Shredded Beef Tacos – Authentic Mexican Style

Shredded Beef Tacos - Authentic Mexican Style, 3.6 out of 5 based on 104 ratings
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Here is a great recipe for shredded beef tacos. If you like tacos this is for you! If you’ve ever been to San Diego you’ll probably remember this flavor. I used to eat these while looking out over the ocean. Ah, that’s the life..

Shredded Beef Tacos PlateIngredients: Shredded Beef Tacos

2lbs. chuck roast, 2in. cubes and trim off fat ( you can also use top or bottom round )

2 teas. salt

2 teas. pepper

1 tbsp. cumin

1 1/2 tbsp. chili powder ( light or dark )

1 tbsp. garlic powder

1 tbsp. onion powder

4 bay leaves

1 onion ( small dice )

2/3 head lettuce ( shredded )

2 tomatoes ( small dice )

3 oz. cheddar cheese ( shredded )

16-20 corn tortillas ( 6in. )

2-3 cups oil ( corn or vegetable )

toothpicks

Method: Shredded Beef

Add meat, salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and bay leaves to a 3 to 5qt. pot. Add water to cover, about 1/2in. over the top of the meat and boil covered for 2 hours stirring occasionally.

Add diced onion and boil for 1 more hour covered stirring occasionally. At this point the meat should start to break down. Remove bay leaves and continue to break it down using a wooden spoon or spatula ( I like the spatula ). Continue to boil uncovered until the liquid has evaporated and continue to shred the meat with the wooden spoon or spatula.The meat should be completely shredded after about 4 hours. Set aside and let cool to warm or room temperature.

Method: Tortillas

Heat oil in an 8in. cast iron skillet for more even cooking. You can use any 8in. skillet, I just like the performance of cast iron for frying. Or use a deep fryer. Never fill pan more than 1/2 full of oil, it may bubble over during cooking.Heat to 350 degrees. It is very important to reach 350 degrees or the tortillas will not cook right. With a pair of tongs place 1 tortilla into the oil and fry for about 3-5 seconds, just long enough to make the tortillas pliable and easy to work with. Repeat process until all tortillas are cooked, stack them on a plate, flip the entire stack over and get ready for assembly.

Note: Always be careful when using hot oil it can be very dangerous if not handled properly.

Assembly: Shredded Beef Tacos

Shredded Beef Tacos Assembly 1Shredded Beef Tacos Assembly 2Take about 2 to 3oz. of shredded beef and place on upper half of the tortilla.

Fold the tortilla in half and insert 2 toothpicks.

Kind of like sewing. Repeat until all of the tacos are done.

You might want to turn the heat down on the oil while doing this.

It will take a few minutes to assemble your shredded beef tacos.

In that time your oil could overheat causing your tacos to burn. Make sure the temperature of your oil is right.

Frying: Shredded Beef Tacos

Take 2 to 3 tacos at a time and place into 350 degree oil and cook for about 1 to 3 minutes a side, or until crispy. You might notice after a batch or two that the oil will lower in temperature. There is something called “recovery time” when using hot oil. This is caused by putting a cool product into something hot.

Remove tacos and let stand for 1 minute. Remove toothpicks, open and add shredded lettuce, cheese and diced tomatoes. You’re ready to eat!

Shredded Beef Tacos PlateThis is a good time to add your favorite toppings to your shredded beef tacos, such as: hot sauce, sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo or anything else you like.

Note: It is best to cook your tacos just before you eat for best results. Any uncooked tacos can be refrigerated for a few days. Or you can freeze them for up to 2 months. If you freeze them do not thaw them out before frying, the tortillas will fall apart. Frozen tacos will take about twice as long to fry.

David

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Shredded Beef Tacos – Authentic Mexican Style — 144 Comments

  1. VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    David, thank you so much for this recipe. It has become part of my rotation, and I have made it about 10 times in the last couple of years. We live in a rural area, and we buy a 1/4, of a cow from a local farmer each year. I have used this recipe for many of the large cuts, and it always comes out fabulous. My spouse doesn’t like a traditional roast beef, but he loves Mexican food. This recipe is a winner every time; it has also wowed our most picky and well traveled guests. I use a ground sea salt, and I’ve found it is easy to over salt this recipe, even though I reduce it each time. My husband suggested adding the salt at the end, is it necessary to add the salt earlier in the process to get the meat to come out perfect? My other question: I have been trying to make a shredded beef chili like a Mexican restaurant I used to frequent. So far, I’ve tried many different recipes, and I haven’t been successful. It was browner than red, any suggestions? I look forward to trying more recipes on your website.

    • VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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      Hi Lisa,

      Thank you so much, I’m glad this is now one of your go to recipes now! It’s nice to hear everyone likes the tacos :-)

      To answer your first question, it is easy to over salt, especially since we add all of the salt in the beginning. It is necessary to add salt in the beginning as it flavors the meat during cooking. I would suggest adding a little more than half of what you usually add and then taste it at the end. This way you can’t over salt the meat and if you need a little more you can add it at the end.

      If you do find the meat to be over salted at the end (after the liquid has evaporated) you can add a little more water, boil it for about 2 to 3 minutes and then strain off the excess liquid. This will take some of the salt flavor out.

      As for your second question.. Here’s what I can suggest. Start with the refried beans part of This Recipe. You’ll only need about 1/2 of the cooked beans from this and do not mash them. Start the beans before the meat as they take longer to cook. Or, you could buy a 24 to 32oz. can of cooked pinto beans. In my area there is a brand called Sun Vista pinto beans that will work.

      For the meat you can use this basic beef taco recipe with a few minor adjustments..
      First cut the meat into bite size cubes.
      Season the meat just like you would normally but add twice the amount of chili powder and one extra teaspoon of cumin powder. Also the bay leaves are not necessary.
      When it’s time to add the onion, add that along with a small diced green pepper.

      When the meat starts to break up and the water has evaporated by about half add the cooked pinto beans along with a 6 to 8oz. can of tomato paste and stir that in. Reduce the heat so that your chili is barely simmering with the lid cracked.

      Simmer for about an hour or until it thickens. Taste it to see if you might need a little more chili powder. That’s it dig in!

      For an extra kick you could add a diced jalapeno when you add the green pepper and onions.

      I hope that helps and if you have any more question feel free to ask :-)

      Take care and Happy Cooking!
      David

      • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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        Thank you so much for your great advice. I really appreciate you answering all my questions. The next time we eat beef, I am making the chili as you advised. Thanks again!

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          Hi Lisa,

          I’m glad you found the information useful and hope you like the chili when you make it. It’s kind of a “Tex Mex” version of chili.

          Here’s another option you can try if you like Chili Colorado

          You may like that recipe even more :-)

          Happy Cooking!
          David

  2. VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Ok. I grew up in Lomita California and our favorite place to eat was Las Palmas Mexican restaurant. Don’t know if they are still around,but this recipe sounds and I REALLY hope tastes like what I remember. A # 7 on the menu was all I ever ordered.

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      Hi Linda,

      One of my favorite combos was a #4 at Robertos or Albertos in San Diego, 2 beef tacos, rice and beans. I modeled this taco recipe after that and it sounds like what you used to get.

      I hope this recipe will be close to what you remember :-)

      Let me know how it turns out and Happy Cooking!
      David

  3. VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    The meat in this recipe is so delicious and versatile. It makes the greatest tacos, wonderful enchiladas and served as is with rice, beans, and salad is delicious. We have 7 in the family and at least 5 picky eaters. This is now a family favorite and pleases the whole family. Thank you! Now searching for a good tamale recipe.

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      Hi Marsha,

      That’s fantastic! It’s so nice to hear that this is now a family favorite (even for those “picky eaters”!

      You’re so right, the meat is very versatile. Any Mexican recipe you can think of that uses shredded beef can be made with this shredded beef recipe.

      Thanks for sharing your input and Happy Cooking!
      David

  4. VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Thanks. Planned to use London Broil per your reco, but got a request for Stroganoff, so the boneless beef strip is cooking as I write this. After the first hour of boiling, the meat was already VERY tender and tasty! Just added the onions a few minutes ago and my Hispanic neighbor told me how fabulous it smells! I live in L.A., grew up in San Diego, and have a finely honed appreciation for authentic recipes! Think I may add a couple jalapenos during the “boil down” period for a bit more kick. Can’t wait for the final result!

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      Hi Erin,

      If I’m reading you right you’re saving the London Broil for Stroganoff and using the beef strips for the shredded beef. A few jalapenos will add great flavor and a nice little kick like you mention.

