Street Tacos

Happy Monday Fellow Foodies!

I have noticed a lot of excitement for, and the addition of, Mexican "street tacos" to many menus here in the USA. Perhaps it is because of the foodie-type Travel Shows on the Travel Chanel that are so popular. I have seen them highlighted on Anthony Bourdain's show more than once, and from more than one Latin American Country to our south...yes, my friends, there is more than Mexico down there!

So, being Monday, my daughter has Tae-Kwon-Do from 4:45 to 5:30pm. I always need a dish that I can make in advance, and warm back up as soon as we get home. ENTER-my favorite recipe for 'street tacos'.

What makes a taco a "street taco"? you ask...Epicurious defines TACO thusly: taco [tah-KOH] A Mexican-style "sandwich" consisting of a folded corn TORTILLA filled with various ingredients such as beef, pork, chicken, CHORIZO sausage, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, onion, GUACAMOLE, REFRIED BEANS and SALSA. Most tacos in the United States are made with crisp (fried) tortilla shells, but there are also "soft" (pliable) versions. The latter are more likely to be found in the Southwest and California. Tacos may be eaten as an entrée or snack.  © Copyright Barron's Educational Services, Inc. 1995 based on THE FOOD LOVER'S COMPANION, 2nd edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst.
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So far as I can tell the only difference between a run-of-the-mill taco and a street taco is the location from whence you bought it! If you bought it from a Taco Stand or Food Truck on the's a "street taco", if you made it at home, or got it in a restaurant-NOT!!! That's right. All those expensive new menu items, are basically just a sales gimmick, and a very lucrative one at that!

I did find a GREAT GUIDE to Mexican Street Tacos on MEXCONNECT ( ) if you feel like reading up a bit further on the topic.

Here is my recipe for Mexican "Street Tacos" that will make everyone you serve them to beg for more! (You can add some cayenne pepper, and jalapanos to the strew if you like, but I have a little kid, so the spicy stuff gets served on the side as chimichuri, and pickled japs.)

Tacos Carne Asada
1Lb. stew beef (you can use pork butt if you prefer carnitas)
2 Tbs. Mexican Rub*see below (or my entry on 6/25/11)
1 small onion-julianned
3 cloves garlic-minced
1- 14oz. can diced tomatoes
1 beef bouillon cube, or 1/4 cup demiglaze
2 cups water
Toss the beef and the rub together and set aside. In a medium sauce pan, brown the onions over medium high heat. Add the garlic, and cook over low for 2-3 minutes until the mixture become very fragrant.

Add the beef and turn the burner to high. Spread the beef out so that it has full contact with the pan. Allow to brown on one side. With a pair of tongs, turn the meat over so that it can brown evenly on the opposit side.

Add the last thee ingredients and turn the heat down to low and allow the mixture to simmer for about 2 hours-add extra water as needed. If you have a crockpot you can transfer everything over and allow the mixture to cook on low 5-6 hours.

Once the beef have become very tender, remove it with a slotted spoon. Allow the meat to cool slightly-and with your fingers-break it up into shreaded bits. Put the meat back into the pot, turn the heat as high as it will go, and with the cover off allow most of the liquid to evaporate. You should be left with a very thick stew-like mixture. (Sometimes I add a little lime juice to brighten up the heavy flavor of the carne at the very end, but it's not 100% required.)

Warm a few corn tortillas in a cast iron skillet.

Fill each one with beef and any other taco garnishes you prefer. We use: Sour cream, shredded chees, lettuce, fresh salsa, chimichuri, and jalapanos.

*Mexi-baja rub
2 Tbs. Smoked Paprika
1 tsp each-ground cumin, ground coriander, black pepper, garlic powder, lemon zest
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp kosher salt


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