Taqueria Style Tacos
by Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime
Bill (my better half) and I love to visit local taquerias for a quick lunch when we are out doing errands about town. We really do enjoy the taqueria style tacos with their soft fresh corn tortillas, sprinkling of cilantro and minced onion, and of course, the blazingly hot habanero sauces.
Some of our favorite tacos aren’t for everyone (That’s fine, leaves all that much more for us to enjoy! Ha ha!). We are most fond (and I do say “we” as I have been blessed to have a husband whose culinary tastes almost identically match my own) of tacos with crispy tripas de leche filling, or occasionally, lengua. For those of you that don’t know, that’s offal (No! I did not NOT say it was awful! In fact, it’s quite delicious! 😉 ) The tripe used in those, if you are interested, is not the same as honeycomb tripe but instead comes from the milk glands (hence the “de leche” part). I would make these myself, except when I have seen it at the market (which is rare even at places that tend to carry it) the packages have been a bit large for my immediate needs, so I have held off. Beyond that, there is the matter of cooking such things, which is usually done outdoors in a disco (which is a two piece set-up of a wok over a charcoal grill) and I don’t have that either. Thus I generally make more accessible tacos at home.
While the tacos in the taquerias come with a wide variety of fillings, the most easily made of any of them in the home kitchen would be carne molida (or ground beef). This recipe uses beef with simple seasonings that many Americans may be more used to as opposed to the more complex flavors of a picadillo beef filling which is also authentic.
But in terms of what constitutes a “taqueria style” taco, I would say is the double layer of corn tortilla with the simple cilantro-onion sprinkle, and fiery hot sauce. Crisp corn shells just don’t cut it if you are trying to evoke the feeling of taqueria. Neither do soft flour tortillas. Both of those are very much more Americanized shells. They can be used with the meat in this recipe of course, when you are more in the mood for that. And perhaps this will even become your go-to recipe for taco meat? You really don’t want the stuff that comes in envelopes (it is packed with salt!)
I do hope you enjoy these tacos. If you care to branch out from here with other taco recipes (I’ll post more when I get the chance or you can find some from other talented food bloggers) here is a list of the common taqueria fillings for tacos:
Al Pastor • Pork
Pollo • Chicken
Tripas de Leche • Tripe
Carne Molida • Ground Beef
Picadillo • Sweet and Savory Spiced Ground Beef
Barbacoa • Steamed Beef
Carnitas • Fried Pork
Suadero • Brisket
Chorizo • Mexican Sausage
Carne Asada • Grilled Steak
Camarones • Shrimp
Pescado • Fish
Birria • Goat
See you again soon!
Taqueria Style Tacos
Serves: 4; two tacos per person
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon seasoned Adobo or seasoned salt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 16 soft corn tortillas
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 cup minced white onion
- 2 limes, cut into wedges
- green habanero sauce or salsa verde (optional)
- cherry tomatoes, sliced hot peppers and sliced avocado (optional garnishes)
- Brown ground beef in a large skillet, then drain off any fat in a sieve and return to pan.
- Add seasonings and one cup water; bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for thirty minutes.
- Uncover and continue to cook until any remaining water has dissipated.
- Warm fresh corn tortillas briefly on a hot griddle just until pliable and soft, but not crisp.
- Prepare tacos with a double layer of corn tortillas, a sprinkling of cilantro and onion, and hot taco sauce and a lime wedge to squeeze over the top.
From the kitchen of palatablepastime.com
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