      Let me know how everything comes out :-)

      Happy Cooking… And Eating!
      David

  5. VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    What alternate beef cuts do you recommend? I happen to have 10 pounds each London Broil and also Boneless Country Style Strip on hand. Would these work or do I need to stick to a cheaper fattier cut?

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      Hi Erin,

      Thanks for asking :-)

      The recipe calls for about 2 lbs. of beef. Because we’ll be boiling it down until it shreds basically any cut of beef will do. The Chuck Roast I used for the recipe does have some fat but I cut that out. You could easily substitute 2 lbs. of London Broil.

      The Boneless Country Style Beef Strips will also work. Those might have a little fat that you might want to cut out. They will work well too.

      To be honest, any type of beef can be used except ground beef.

      Out of the two cuts you mentioned I’d recommend the London Broil.

      Hope that helps and let me know how it turns out.

      Happy Cooking!
      David

  6. VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Hey Dave,

    I’m having a taco party for 50 people; how many pounds of beef should I buy to make your recipe? Oh, I want to make the pork & chicken too.

    Thank You!

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      Hi Lisa,

      That’s a tall order that requires a lot of work so I hope you’ll have some help. You’ll want to start at least one or two days early. Are you ready? Here’s the mathmatical break down and more:

      Each taco will have about 2oz. of meat. This means you can make 8 tacos per pound of meat.

      Assuming you’ll want to give your guests 1 of each, beef, chicken and pork you’ll need about this much of each meat. That’s going to be 150 tacos! Are you ready :-)?

      6.25 lbs. of beef, chicken and pork for a total of 18.75 lbs of meat.

      Unless you have 3 really big stock pots you’ll probably have to make 2 batches of each meat. This would mean each batch would be about 3 lbs.

      For the shredded beef and shredded pork tacos use the recipe seasoning as is, just add water to cover by about 1/2 to 1 inch. Each of these recipes calls for 2lbs. of meat. Use these recipes with 3lbs. of meat. At the end of the cooking process give them a taste and add just a little more seasoning if needed at this time. Both of these should be fine with the seasoning for 2lbs. but you may have to add just a little more. Don’t try to calculate the seasoning for the extra pound, this will most likely overseason it.

      For the shredded chicken tacos, make “two” 3lb. batches (6.25lbs cut in half) using this guide for seasoning per batch:

      Enough water to cover the chicken by about 1/2 to 3/4 inches
      1 1/3 teas. salt
      1/2 teas. pepper
      1 heaping 1/2 teas. garlic powder
      1 1/2 teas. onion powder
      2 teas. chili powder
      1 1/4 teas. dry oregano
      1/3 teas. cumin powder

      This should work for 3lbs. of chicken.

      You’ll also need a total of:

      2-3 heads lettuce
      5-6 tomatoes
      about 2lbs. of shredded cheese
      150 corn tortillas
      1 or 2 bottles of hot sauce
      300 wooden toothpicks
      Oil (Method 1, 1qt. to 1/2gal.)
      Oil (Method 2, 1-2 gallons)

      Are ya still with me?

      Getting tacos ready:
      Flash fry about 20 tortillas and stack them on a plate as in the recipes. Carefully flip the whole stack.
      Lay out as many tortillas as you can on a clean surface.
      Add the meat as oulined in the recipes. In this case you’ll be making more than on at a time.

      Ex: If you can lay out 10 tortillas add the meat to all 10.
      Fold each taco over and skewer with toothpicks one at a time and transfer to a plate.
      Continue until all 10 are done. Repeat. (The more tortillas you can lay out the faster the process goes)

      Note: If you can get someone to help have one of you adding meat and the other “sewing” them up. Doing it this way you can make 10 in about 5 to 8 minutes. 60 tacos will take about an hour. 4 people can make about 120 in an hour or less.

      2nd Note: I recommend making 30 of each the night before and refrigerate them on labled and covered plates. Make sure you have enough room in the fridge. The rest you can make the day of the party.

      3rd Note: Prep the lettuce and tomato the morning of the party so it will be fresh.

      Cooking:

      Method 1: An easy way to cook a lot of tacos easily and without using a ton of oil is by placing the “ready to cook” tacos on non-stick baking sheets (don’t overlap). Pop them into a 350 degree oven for about 10 to 12 minutes, flipping at about 5 to 6 minutes to evenly cook both sides. You can cook about 20 to 30 at a time this way and your house won’t smell like grease.

      Method 2: You can also keep a skillet of oil on the stove for a few quick tacos that you can make to order. For the bulk of the tacos and to feed people quickly I recommend the oven version. Also, if you decide to have a pan of oil on the stove ALWAYS keep it on lowest possible heat or even better, turned off when you are not using it. The last thing you want is a grease fire. I can’t stress this enough!

      As far as assembly goes (lettuce, tomato etc.) You can set up an assembly line and let everyone stuff them themselves.

      Or, get 3 casserole dishes (1 beef, 1 chicken, 1 pork), stuff the tacos yourself (or with help) and place them in the casserole dishes so people can just come along and grab them. Be sure to label them :-)

      Just for the tacos themselves at 3/person will probably run you around $80.00 or so, or about $1.60 a person.

      This is getting pretty long so I’ll end it here. If you have any questions about any of this you can contact me and I’ll be happy to help you more.

      Happy Cooking!
      David

  7. VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)

    Hi David,
    I tried this recipe last week because I am hosting a taco party Friday. I tried this one and your chicken recipe. Amazing! I live in Texas and eat a lot of Tex-Mex and this was awesome!
    Thanks so much.
    Ruth

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      Hi Ruth,

      That’s wonderful! It sounds like your “taco party” was a big success! Great job!

      Come on back and try more stuff and of course, Happy Cooking!
      David

  8. VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    As a native to southern CA, I am a tough critic when it comes to good Mexican food. Saying that, this is the best recipe I have EVER had!

    • VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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      Hi Jenna,

      Thank you for the high praise, that means a lot coming from a tough food critic :-)

      Happy Cooking!
      David

  9. VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    I tried your recipe and it was amazing! It was totally delish! I’ve made such an impression! Thanks to you. I’m going to try another recipe of yours.

    • VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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      Hi Elizabeth,

      I’m happy to hear you liked the tacos. Let me know what else you try, I look forward to hearing what you have to say about some of the other recipes :-)

      Happy Cooking!
      David

    • VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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      Hi Whit,

      You sure can :-) I’ve used this shredded beef for lots of different things.
      Check out this Nachos Recipe. I used shredded beef in the recipe.

      Happy Cooking!
      David

  10. VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Greetings. I left San Diego in 1980 and I’m looking fwd to this recipe this weekend. But the cheese, Dave. Remember the white parm-like cheese Roberto’s put on top. It wasn’t parm, but it kinda tasted like it. Anyone know what they use?

    • VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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      Hi Joe,

      I know what you’re saying… cheddar? Well, some of the taco shops I went to used cheddar, like Albertos but I know what you’re talking about. I also use that white crumbly cheese that you mention so here’s a few types for you to try:

      Queso Fresco – It’s kind of like a Monterey Jack or Mozzarella and probably the most popular.

      Cotija – This is most likely what you want. It’s a harder cheese that crumbles like parmesan (and kind of tastes like it). Just to let you know some people don’t like this type. I personally love it.

      Jalapeno Jack – It’s not really a Mexican cheese but if you like spicy I recommend it.

      Hope this helps and let me know how your tacos are :-)

      Happy Cooking!
      David

      • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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        Yep. Sounds like cotija – the white crumbly stuff on top. I certainly can’t duplicate the flavor of that taco without it. Thank u kindly.
        Joe

        • VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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          Hey Joe,

          You are very welcome, I always like to help where ever I can :-)
          If you have anymore questions just let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them.

          Take care,
          David

          • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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            Great Recipe. I’m giving the beef taco recipe a full 5.

            I replaced the water with beer and used Romano because I couldn’t find Cotija cheese – but I left the rest of the recipe as as.

            Starting with seven pounds of trimmed meat, I fed 9 folks, 5 of them from San Diego raised on Mexican food in the Roberto’s tradition. I made tacos and burritos using the taco meat recipe. I loaded up the burritos with green chiles in the Roberto’s tradition. Your guacamole was a winner (I used red onions).

            They all raved, including myself. They kept eating well after the hunger was gone because it was so good. Only had enough left over for a burrito this morning. Viva Mexico! Viva Roberto! Viva David!!!

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              Hey Joe,

              That’s simply Awesome!! Thank you so much :-)

              I never get tired of hearing stuff like this. It’s great to hear your whole group was impressed so much.

