paleo tortillas, with chipotle slow-cooked beef, Asian red cabbage slaw & sesame kale

February 17, 2015

Sometimes, messing around with recipes to create a grain-free version can be a bit fiddly, but these tortillas are really easy and fail-safe. I’m sure this comes as no surprise, but I’m a bit of a nerd about dinner parties, and prefer to have a bit of a theme to whatever I cook for friends.  I have so many cuisines on my list for future parties, but after I learned how simple these torillas are (and delicious in their own right!), ‘Mexican’ has been the flavour of the day on more than one occasion. The sides aren’t classically ‘Mexican’, but I think they work well with the big flavour of the chipotle beef. Don’t be scared to use the whole chipotle chillies – no need to remove the seeds, this dish isn’t spicy hot (but feel free to add chilli powder if you want it to be!). The smokiness of the chillies and the sweetness of the whole cloves give this dish a wonderfully unique and warming smell and taste.

The beef can be made a couple of days in advance. I suggest putting this on before you go to bed and letting it cook on low all night – your place will smell amazing when you wake up! Then, shredding the beef (which will fall apart) and cooking off most of the liquid during the day until the dish is quite dry. The tortillas can be made a day ahead (and just warmed before serving, or served cold). Unlike many grain-free tortillas you can buy which are stiff/dry, these are soft and will stay soft even if you make them the day before. The vege sides can be made on the day and served cold.

I usually serve this with a big bowl of simple guacamole (avocados, lime juice, salt & pepper), and if I’ve got a bit more time, serve my paleo empanadas (which use this tortilla recipe for the crust) as an entrée. (Recipe coming soon!)

Chipotle slow-cooked beef

Serves 6-8


  • 1.5kg beef roast (organic & grass-fed if possible)
  • 4 large dried whole chipotle chillies*
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp each of cumin, sea salt and dried oregano
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 1 cup beef stock (or any stock will be fine)


  1. Cut roast into 2 and put into a slow-cooker or heavy-based saucepan.
  2. Put chillies, lime juice, onion, garlic, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, cumin, salt & oregano in a food processor and blitz until well-combined (a little chunky is fine, doesn’t need to be perfectly smooth), then pour it over the roast.
  3. Add stock, bay leaves and cloves into pot.
  4. Cover and cook on low overnight / for 8 hours.
  5. Take off lid and continue cooking on low for a few hours until a lot of the liquid has cooked off.
  6. Shred up the beef with 2 forks – it will be very tender by now 🙂
  7. Remove the bay leaves (the cloves will be soft and fine to leave in with the beef).
  8. Keep it on a low heat until you’re happy with the moisture (I like to make it quite dry).
  9. Serve hot, so if making in advance, reheat before serving.

*For those Oz, Chipotle Chillies these can be a bit tricky to find. I have found them in a few good grocery stores / fruit and veg markets (with the dry spices). For those on the east coast, they always stock them in Essential Ingredient, in-store and online.

Paleo tortillas

makes 12 small (15cm) tortillas


  • 1 cup almond meal/flour (either is fine)
  • 1 cup arrowroot flour
  • 2 cups coconut milk / coconut cream (full fat)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • Coconut oil / ghee for fry pan


  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl until mostly lump-free (let’s not worry too much – a few lumps is fine!).
  2. Lay a few sheets of paper towel on a clean bench / large chopping board.
  3. Melt a small amount of coconut oil / ghee in a small fry pan over low-medium heat (I use a 15cm diameter non-stick pan).
  4. Once the pan is hot, drop in a ladleful of the batter and swirl it around a little until it’s covering the base completely.
  5. Leave for 3-4 minutes / until you can see bubbles forming in the centre and the edges are starting to brown (the mixture holds together really well so you can lift it up to see if it is starting to nicely brown underneath.)
  6. Flip with an egg flip and repeat on the other side.
  7. Transfer to the paper towel to absorb any excess oil/ghee.
  8. Repeat steps 3-7 until you’ve cooked all the batter (should make 12 tortillas).
  9. Once you’ve let the paper towel absorb most of the oil/ghee, stack them up ready to serve. (If you have made them a day in advance, wrap the stack in cling-film or pop them in a snap-lock bag/container and keep them in the fridge until serving (or on the bench of a coolish kitchen is fine).

Red cabbage slaw with Asian mayonnaise dressing

makes 1 medium bowl


  • ½ small red cabbage – shredded
  • 2 carrots – julienned / coarsely grated
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • ¼ cup coriander leaves & 1 tsp of coriander roots, chopped
  • ¼ cup roasted almonds – roughly chopped


  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp lemon/lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 120mL extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp coconut aminos / tamari sauce


  1. Combine cabbage, carrot, green onions, coriander and almonds, and mix to combine.
  2. To make the dressing, put egg yolks, mustard & salt in a medium mixing bowl, sturdied underneath with a folded, damp tea-towel.
  3. Whisk vigorously until well combined – about 30 seconds.
  4. Add lemon/lime juice and apple cider vinegar and whisk again for 30 seconds to combine.
  5. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking continuously until mixture resembles a lemony coloured mayonnaise.
  6. Add the aminos/tamari sauce and again, whisk until all combined through the mayonnaise.
  7. Pour over slaw just before serving and stir well to combine.

Sesame kale

makes 1 medium bowl


  • 3 cups kale (centres removed) – shredded
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbs toasted sesame seeds
  • Sea salt


  1. Bring a small pot of water to the boil then blanch the kale by plunging it in for 10 seconds then remove and rinse in a strainer under cold water.
  2. Squeeze out excess water and place in a serving bowl.
  3. Add sesame seeds and sesame oil and season with sea salt.
  4. Stir to combine. Serve cold.


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