- With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C).
- In a blender, purée the tomatoes until smooth. Strain through a sieve. You should yield 4 cups (1 litre) of tomato juice. If needed, add water to the tomato juice to get the required yield. Add the hot sauce and tomato paste.
- In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, brown half of the meat at a time in the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside on a plate.
- In the same Dutch oven over medium heat, soften the onion and garlic with the spices. Add more oil as needed. Pour in the tomato juice mixture. Bring to a boil. Add the browned meat. Cover and cook in the oven for 3 hours. Remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaves.
- Remove the meat from the pot. Using a fork, shred the meat, removing any excess fat. Add the meat back to the pot and mix well to coat in the sauce. Adjust the seasoning.
- If desired, use as a taco filling with warmed tortillas, cilantro, iceberg lettuce and lime wedges.