              I bet everyone was stuffed after eating so much but I know what you mean. I sometimes eat more than I should because even after my stomach is full my taste buds say “more”!

              I like what you did with the burritos, that sounds sooo good! I love green chili’s in burritos. I bet you’re the talk of the town right now for serving up such a fabulous meal… GREAT JOB!

              Thanks again for your comment and I hope to see you back to try more stuff.

              Take care and Happy Cooking!
              David

  11. VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Just wanted to say thank you. On my hunt to make the most amazing (and as close to authentic as I can here in the uk) burritos I have used your meat recipe time and time again. It’s only right to thank the creator :) I like the new website and will be sure to try your other amazing recipes. I really appreciate somewhere I can trust to find authenticity where labelled as so, and who also is so helpful in the comments section! x x x

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      Hi Chloe,

      Thank you so much! It’s always nice to hear that these recipes help and I like the fact that you are using your imagination to use them in different ways. That’s awesome!!

      I’m also glad you trust my recipes :-) I also try to answer any and all questions to the best of my ability. I know it can sometimes be hard to follow recipes so I help where I can.

      Thanks again and I hope to talk to you about another recipe soon.
      Take care and Happy Cooking!
      David

  12. VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Can you put all the ingredients in a crock pot instead of boiling?

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      Hi Brit,

      Yes you can but you don’t need as much water and it will take longer to cook.
      I’d recommend just enough water to “almost” cover the meat, basically little “peaks” of the meat should be barely visible.
      As for the time, it will vary from crock pot to crock pot a little so I’d say about a medium setting and cook 6-8 hours stirring every now and then. You want the meat to easily shred with a wood spatula so just let it cook as long as it takes to shred. More water may be needed if it starts to dry out. Once the meat is ready just follow the rest of the recipe.
      Hope that helps and Happy Cooking :-)
      David

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    Hi there. I wonder if you have a minute to give me some advice? I have a leftover roast and wondered how I should modify the cooking time to make these? It is tender and juicy, but not really shreddable yet, so I realize I need to cook it to get to that point, but I don’t want to dry out the meat… Thanks in advance,

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      Hi Samantha,

      Thanks for asking, and of course I always have time to help a fellow chef :-) What you can do is cut it into about 2in. cubes and add the meat to a sauce pan big enough to hold the meat and enough water to cover by a little bit. It’s hard to say how much since I don’t know how much meat you have. I would say by about 1/2 an inch.

      You’ll also have to season it a little more so I would add a little salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder and cumin powder. Just a little of each, maybe about 1/2teas. of each except cumin, about 1/4teas.

      Bring it to a boil and then back the heat off to a simmer (about med. low). Simmer covered for about an hour and see if the meat starts to break apart. If it does and you still have a lot of water then crack the lid to evaporate the water. If the meat is not ready to break up return the lid and keep simmering, it will break and start to shred at some point (usually after 2-3 hours) and don’t worry, this way of cooking beef will never dry it out.

      Once it starts to break up just use a wood spatula to break and shred your meat. A few things to keep in mind when cooking meat this way. 1.) If the liquid evaporates before the meat shreds add more water. 2.) If there is too much liquid after the meat shreds, remove the lid and bring to a boil to evaporate the liquid. There should only be a tiny bit of liquid at the end, about 1/4 cup in the bottom of the pan. 3.) Taste the finished meat for flavor. If there is not enough flavor add a little more seasoning (use your best judgement). If the meat is over seasoned add some water, bring it to a boil, boil for about 3-5 minutes and strain off the liquid, this will remove some of the seasoning.

      After the meat is ready just follow the rest of the recipe.

      Hope this helps and Happy Cooking!

      David

  14. VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    This recipe is superb!!! My hubby & kids loooooved them! & they tasted authentic:) thank u David!!

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    Hi David!! I love your recipes and have been making them for the last year. I am making shredded chicken and shredded beef for a wedding this Saturday. I am hoping that you see this post before Friday so I make sure I have enough meat. The guess list is 150 people but not sure how many people are coming so I am basing it on that number for now. I bought 20 lbs of chicken and 18 lbs of English roast. I am making 8 lbs of your refried beans too. Plus there will be rice chips and salsa. Does that sound like enough meat and beans? We are just going to do just flour shells warmed up. Thank you for any help. I seen your other post about serving 75 people and started wondering if I have enough meat. Should I make the meat up at least two days before and then just reheat before hand.

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      Hi Tammy,

      I hope you’re liking the new site and welcome aboard over here.

      First I’d like to congratulate the soon to be happy couple, may they have a long and happy marriage!

      As for your questions, here’s a breakdown using 150 people as a guide:

      Meat:

      Each portion of meat will be about 2oz. or 8 portions per pound. Lets say each person has 2 portions. That means you can feed 4 people with 1 pound of meat. So 150 (people) divided by 4 equals 37.5 pounds of meat.

      You would need 37.5 pounds of chicken and 37.5 pounds of beef. This would give you enough meat for 4 portions per person (2 chicken and 2 beef). This is probably the safe way to go since you don’t know if your guests are going to want chicken, beef or both. Any leftovers can be frozen for a few months and some people might want more that 2 or 3 tacos. It’s better to have more than you need so you don’t run out of food.

      The seasoning for bulk amounts of food will be different as well, so to be safe I recommend doing smaller batches, about 5 pounds of beef per batch. Double the amount of seasoning in this recipe for 5 pounds of beef. This means you’ll have to make 7 batches at 5 pounds each and 1 batch at 2.5 pounds (No need to double the seasoning on that last batch). For the 5 pound batches add enough water to cover by about 3 inches. For that last “1/2″ batch just follow the recipe. The bigger batches will have roughly the same cook time.

      For the chicken do 6 pound batches and triple the ingredient list of the chicken taco recipe. You’ll have to make 6 batches. There will be 1/4 pound left according to my math so just add that to one of your batches. Add enough water per batch to cover by about 3 inches.

      Note: If you have a 4 burner stove you can do 4 batches at the same time. If you have a nice neighbor who’ll let you use their stove you can do 8 batches at a time. Or if you have a friend who is willing to help you using their kitchen.

      Beans:

      You’ll need about 1/8lb (2oz.) of refried beans per person (1lb = 8 people). So 150 (people) divided by 8 equals 18.75lbs of beans or 18.75lbs X 16oz = 300oz or 300oz divided by 128oz (1gal) = about 2.4 gal. I think the recipe you’re referring to starts with 2 cups dry pinto beans. http://davidsfreerecipes.com/beef-and-bean-chimichangas” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>That recipe gives you about 1/2 gallon of beans or 4lbs. Do 2 batches using 5 cups of dry pinto beans doubling the seasoning. This will give you about 2.5 gallons or 20lbs of beans. Add enough water to cover by about 5 inches per batch.

      Rice:

      You’ll need about 1/8lb (2oz.) of rice per person (1lb = 8 people). So 150 (people) divided by 8 equals 18.75 lbs of rice or 18.75lbs X 16oz = 300oz or 300oz divided by 128oz (1gal) = about 2.4 gal. The recipe on http://davidsfreerecipes.com/beef-and-bean-chimichangas” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>this page gives you about 1/2 gallon of rice or 4lbs. Do 2 batches using 5 cups of uncooked rice doubling the seasoning and adding 10 cups of water to each batch (1 part rice to 2 parts water). This will give you about 2.5 gallons or 20lbs of rice.

      Toppings:

      You’ll need 10-12 heads of lettuce (1 head = about 40-50 tacos)
      37.5lbs. of shredded cheese or 1oz per taco (600 tacos)
      Oh, and 600 small flour tortillas (4 per person)

      This will be a lot of work as it is so if you want to make your own chips and salsa let me know and I’ll give you a break down of those too. For now I’ll assume you’ll just buy bags of chips, 3 or 4 of those “econo size” and about a 1-2 gallons of salsa. The salsa can double as “hot sauce” for the tacos eliminating the need for tomatoes.

      I would start cooking all of the meat, beans and rice 3-4 days ahead of time. 1 day for beef, 1 day for chicken and rice and 1 day for beans. You can squeeze in the lettuce 1 day in advance and cover with water and refrigerate (drain just before serving). You can shred the cheese one day before or buy pre-shredded cheese.

      Reheating:

      After you cook the meat store it in casserole dishes covered with foil. This way all you’ll have to do is put them in the oven and reheat, 350 degrees (leave the foil on) for about 30-40 minutes. Do the same with the rice and beans. Make sure you have enough room in your refrigerator.

      Place as many tortillas as you can into a casserole dish and cover with foil. Start with 2 casserole dishes.
      Heat them in the oven for about 20-25 minutes.

