Monday, July 4, 2011

Real Shredded Beef Taco's

I recently had the pleasure of learning how to make real authentic shredded beef tacos from someone who knows how to make real authentic shredded beef tacos and I must say my whole 33 years of life I have never had a real beef taco before. That was up until a couple weeks ago when I not only got a hands on lesson but I observed, participated, and indulged in some real taco making and eating. I got it down and prepared them for my fathers Birthday Fiesta this past 4th of July weekend.
Now this meal takes some time and planning ahead but it is well worth it. I got a 5-6 pound brisket and it made about 30 tacos total. The meat is simmered in a salty broth with lots of garlic and cooked till done. You really cant put a time on how long it cooks. Maybe 3-4 hours? You will know its done when it is easy to shred so don't be afraid to test shred it. You cant over cook it and the longer it cooks the better and easier to shred.
It's best to make the beef a few days ahead and break up the shredding over a couple days. You just need to make sure you warm the beef up in the same broth before shredding for the best results. When it comes to the shredding you might want to get some extra hands involved. Or else you will be shredding for days. With 2 of us shredding it took about 2.5-3 hours. It's not so bad if you put on some good music and pop some shreds of beef into your mouth every once and a while. Make sure the meat is hot and stays in the broth before shredding to keep it moist. Cut small pieces off at a time to shred, remove the pieces from the broth and continue to do this until it is totally shredded. Shred it thin and I mean THIN. Don't get lazy with this.
The shredded beef freezes fantastic too!Don't discard of any of the broth. You can freeze if for later use or use it for some Mexican rice to serve with the tacos. If the broth is salty and flavored enough you wont need to season the rice at all!
The corn tortillas were purchased from Tortilleria Lilly on University Avenue in City Heights. They open at 5am and close at 2pm. They are best corn tortillas I have ever had. The first time I went there I didn't do my research and they were already closed, so this time I went early in the morning. When I showed up there was a line out the door with eager customers waiting for fresh hot corn tortillas. They are made out of all white corn with a little yellow, no preservatives, and they have a short shelf life. So purchase these bad boys the day you plan to eat them. Sorry folks, no flour tortilla's here and cash only!
Fill the tortillas with some of the shredded beef. Don't use too much or else the tortilla will tear and you want room for the toppings.
Fold over and secure with a toothpick pretty close to the top of the tortilla.
You can assemble them about an hour ahead of time before guests arrive and cover with them a damp cloth so the tortillas don't get dry and tear. Just leave them out and don't refrigerate them.
When you are ready to fry them up get someone to help you and start an assembly line.

Lard is used to fry them in. I told you they are real and authentic didn't I? Fry them them a minute or two on each side until they are crispy but you don't want to make chips so make sure you watch them. Put them in a strainer lined with paper towels and pass them to the person who is going to pull out the toothpick (careful they will be hot) and dress them up with shredded iceberg lettuce and diced tomatoes.Serve them up with some fresh salsa, Mexican crema, cotija cheese, and fresh guacamole, Mexican rice and re-fried beans too.Oh wait, I can't forget the best part...Left overs! Breakfast the next day will be Machaca Con Huevos. Saute some diced onions, pasilla chili's, shredded beef with some scrambled eggs and serve with some left over heated tortillas, Mexican rice and sliced avocado.Ole!!!!
Real Shredded Beef Tacos
5-6 lb brisket
2 heads of garlic
corn tortillas
hand shredded iceberg lettuce
diced tomatoes
lard for frying
Cover the brisket and garlic cloves with salted water (about 3-4 tablespoons)
Cover and bring to boil. Simmer on medium to low heat for 3-4 hours or until done.
Thinly shred beef.
Place a little less then 1/4 of a cup of the beef in the tortilla. Fold over and secure with a toothpick. Heat lard up in pan and pan fry for about 1-2 minutes on each side.
Carefully remove the toothpick and place a handful of lettuce then tomatoes in each taco.
Enjoy some real shredded beef taco's!


  1. Thanks Julia! They are pretty insane! you have to make them! : )