the spice blend. Toss to coat. Arrange in an even layer on the prepared sheet pan. Roast 14 to 16 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven. 

Cook the rice:
2 Cook the rice:

While the carrots roast, in a small pot, combine the rice, a big pinch of salt, and 1 cup of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, without stirring, 12 to 14 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Turn off the heat and fluff with a fork. Cover to keep warm. 

Prepare & make the salsa:
3 Prepare & make the salsa:

While the rice cooks, quarter the tomatoes. Halve the lime crosswise. Roughly chop the pepper. Thoroughly wash your hands immediately after handling. In a medium bowl, combine the quartered tomatoes, the juice of 1 lime half, and as much of the chopped pepper as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Cook the beef:
4 Cook the beef:

While the rice continues to cook, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the beef; season with salt and pepper. Cook, frequently breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Carefully drain off and discard any excess oil. Add the remaining spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until combined. Add 1/4 cup of water (carefully, as the liquid may splatter); season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly thickened and the beef is cooked through. Turn off the heat. 

Make the lime mayo & serve your dish:
5 Make the lime mayo & serve your dish:

While the beef cooks, in a bowl, combine the mayonnaise and the juice of the remaining lime half. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the cooked rice topped with the cooked beef, roasted carrots, and salsa. Drizzle with the lime mayo and garnish with the cheese. Enjoy! 

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare & roast the carrots:
1 Prepare & roast the carrots:

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. Peel the carrots; halve lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Transfer to a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and 1/4 of the spice blend. Toss to coat. Arrange in an even layer on the prepared sheet pan. Roast 14 to 16 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven. 

2 Cook the rice:

While the carrots roast, in a small pot, combine the rice, a big pinch of salt, and 1 cup of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, without stirring, 12 to 14 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Turn off the heat and fluff with a fork. Cover to keep warm. 

Cook the rice:
Prepare & make the salsa:
3 Prepare & make the salsa:

While the rice cooks, quarter the tomatoes. Halve the lime crosswise. Roughly chop the pepper. Thoroughly wash your hands immediately after handling. In a medium bowl, combine the quartered tomatoes, the juice of 1 lime half, and as much of the chopped pepper as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

4 Cook the beef:

While the rice continues to cook, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the beef; season with salt and pepper. Cook, frequently breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Carefully drain off and discard any excess oil. Add the remaining spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until combined. Add 1/4 cup of water (carefully, as the liquid may splatter); season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly thickened and the beef is cooked through. Turn off the heat. 

Cook the beef:
Make the lime mayo & serve your dish:
5 Make the lime mayo & serve your dish:

While the beef cooks, in a bowl, combine the mayonnaise and the juice of the remaining lime half. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the cooked rice topped with the cooked beef, roasted carrots, and salsa. Drizzle with the lime mayo and garnish with the cheese. Enjoy! 

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