      Serving: This will take a little “visualization”

      Set up 2 long tables end to end. Preferably with about 20 feet of space at either end and room on both sides. This will give you 2 lines for people to serve themselves, one on either side. When you’re ready to serve those 150 people you’re going to have a “mob” ready to eat so “the faster the better”.

      Set up your tables like this:

      Start by placing two stacks of plates at the “starting point”, one stack per side. Next in line will be the rice and beans. Place 4 spoons per dish (you’ll be serving 4 people at a time). Next in line are the tortillas (one casserole dish with another one warming in the oven). Put 4 pairs of tongs, 2 per side. Next is your chicken and beef (4 small serving spoons each) followed by lettuce, cheese (use tongs for these), salsa (spoons) and chips (tongs). At the end goes 2 bowls of spoons and forks followed by 2 stacks of napkins.

      Here’s how it works: A person grabs a plate, spoons on their rice and beans, grabs a couple of tortillas, adds the chicken and beef to the tortillas, puts the lettuce and cheese on them and drizzles with salsa and grabs a few chips, a fork, spoon and napkin.

      Note: If you are only using 1 oven to reheat everything put one casserole dish each of chicken, beef, beans, rice and tortillas (tortillas go in about 10 minutes after everything else) first, that’s about all the room you’ll have. Make sure they are all done about 15-20 minutes before you serve. You’ll need that time to start heating your “second batch” so when the first batch comes out put the second one in and so on.

      I think I covered most everything here and hope it helps. If I missed anything let me know and if you have more questions don’t hesitate to ask :-)

      Happy Cooking!
      David

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    My wife is from San Diego and I just got back from a conference there and made sure to hit some taco shops and omg they are sooooo good! I’m from Houston and Tex-mex is king, but it is crap compared to SD taco shops. How come no one has thought of using shredded beef in a taco and actually frying a homemade corn tortilla?? There is one place in Houston that claims ‘San Diego style’ tacos and burritos, but I (and more importantly my wife) disagrees. I feel guilty that I went to her home town and due to other circumstances I wasn’t able to have her and the kids come, but I’m going to ‘secretly’ make these tacos for her this weekend and I hope I am successful. I googled ‘san diego taco recipe’ and I landed here and I think I landed in the right place. I’ll let you know how it goes.

    Thanks for sharing!!!!

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      Hi Keith,

      I’m with you, it’s seems the farther east you go from California the worse the Mexican food gets. I’m glad you found me and I look forward to hearing how your tacos come out. I hope your wife likes them :-)

      David

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    I Was Born & Raised In National City/Chula Vista And Have Been Craving Some Shredded Taco’s So I’m Cooking These Today.After Reading Other Comments I’m Try Your Recipe As Is.
    I May Try Rolling These,Because San Diego Rolled Tacos Are The Best!

    “CHEERS”

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      Hello Mr. Sidwell,

      I think you’ll find this recipe works great for rolled tacos. Let me know how they turn out!

      David

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    Hello David,, I made these tacos last night and i have to say i live in Austin Texas and mex-food is king here next to to our BBQ.
    The recipe for your shredded beef was out of this world,,,,, I have had more mex-food then your average person has in there live time,, so this plug comes from a person that is a food critic for Austin and Central Texas’s mexican food restaurants for 15 years,,,
    So when i say this shredded beef recipe you have here is the top 3 best i ever put in mouth you can bank on it ………
    My advice to anybody that is trying to open a new mexican food restaurant, you better grab this recipe and put it on your menu , it will help your sales go from $100′s to $1000′s …..

    Well done David…… I’m going to try a few more recipes from your mexican food list ..
    i’ll let you know with a honest opinion…..

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      Hi Austin,

      Thank you so much for your opinion, that means a lot! I hope if anyone decides to use this recipe in their restaurant they give me a cut of the profits.. LOL :-) (just kidding)

      I look forward to hearing your honest opinions on the other recipes you try.

      Thanks again and Happy Cooking!
      David

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    Hello David,

    I am making this for the 11th or 12th time today. My family cannot stop asking for it. Thank you so much for posting this. I usually search out three or four recipes and then make them my own by compiling them…with yours, it was not necessary at all. I did do a couple of things differently:

    1. I reduced the amount of salt to 1/2 T, or about 1 1/2t. as it was too salty for me the first time I made it (plus I can always add more if needed)
    2. If I have the time, I buy cumin seeds and roast them in a skillet, then grind them with a morter and pestle.
    3. To avoid making the whole house smell of grease, I have started frying in my wok on the barbeque burner in the back yard. It makes cleanup a lot easier too.

    I have also successfully made this using a crock pot for the times when I get home from work and it’s too late to do this on the stove. Here’s what I do:

    Just put all ingredients into the crock pot the night before your taco dinner and cook on high. The next morning, set crock pot to low. Stir occasionally to shred meat. 1 hour before serving, add diced onion. After 45 minutes, transfer to regular pot and cook on stove (med-hi) and stirring often to reduce juice. And of course, DO NOT BURN IT!!!

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe! It’s in regular rotation at my house and I have shared it with many people. I am also making the shredded chicken recipe today for the first time. I’m sure I will be just as pleased with it as I am with this recipe.

    Thanks again, David!

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      Hi Dan,

      That’s so nice to hear! Thank you so much for all of the kind words, I really appreciate that!

      I like what you have done with the recipe and thank you for all of your tips! I’m sure there will be people reading this that will benefit from all of your advice.

      There are a few here that add their own spin on the recipes and take the time to write them down so “hats off” to you for taking the time, your comments and tips will definitely help numerous fellow chefs.

      And, for those who like these recipes, I want you to know that changing the recipes is ENCOURAGED! The whole point of cooking for yourself and others is to end up with a dish that YOU enjoy so by all means experiment and please let others know what you did by writing it here. You’ll be helping others and the credit is all yours!

      Thanks again Dan, you’re an inspiration to all!

      David

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    Thank you so much for posting this shredded beef recipe. I have tried numerous recipes and none of them come close to the flavor I have experienced in most authentic mexican restaurants.You have nailed this recipe. I can not stop eating these taco’s. Now if I can only figure out refried beans. I just can’t get the flavor right. I have’nt tried your recipe yet, but am hoping to get the same results as in your shredded beef recipe. Thank you again for an outstanding recipe.

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      Hi Andrew,

      Thanks for all of your kind words. I get the same way sometimes with these tacos LOL. When I was first introduced to the “shredded beef taco” it was all I wanted to eat.. literally!

      It took me quite a few tries to get dried pinto beans to taste like refried beans and the recipe is very close to the style you get in the good Mexican restaurants so I think you’ll like them.

      The hardest part I find about making them is knowing when you have the right amount of water just before you mash them. Too much water and they come out runny, too little water and they come out like mashed potatoes. It may take once or twice before you get it just right, I know it took me a few tries :-)

      Thanks again and Happy Cooking!
      David

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    Hi David,
    I need to make taco meat for a crowd of like 75. I would like to know if I can make your recipe in slow cookers? If so any suggestions?
    Thanks !
    Mark in Phoenix

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      Hi Mark,

      Wow… That’s a lot of people! So, this is going to be a long reply so bare with me.

      You can make it in a slow cooker although for that many people you’d need a few slow cookers maybe 3 or 4 depending on size. Also it’ll take a lot more time. Here’s a few suggestions for you.

      Figure the batch in this recipe makes around 20 tacos and each person will probably eat 2, that will feed 10. Although, most likely there will people who want more than 2 (maybe 4 or 5) so to be safe I would make enough for at least 3 each or figure 1 batch will feed 7. So let’s do some math here. (I used to do catering so here’s how to break it down for large groups of people)

      The Meat:

      First figure each taco has about 2 to 3 ounces of meat (We’ll use 3 to be safe)
      The calculation to feed 75 would be 3 X 75 = 225 ounces of meat.
      There are 16 ounces in a pound so 225/16 = 14.07 pounds.

      The Seasoning:

      Since the recipe here uses 2lbs. of meat you’ll need to multiply by 7 to get the right seasoning for 14lbs. of meat. (2lbs. of meat X 7 = 14lbs. of meat, so, 2 teas. of seasoning X 7 = the right amount of seasoning for 14lbs. of meat) This should be good for all of the seasonings except for the salt. I would cut back on the salt a little since big batches of food do not need as much. I would multiply the salt by 5 instead of 7 (2 teas. X 5 = 10 teas. salt, using the recipe as a guide) You can always add more salt later if needed :-)

      Also, I would use 4 to 6 onions depending on size. Using the “onion X 7″ calculation sounds like too much onion so I’d cut back a little on that as well.

