Unimpressed. Not disgusted, just unimpressed. Biting into my first taco as a child, the corn taco shell (from a box) perfectly molded and perfectly bland, fell apart and tasted more like paper than corn. Yes, I ate paper as a kid, I know the taste of paper well. I don’t know why I did it, I was that kid, one of my many secret shames.
Inside the ‘taco shell’ was ground beef seasoned with a supermarket seasoning packet and topped with cheese and lettuce. As a child, I was unimpressed but ate every last bite. In our house food was precious, food did not go to waste, not even brussel sprouts. My occasional experiences with tacos ran the gamut from supermarket ‘tacos-in-a-box’ to soul stirring street tacos in Mexico from abuelas dedicated to their craft. Once I tried a real taco, there was no looking back for me, I was hooked on the finer fare of this street food. These are made with my Easy Salsa Verde but you can use store bought for ease.
There truly is an infinite number of ways one can prepare a taco so I will not pretend to have the ‘best’ taco recipe or the ‘most amazing’ taco recipe. I feel that attitude is an insult to the real ‘taco chefs’, the madres and abuelas at their food stalls and in their own cocinas. I will stay in my lane and just report what I like about the tacos I have learned how to create over the years.
I like this recipe because it is simple, does not require any super special equipment (most people have a crockpot), requires some skill but nothing ‘chef’ like and is, of course, delicious. The seasonings you actually put in the crock pot is very flexible. The meat cooks on low heat for 6-8 hours, easily shreds and absorbs the seasonings well. Frying the tortillas is where you will learn some skills that will serve you well in the future. It’s easy, don’t worry, just allow an extra 10 minutes of cooking time to practice and all will be well.
Tacos take on many shapes. Hard shell, soft shell, flour, corn, chicken, goat, beef, pork, fish, egg, chorizo, sour cream, cheese, salsa, tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, cabbage, avocado, guacamole, cotija, cilantro, chiles, onions, bacon etc. The list is endless which is another reason not to claim to have the ‘best’ taco recipe. Keep an open mind and you will see tacos in your future as breakfast, lunch and dinner, both for a sit down meal and on-the-go.
Remember what you learn while frying your own taco shells, you will get better and faster with every go. The taste and texture is worth the little extra effort and it really isn’t hard, just a little scary if you are doing this for the first time, you CAN do it!
Buen Provecho y’all!
- 1 1/2 lbs beef roast or brisket
- 1/2 white onion chopped
- 1 Poblano peppe or other mild pepper
- 2 Tbs of peppercorns
- 1 Tbs salt
- 6 garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 cups of water
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 18 small corn tortillas
- 2 cups of sour cream
- 2 cups of salsa
- Place first 7 ingredients into a crock pot and cook on low 6-8 hours.
- Take meat out and shred with two forks.
- Spread meat out on cookie sheet and broil for 1-3 minutes, until the meat has dried out a bit and tips start to turn darker brown. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Heat1 inch of oil in large skillet to 375 degrees. If you don't have a thermometer, test the oil with a small piece of tortilla, it should have a million bubbles on it immediately.
- Place tortilla in pan, inserting the leading edge and easing the tortilla in gently, press the top gently to allow oil on top of the tortilla, cooking both sides at once.
- Cook from 20-45 seconds depending on how crispy you want your taco shell.
- Remove tortilla and place on plate with paper towels, fold in half.
- Repeat until all tortillas are cooked.
- Serve with meat, sour cream and salsa.