      To Cook:

      I recommend 2 10qt. to 12qt. stock pots. Add 1/2 of the meat, 1/2 of the seasonings and 1/2 of the onions to each pot. Fill with water to cover by 2 to 3 inches. You’ll need a little more water because of the amount of meat you’re cooking. Cook according to the recipe. Your meat should be done in 4 to 5 hours. It may take a little longer because of the amount you’re cooking.

      Note: If you want to use slow cookers, divide the meat, seasoning and onions equally between them. You’ll probably have to cut back on the water as well. I’ve personally never made this recipe in a slow cooker but I’m pretty sure you’ll need just enough water to cover, and not 2 or 3 inches over the top like in the stock pots.

      For The Tortillas:

      You’ll need 225 or, 3/person X 75/people = 225. You’ll also need 450 toothpicks or 2/taco X 225/tacos = 450.
      Add about 3 cups of oil to a large skillet and “flash fry” 2 or 3 at a time just to get them pliable as in the recipe.

      Tip: Do these after the meat is ready, and have a few people on hand to help with the assembly. After you flash fry about 20-30 tortillas lay them out on a clean dry surface in a few rows. Have one person add the meat to the tortillas and 2 or 3 people to “sew them up” with the toothpicks. So you have 1 person frying the shells and laying them out on the counter, 1 person adding the meat to them and 2 or 3 people sewing them up. After 1 or 2 batches you’ll get into a rhythm and assembly will get easier. Transfer the tacos to a few cookie sheets or into a few casserole dishes for storage.

      To cook the tacos in large batches I recommend placing the tacos on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper and baking them in the oven. This will allow you to cook a whole lot of tacos quickly. Do not overlap them though as they won’t fully crisp up. Bake them in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes and flip them over to bake on the other side for about 10 minutes or until crispy. This way you can cook roughly 40 tacos at once. You can fry them if you wish but that will take a lot of oil, a few pans and, for that many tacos, will smell up your house with oil. Plus the oil will need to be changed once or twice as it will get dirty from frying so many tacos.

      For Final Assembly:

      Use the “times 7″ calculation for the condiments and maybe a little more, just in case. (For the lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and so on)

      Have your lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, hot sauce and whatever else you want to stuff them with in bowls (have about 3 bowls of each in the fridge and replace when necessary) on a table that people can access from both sides, with a few pairs of tongs and/or spoons for each. make sure there is room enough on the table so your people can set their plates down. This way you can have your guests make them themselves saving you time. With 2 lines of people, 1 on each side of the table assembly should be quick and run pretty smoothly keeping the tacos hot and fresh. Oh, and place a pile of napkins at the end of either side of the table.

      So when the tacos come out of the oven have your people, plate in hand form a line. Take the tacos out of the oven, remove the toothpicks, crack them open and place them on the plates as the people walk by. They can then go to the “condiment table” and stuff the tacos with whatever they want. Add a fresh piece of parchment paper to the cookie sheets every time you throw a new batch of tacos in the oven.

      Doing it this way you’ll be able to serve about 20 or so people at a time with minimal effort. It’s a lot of tacos and I’m sure you want to make it as easy as possible.

      I also recommend getting all 225 tacos ready to cook a day in advance and refrigerate. That way your kitchen won’t be cluttered up with a bunch of pots and pans. All you’ll have to do the day of the event is prep the condiments and bake the tacos making your life much easier.

      I hope this explains everything but if I forgot something or you have any more questions let me know, I’d be glad to help. And, if you decide to undergo this project I’d like to know how it turns out so please let me know.

      Thanks for asking and Happy Cooking!
      David

      P.S.

      The Condiment Table

      Place your condiments in the order they will be added to the tacos. (i.e. lettuce first followed by cheese, then tomatoes then hot sauce) This way your people can just go down the line. I would also suggest 3 types of hot sauce, mild, hot and green. 2 bottles of each should be good, 1 each for each side of the table or pour them into bowls with spoons and label them for each side of the table.

      Also, there’s bound to be a few impatient people at the beginning and a few stragglers at the end so it may be wise to keep 1 or 2 skillets of oil on the stove for a few “quick” tacos. Add 3-4 cups of oil to the skillet(s) and keep the heat on the lowest possible setting. Turn the heat to high a few minutes before you fry any tacos, fry them and then turn the back to the lowest possible setting. So along with feeding the “big crowd” you can also feed a few at a time keeping everyone happy.

      P.S.S. Don’t forget to strategically place trashcans around the room :-)

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    These tacos were DIVINE!!!! The meat was incrediable! I made them for New Years Eve and they were a hit!!!! Thank You!!!!

    Yvonne

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      Hi Yvonne,

      Welcome to 2012!
      I’m so happy to hear you loved the tacos! I’ll bet they made for a wonderful New Years Eve party.
      Thanks for trying them and I hope to see you back here for more :-)
      Enjoy the new year and Happy Cooking!
      David

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    We are going to have the shredded beef and chix tacos for our christmas dinner. I was wondering if there is a trick to doing up the corn shells ahead of time, frying them and then keeping them fresh or do do they need to be done just before we eat? I am trying to prepare all the meat a day ahead of time so I dont have so much prepare the day of. Could I fry up the shells and then put them in a warm oven to keep them crispy or maybe I should just do flour shells instead. thank you Tammy

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      Hi Tammy,

      Thanks for asking. I will often make a big batch of tacos to last a few days. Here’s what you can do:

      Make them according to the recipe except for the last step, frying. Check this picture.

      At this point, wrap them in foil and refrigerate until you’re ready to fry them the next day. This way all you’ll have to do is fry them up which only takes a few minutes per batch. Use a very big skillet to fry them as you’ll have less batches to fry. If you plan on making 20 to 30+ tacos and you use a 14 inch skillet you’ll be able to fit about 8 or so tacos per batch. Each batch will only take about 5 minutes so the total cook time will be about 30 minutes or so.

      Note: You might have to change the oil once since it may get dirty from frying so many tacos.

      Also, if you have 2 casserole dishes (1 for chicken and 1 for beef) you can place the cooked tacos (after removing the toothpicks) in them. Just line them up like you would for enchiladas. This will make it easy to stuff them with your lettuce, tomatoes, cheese etc. Check this enchilada picture to get an idea. It’s also a pretty nice presentation.

      Another thing you can do is to prep everything else the day before such as rice and beans, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and anything else you’ll be serving. This way all you’ll have to do to get your Christmas dinner put together is to reheat hot items, and fry and stuff the tacos. Total time will be about 30-45 minutes leaving you more time to spend with your friends and family.

      You could also serve a combination of both hard and soft tacos giving your people a choice of corn or flour tortillas… just a thought :-)

      I hope this will help you and I’d like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!
      Enjoy your Christmas “taco party”!

      David

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    San Diegan here, and I was drooling for some old school, just-like-I-remembered-’em Albertos/Robertos/Alibertos (etc.!) tacos. Your recipe is faaaaaantastic — wonderful, wonderful. THANK YOU. Next time, I’ll reduce the salt to 2 tsp vs 1 TBS (aka 3 tsp) and dial back on the pepper just a teeny bit. It wasn’t “too salty” as a few have mentioned, but juuuuuust bordered on it (for me). Overall, though, it’s exactly what you’re looking for if you want Mexican shredded beef (and crunchy tacos). Many, many thanks! No, really. THANK YOU! I’m so happy to have found this simple and delicious shredded beef recipe as a base for so many future yuuuuuuuums. :)

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      Hey there Tacos4evr,

      Nice name :-)

      Thank you soooo much for your comment, I really appreciate it! I’m glad you like these babies as much as I do. I thought I had changed the amount of salt in the recipe already but I guess for what ever reason it didn’t stick. I have now gone back and changed it to 2 teas. and dialed back on the pepper too. Thanks for pointing that out to me.
      Since I have moved to the high desert I no longer have access to those awesome taco shops in San Diego so I had to start making my own. I’ve done that with some of my other taco shop favorites as well.
      And, a big heart felt “your welcome”!! I hope you have many more “future yuuuuuumms”.
      Take care and Happy Cooking!
      David

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    Thank you so much for posting your recipes! Like many other San Diego natives that have posted their appreciation, your recipes have been a greatly appreciated endearment for us here in Seattle craving our late night burrito runs. Two I have been working on are the fish taco batter from the Brigantine and the hot red salsa commonly found at all the local SD taco shops (La Posta, Alberto’s, Roberto’s, etc…). Any help would be greatly appreciated. Oh, your Chile Verde and pork recipe is OMG delicious, and you Pico de Gallo recipe is spot on…PROPS!

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      Hi Steve,

      Thanks for your comment! I’m glad to hear you’re liking the recipes and any S.D. native knows about those late night burrito runs.. LOL!

      As for the San Diego style hot sauce (the kind in the little cups) you can take the pico de gallo recipe and add a little bit more salt and some water (about a cup or so) and pulse it in a blender. That will give you pretty much the same thing.

      I have also just added a post for a great Mexican style salsa to the blog. The kind you get with the chips when you first sit down in a good Mexican restaurant. You can find that HERE.

      As for the fish tacos, I don’t have a recipe for that yet but I think I know what your looking for so I did a little checking and found 3 recipes all S.D. style. Here’s a link to the page. Just scroll down and you’ll find them. One is for batter fried, one oven baked and one shrimp, hope you like them :-)

      Anyway, I hope that helps and by the way… no need for a burrito run now since you can make them at home!
      Happy Cooking and Enjoy!

      David

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    OMG I’m so glad you put this recipe on the web! I was born and raised in SD and my boyfriend and I are all the way over here in Ohio looking for these tacos at the Mexican Restaurants here.. They don’t know what I’m talking about whenever i ask, and they put the meat in a ready made hard taco shell and so I gave up asking. Thank you so much for putting this recipe out there for me to find..:) I made it last night and it was awesome!! I added a little more water because the sauce was thickening too fast and I didn’t want it to come out too salty either but they came out perfect!! My boyfriend loved them. Your the best!!

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      Hi Cheli,

      Thank you for trying the recipe and I’m glad you found me :-) I would also like to welcome you to my cooking blog. I’m sure you’ll find some other tasty recipes here so please come back and try some more things. I hear it’s hard to find good SoCal Mexican food back there so I’m glad I could help you. I would also like to thank you for all of your praise, it’s really nice to hear! So, thanks again and Happy Cooking!
      David

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      I lived in San Diego for 7 years and another good mix to this is flank steak marinated in lawreys seasoning salt 1 orange 1 lime and scallions then grill and chop it up. Thats how the meat market i went to in south San Diego marinated their Carne Asada.

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        Hi Brad,

        Thanks for your input, that sounds like a delicious recipe for Carne Asada tacos!
        Cheers!
        David

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    I’m reading all of these reviews is making me hungry. I must try this tonight! Since I’m such a procrastinator I’m going to try to make the beef in my pressure cooker! Wish me luck!

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      Hi Emily,

      First, I’d like to wish you good luck! I always want people to enjoy the recipes and hope I did a good enough job of writing them down so they will be easy to follow :-)
      I’ve never made this in a pressure cooker but I’m guessing it will take about 45 minutes or so. Please let me know how long you cooked it for, I’d be very interested to know that.
      You may still have a lot of liquid left since pressure cookers hold everything in so you may want to boil it on high after taking the lid off to evaporate the liquid. I wouldn’t recommend dumping out the liquid as that is where most of the flavor will be.
      I know a little about procrastination myself and how it can hold people back from what they want but I’m glad to hear you are taking the initiative to make this… Great Job!! I’m sure your efforts will be rewarded.
      I’d also like to thank you for trying this recipe, it’s one of my favorites!
      Please let me know how it comes out and Happy Cooking!
      David

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    Made this with moose roast. Instead of tacos made burritos with black beans and brown rice. Very nice.

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      Hi NG McDonald,

      Thanks for your comment!
      That’s a great idea! I’ve never thought of using moose as a substitute, but then I don’t have access to that type of meat. How does it compare to beef? It’s really great to hear how creative you were with this recipe :-)
      Thanks for commenting.
      David

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    I didn’t have time for the frying this time, but I’m definitely trying it next week. I absolutely love the way the beef came out! I despise asking people (especially my father-in-law) for recipes so I googled for this one…. and I’m so glad I did! Even my father-in-law loved them! My guests left me with a completely empty pot! Thanks so much for the recipe :)

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      Hi Dori,

      Thanks for trying the beef, I’m happy to hear you and your guests enjoyed it!
      I use google a lot to get ideas for recipes, it’s a great tool. I don’t much ask people for recipes either since when I get an idea for something, more times than not I can’t find anyone who knows how to make what it is I’m looking for.
      Please let me know how your tacos come out when you try frying them and if you’re ever in the mood to try a new recipe, look me up, I might have what you’re looking for.
      Have a great day and Happy Cooking!
      David

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    Hi – I am from Sydney, AUS and everyone and all the recipes here makes mexican with mince, I have been searching for a recipe to make it with shredded beef like the mexican restaurant that we love and finally I found your recipe! I have made it once and both my husband and I loved it!!! I am making it again for dinner tomorrow adding your recipe for pico de gallo and guacamole.
    Thank you very much for a super yummy recipe.

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      Hi Trixie-belle,

      I’m glad you like the recipe and are making it again with the pico de gallo and guacamole, I think you’ll like the additions.

      For those who read this and don’t know what mince is (not to be confused with mincemeat) it is ground meat. In the U.S. hamburger would be considered as mince for example but any ground meat can be considered as mince.

      Please feel free to come back any time Trixie and try some other things, I think you’ll find some other recipes just as tasty.
      Take care and Happy Cooking!
      David

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      HI Alyson,

      I would recommend doing the first quick fry to make them pliable and then you can fill them, “toothpick” them and then bake them in a 350 degree oven for about 8-12 minutes a side. This will make them less greasy but still crispy and delicious. Then assemble per instructions. I hope this helps.
      David

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    Fantastic! You can make tacos and freeze them provided you have a vacuum sealer with a manual setting to prevent crushing the shells. When reheating them use the oven or a toaster oven. I added a dried chili to the sauce and used less salt but otherwise a great recipe!

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      Hi Jeffrey,

      Thanks for trying the recipe, I’m glad you like the tacos. You can use ziplock freezer bags as well if you don’t have a vacuum sealer, they work well too. I like your idea about the dried chili as well, that’s a great addition. Hope to see you back trying more recipes!
      David

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    These tacos were delicious!!!! I’m from Cali. moved out to Texas about ten years ago. I miss my Cali. style food. I know how to make most of what I missed. The shredded beef tacos were the one thing I didn’t know how to make. Out here it’s all fajitas or ground beef. Me and my wife don’t get out to Cali. very often. they do got them in New Mexico where she is from. But when your craving them out here, you can’t get them. This recipe is just like home. YUMMMMM!!!!

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      Hi Rene,

      Thanks for trying them! I know what you mean about people using hamburger in Mexican food, I hear that all the time. People can use hamburger and it tastes ok but it’s not Mexican. I’ve never found a Mexican restaurant that uses hamburger other than Taco Bell or Del Taco out here in California. It’s a shame you can’t find quality Mexican food everywhere, most people don’t know what they’re missing.
      David

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    Just tried this recipe tonight and it was to die for! Amazing! Exactly what I have been looking for. Thank you for sharing!

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      Thank you Alicia,

      It’s always nice to hear comments like this:-) Tell a friend and be sure to come back and try some other goodies!
      Take care.
      David

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    Hi David,
    I used to live in SoCal and then also in Phoenix and got addicted to these tacos. I moved back to PA a couple years ago and have searched in vain for a close approximation. I went to Seattle a month ago and had some great beef tacos which spurred me on to look for a recipe.

    I’ve got the meat on the stove, and I’m looking forward to some delicious tacos tonight.

    Thank you!
    Emily

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      Hi Emily,

      It is hard to find good Mexican style tacos on the east coast from what I’ve heard. Thank you for trying this recipe, I hope it’s what you’ve been looking for. I’d be happy to hear what you think of them so please let me know.

      Take care and Happy Cooking!

      -David

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    My late grandpa made the best shredded beef tortas but sadly no one ever got his recipe (since it’s always “a little of this and a little of that”). I’ve been trying to find a similar recipe. Do you think this recipe would translate well into tortas?

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      Hi Mario,

      Absolutely, this shredded beef recipe can be used for tortas, burritos, enchiladas, tostadas, flautas etc. Just about any Mexican shredded beef recipe you can think of. I hope you’ll try it for multiple different things, it’s very adaptable.

      -David

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        Hi David,

        I finally got around to making this recipe last week. I did make it into tortas instead of tacos, and let me tell you, everyone loved them. I had never made shredded beef before but your directions were so clear that I had no problems. Thank you very much for sharing this. I’ll sure be trying more of your recipes in the future.

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          Hey Mario,

          I’m happy to hear it worked out for you. I’m going to have to try this for tortas as well, it sounds so good. I haven’t had a good torta in ages, I think it’s about time, thanks for reminding me and for trying the shredded beef :-)
          David

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    Like the above reviewers stated this recipes is Great! In all honesty, I have never left a review comment for a recipe before, but I feel this recipe deserves it. I have made these tacos three times now (I would’ve made it more, but I do not like to eat fried food that much.) Not only is this recipe easy to follow, but the end product turns out to be what was pictured. The first time I made this recipe, I used left over pot roast (pot roast is technically overcooked anyways) and then re-cooked/simmered it with the recipe’s spices, and it turned out so great that it is now one of my boyfriend’s favorite dishes. I have made it again following the recipe and it was wonderful. My boyfriend even requested that I make this for him for Valentine’s Day.

    To the recipe writer/blogger, thank you for this recipe and making all of your recipes easy to follow by including pictures and easy to read instructions to help describe what the food should look like during all of the steps of the cooking process.I will try additional recipes in the future, and I am sure they will be as great as this one.

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      Hi Marsha,

      Thank you, I feel honored to be the first recipe site for you to leave a comment and thanks for the high praise. I try to make the recipes as easy as possible to follow and the pictures are taken during the cooking process so they will be true to the recipe. This way people will know exactly what to expect and can stay on track while making the recipes.
      I hope you’ll find more stuff that will be as easy as these tacos, my goal is to help home chefs as much as possible:-)
      Happy Cooking!
      David

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    Oh man no way, this taco meat is now officially a part of every Super Bowl until the day I die > Go Green Bay #SB45 < The cilantro really made it nice, plus jalipinos and gaucamole on top!!

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      Thanks Shadrach,

      There’s something about Mexican food and football, for me they’re a perfect match. Thanks for making this recipe a keeper!
      David

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    We are getting ready to have these tacos for Super Bowl XLV #SP45 – I have been the taste tester for the last hour and the meat just keeps getting better and better. We are adding the onions now plus a little cilantro. I will add another comment after I eat my tacos and tell you if the seasoning needs to be toned down. So far so good, yummy and our house smells amazing!

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      Hi again Shadrach,

      I’m glad to hear it and yes, let me know how it turns out.
      David

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    Hi David,
    This is absolutely the best shredded beef recipe to follow! I have made several and this by far was the best. I did use a slow cooker because of work schedule. But once I got home, I put the beef into a skillet and add the about 2 cups of juice that was in the slow cooker and cooked it until the juice evaporates! Of course I had to get a wooden spoon to shred the meat! Overall, me, my wife, love this recipe!!! Can’t wait til next day off and follow your method of cooking this recipe!!! Thanks again!!!

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      Hi Hien,

      Thanks for trying the recipe! I’ve heard several people say they used a crock pot for the beef and they all said it worked fine. I think maybe I’ll have to try that as well. Thanks again and I hope the stove top method will work just as well for you. Hope to see you back for more and Happy Cooking!
      David

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    I absolutely love this recipe!!! I edited it a little bit to salty for our family, but still very delicious thank you for sharing!!!!

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      Hi Terry,

      I’m glad you like the tacos. I know they may be a little salty for some people and cutting back on it or changing any of the ingredients is something I’d recommend to anyone, to make them taste the way you want them. This recipe is made the way they make them in San Diego. A lot of people will add guacamole or sour cream which dilutes the salt flavor. Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad you edited it to your liking. Happy Cooking :-)

      -David

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    Hi David, A month later and the Saturday night gathering with friends to celebrate a birthday…Guess what they all ask for???? Authentic shredded beef tacos! Just had to let you know. They love these babies in Houston. Thank you. I had a bit of a scare…did my usual search for authentic shredded beef tacos and took me 10 mins to find your site. Dummy me has never bookmarked it or printed the recipe. Thought I was going to have to cancel the dinner party. Never again. You’ve been bookmarked and printed. If you’re ever in Houston, I’d love to make you some tacos.

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      Hi Marie,

      That’s great news! I’m so happy to hear your friends were asking for more! Say Happy Belated Birthday to the birthday boy or girl for me :-) Thanks for bookmarking me. Maybe you could try the chicken tacos on them sometime in the future and… if I ever get to Houston I’ll definately look you up and come over for some of your delicious tacos! Thanks for the invite! Take care and Happy Cooking!
      -David

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    Do you have a recipe for that rice that is next to the taco in the photo?

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    Thank you so much for this awesome recipe! Easy to make and taste so good!! I grew up in San Diego, moved to hawaii and now Im in Italy! And I always miss my beef tacos and taquitos…I dont feel so homesick anymore. Just knowing how to make these makes it easier to be far from home. Thanks again for a real yummy recipe! I will recommend your recipe to all my family and friends! Anyone checking the reviews before trying the recipe…JUST TRY IT! it is really good!!

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      Hi Midnite,

      It’s great to hear you liked the recipe and happy to bring a little bit of San Diego to Italy… Ciao! Thanks for spreading the word to your family and friends, I hope they will be as happy as you are with the tacos. Take care and Happy Cooking!
      -David

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    DAVID…THANK YOU!!! Talk about YUMM, YUMM, YUMM!! I grew up in SoCal and this is what I crave everytime I think of home and think of a taco or El Tepeyac — Manuel’s in East L.A. Tasty, golden brown and delish “fried” tacos. Lived in NYC for 15 years and missed these babies. Live in Houston now and they just don’t get the idea. I am fine to make them at home and friends always say it taste better then a restruant. I’ve made this recipe exactly several times and it is a HIT!!! My 5 and 7 year old just love them. Husband eats at least 4 sometimes 5 tacos. Very next day I make taquitos with the left over chuck using the same method but rolling instead of folding. Of course I served with fresh quacamole. Came back for the receipe because I am making these for a casual gathering of friends… Shredded beef tacos, rice, beans, Mexican beer, margaritas, gucamole and pico de gallo. QUE RICO!!!!!

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      Oh and by the by… I always use the least expensive chuck stew meat I can find. Made this today using 4 lbs of inexpensive chuck for $15.00.

      A hint for doing this for a large gathering, make the meat the day before, assemble the tacos and pop them in the fridge. Day of party, take out of fridge and bring to room temp (at least 2 hours) and fry these babies golden brown and DELISH!!! Man, do I miss SoCal hole in the wall taco joints!!

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        Hi again Marie,

        I do the same but I buy whole chuck roasts, I can usually get them for about $2.99 a pound and then cut it up myself. It’s usually a little cheaper since I don’t have to pay for someone else to cut the meat.
        I love your tips on prepping and cooking the tacos, that’s great advice! I will sometimes make a big batch of the meat (since it takes a while) and freeze what I don’t use for another time. I’ve also found that the assembled, uncooked tacos can be frozen and fried later, just don’t try to thaw them before frying, the tortillas will fall apart, just drop the frozen tacos into the hot oil. They’ll take a little longer to cook (5-6 min.) but come out the same. A great idea for a quick meal.

        Thanks again and Happy Cooking!

        -David

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      Hi Marie,

      Thank you very much for all of your praise! I’m glad they’re a hit with you and your family and great use of the leftovers! I sometimes do that myself :-) Sounds like you’re going to have an AWESOME party, eat a taco and drink a margarita for me LOL. Hope to see you back to try more recipes. Take care and have a great time!

      -David

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    I’m making these tonight with a deer roast I had in the freezer, can’t wait to see how it turns out! Had to put it in the crock pot, and it’s already smelling good :)

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      HI Kristen,

      I’ve never tried making this with deer meat, but that’s hard to come by in my neck of the woods :-) Let me know how they come out and if you could post your results I’m sure other people would be interested in your adaptation. Thanks for trying the recipe and great work!

      =David

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    I simply loved your carne asada and shredded chicken recipes, so I’m going to go way out on a limb here and try to redeem a VERY tough roast I cooked that was inedible as a “roast beef” by using this cooking method. I’ll let ya know the results.

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      Hi Dawn,

      Your cooked roast should work fine with this method. I’ve used leftover beef roasts in the past too. It’s a great way to utilize leftovers. Yes, I’d like to hear how it comes out. I’m also glad to hear you like come of the other recipes. Hope to hear from you again soon.
      Take care,
      -David

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    Instead of covering meat with water, could I use beer to give it extra flavor? Or would that be too much for this recipe?

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      Hi Tiffany,

      Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner, been very busy lately. I’ve never tried making it with beer but I’d recommend maybe about a half of a good quality Mexican beer (maybe Corona or Sol). That should give it a nice flavor. Let me know how it comes out. I might just try that myself :-) Thanks for the idea!
      -David

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    I moved away from Arizona in 1999 to Oregon. None of the restraunts here had tacos like in Az. So I had to make my own. This recipe is awesome and brings me back home.

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      Hi Cherlyn,

      Glad to be able to help. Come back and check out more recipes… the carne asada burrito recipe is very good as well.

      Also check my website for the newest recipes.

      Happy Cooking!
      -David

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    I loved your recipe! I do agree that it can be a little salty but everyone has different tastes. I followed the instructions given to another poster of adding more water for a five minute boil. I also threw in a potato just to be safe. It worked perfectly -almost too well. I can’t wait to have these for dinner with a splash of lime. Yum……
    David, can you tell me a cheap cut of meat that I can cube myself? My stew meat was $4.89lb which can get expensive in large amounts. I’d like to make a big batch for the freezer and even an upcoming potluck. Thank you.

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      Hi leslie,

      Thanks for giving the recipe a try, I’m glad you enjoyed it. Nice trick adding the potato to absorb the salt!
      As for a cheap cut of meat, whatever cut is on sale will work. If your store sends out a news letter advertising their sales I’d take a look at that first. Since it’s going to be shredded it does’t really matter. I’ve used everything from a rump roast to a cross rib roast. For a cheap cut I’d suggest chuck steak. it’s relatively inexpensive and has great flavor. For freezing, it freezes well and will last for 4 to 5 months without losing quality.

      Thanks again and Happy Cooking!
      -David

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    So good, everyone in my house loves them.. thank you.. now I need a good chili colorado recipe

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      Hi Ken,

      Thanks for your comment :-) Tacos are one of my favorites!
      Chili colorado?? Hmmm, sounds delicious! I’ll have to come up with a recipe for that, it’s making me hungry. Tender marinated steak and onions etc. in a tasty red sauce… yes, definitely making some of that! I’ll let you know when it’s posted.

      Happy Cooking,
      -David

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    These were great. I used the filling for the tacos and also burritos. Everyone raved about them. No more having to go for fast food and the cooking made the house smell so good. Seasoning was perfect!
    Thanks

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      Hi Liz,

      Thanks for trying the recipe, I’m glad everyone liked the meat. Great job using it for tacos and burritos!
      It also works well for enchiladas and tortas :-)
      Hope to see you back to try more recipes.
      Happy Cooking!
      -David

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    AWESOME recipe. Love the San Diego style shredded beef tacos and I have yet to find anything similar to those in Atlanta. When I came across this website earlier today I was ECSTATIC!!! I made the recipe and my meat is a little salty but that that’s my own fault. I loved it.

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      Hi Chanel,

      Thanks for trying the recipe and Welcome! This is one of the most popular recipes here. I’m sorry to hear it was a little salty but I’m glad you liked them. I hope to see you back to try another recipe or two.
      Take care and HAPPY COOKING!
      -David

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    Hey David:

    Quick question for you. The recipe for the meat I have used before in my enchiladas (superb, btw)… Last night, I made the tacos according to the directions, and while the prepped tacos that were prepped last and were cooked first turned out perfect, the ones that I had prepped first split at the seam when I went to place them in to fry them. At first I thought that perhaps the tortilla had cooled too much and that caused them to split, but from what I’m reading, the temperature of the prepped taco shouldn’t matter too much. Can you give me some input on what I may have done wrong?

    I’m also looking to see if I can incorporate this same recipe into rolled tacos… My beloved taquitos from Chula Vista!!! Any pointers you give on that would be helpful as well!

    Thanks!!

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      Hi Kim,

      That’s interesting… If I’m reading you right it sounds like you prepped all the tacos at the same time but the first few you prepped, ie; last ones cooked, split. There could be a couple of reasons why:

      1. Maybe the oil wasn’t hot enough at the beginning which tends to make the tortillas “mushy” and fall apart.
      2. If the oil was hot enough, they may have not been cooked long enough which tends to make them “mushy as well.
      3. Maybe a combination of both 1 and 2, oil not hot enough and not cooked long enough.
      4. If the tortillas were bought in a bulk pack and had been refrigerated for a few week or more, the top few tortillas may have dried out a little and lost their original consistency.

      I hope one of these reasons will help to solve the problem:-)

      The prepped tacos can be refrigerated for a few days (stored in a ziplock bag) so you are correct about the temperature of the prepped tacos not being a factor.

      Also… thanks for using the recipe to make your enchiladas!

      As for rolled tacos, absolutely! You can use this recipe and substitute the chicken for beef.

      I hope this answers your questions and if you have any more, I’d be glad to help…. HAPPY COOKING!

      Take care,
      -David

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    I’ve made these tacos several times and everyone LOVES them. They’re my standard dinner party food now. If people are coming over, I’m making tacos. I’m going to try your chicken tacos for my party this Friday. Thanks for sharing!
    Oh, I don’t put nearly as much salt as the recipe calls for. It still has tons of flavor without all the extra salt.

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      Thanks April,

      I think you’ll enjoy the chicken tacos as well. Might I also suggest the carne asada burrito recipe, it’s also a winner.

      I’ve had several comments about the amount of salt in this recipe so I’ve changed it. I really appreciate your honesty, it helps me improve.

      Thanks again and let me know how they like the chicken tacos :-) You may want to double the recipe!

      -David

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    I made the recipe last night, but not in the crockpot and it was delicious!!! My boyfriend loves mexican food and he absolutely loved them. Surprisingly, so did my 7 year old daughter. I did have to agree that the seasoning was a little bit much, but I did what you said above and it solved the problem. These are excellent! Thank you so much for the recipe, it will become a regular in our house.

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      Thank you Efi,

      I’m happy to hear everyone liked them:-) Hope to see you back to try more recipes.

      Happy Cooking!
      -David

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    I am a single mom that usually doesn’t have time to make things like this after work cause we would be eating at 10:00 at night :) I would love to come home to this recipe though. Do you think I could make the shredded beef in a crockpot?

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      Hi Efi,

      You can make it in a crock pot but I would recommend making the shredded beef the night before according to the instructions in the recipe, cool and refrigerate it. The next day the 4 hour cooking time will have already been done so stuffing, frying and assembly will only take about an hour.
      Or, you can cook the meat and assemble the tacos up to the “toothpick stage” but do not fry. Refrigerate overnight and then fry them according to the frying instructions. This way only takes about 30 minutes.
      It’s also best to prep the lettuce, tomatoes and cheese just before frying the tacos for the freshest product.
      I hope this helps and if you have any more questions please feel free to contact me at gourmetwizard@yahoo.com
      =David

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    Attempted the recipe yesterday and was rather happy with the result. After the 4 hours, the texture of the meat was superb.

    The level of seasoning, particularly the pepper and possibly the salt seemed too much, especially if I were serving them to friends & family.

    Will adjust the salt & pepper when I make the next batch, but was curious if others had a similar experience?

    Thanks for the recipe.

    Cheers
    Nathan

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      Hi Nathan,

      No one has commented on the seasoning and I’m sorry to hear there was too much seasoning for you. Typically with this type of meat it’s supposed to be a little over seasoned so it will stand out after adding the toppings, such as lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream, guacamole etc.

      I’m glad you brought it up and I have a little trick for you… after the meat has been cooked and you find it a little strong just add a few cups of water to the meat, bring it back to the boil for about 3-5 minutes and then drain off the liquid.

      The extra water will extract out some of the seasoning from the meat and then simply drain it off. This should “tone” it down for you. Hope this helps and thank you so much for your feedback… I really appreciate comments like this as they help me to improve on my recipe writing.

      Take care and HAPPY COOKING!

      -David

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    Cooking the meat for the tacos. My kitchen smells wonderful! I look forward to dinner tonight. Thanks for the recipe.

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      Great!!

      Thanks for trying the recipe Renee… Let me know how they turn out… HAPPY COOKING :-)

      -David

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        Ok, I just had to come back to this site this morning to comment on this recipe. Incredible! Frying the tortillas made so much difference. The meat flavor was fantastic. I could go on and on… Thanks so much for the recipe.

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          Hi Renee,

          Thanks for getting back to me… I’m very happy to hear you enjoyed the tacos! The meat is pretty awesome and the crunchiness of the shells, well, that just makes for a great taco :-) I hope to see you back to try more great recipes. Thanks again and HAPPY COOKING!!

          Take care,
          -David

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    You are paying $4.50 for a taco at Macayos or Garcias????? These are better!!!

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      Thanks Jeff,

      Isn’t that crazy…paying that much for a taco? It cost me about $17 or $18 or about the cost of 4 at that price. The difference is I got about 18 tacos for my money. That’s about $1.00 per taco!

      -David

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    mmm. I need to stop checking your site when I’m hungry.

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