Looking for an easy one-pan dinner to spice up the weeknight meal routine?!
These Tacos de Alambre will fit the bill as they are wildly satisfying and more than willing to accommodate what you've got in the fridge.
How To Make Tacos de Alambre
Think fajitas or kebobs in taco form and you're right on track. Alambre translates as "wire", so the original impetus for this dish most likely came from grilled skewers.
There's flexibility in the cut of meat, but lately it seems like I'm always reaching for skirt steak or boneless short ribs.
Here's what a single pound of boneless short ribs looks like:
When sliced thin this cut will cook in a matter of minutes, and it's got plenty of marbling that helps with flavor and moistness when grilling at high temps.
And while you can definitely give this cut an extended marinade (as seen in Short Ribs Carne Asada), you can get by with a thorough salting for quick meals and that's what I did for this batch.
The other reason I skip the marinade for Tacos de Alambre can be summed up in one word....
Yes, bits of crispy bacon are traditionally part of these tacos and we'll use the leftover bacon drippings to cook the meat -- that'll give it plenty of flavor for this quick meal.
Start by cooking the bacon over medium heat. I usually chop up the raw bacon first, but keep in mind this will be troublesome if your knife has gotten dull!
Once the bacon is cooked you can set it aside until you need it.
But save those bacon drippings! I usually spoon out and set aside half of the drippings for cooking the onion and jalapeno.
These are thinly sliced short ribs so they get to medium rare quickly, just a minute or two per side. Once the meat is cooked you can set it aside and cover with foil.
Note that this recipe will all fit nicely in a 10" pan, but I did cook the meat in two batches.
To cook the onion and jalapeno I added the rest of the bacon drippings to the same pan and gave them just a couple minutes to soften up.
I used 3 jalapenos for this batch and that gave it some zip!
But you can always dial back on the jalapenos for a milder batch. You could also use a traditional green pepper for a no-heat batch. How hot are Jalapenos?
Once the onion and jalapeno have softened we'll chop the beef into bite-sized pieces and add it back to the pan along with the bacon.
Bring every thing up to temp and just like that it's ready to serve!
There's something quite satisfying about a single pan meal, so I'm in the habit of garnishing in this pan and plopping it in the middle of the dinner table.
For this batch I topped with:
2 Roma tomatoes
Queso Fresco What is Queso Fresco?
freshly chopped cilantro
squeeze of lime juice
But feel free to get creative with your Alambre fixings.
While the steak was cooking I also whipped up a Salsa de Aguacate.
Salsa de Aguacate is a mild, creamy sauce that works wonders when paired with bold, spicy meats.
It only takes a few minutes to make this delicious green sauce, so please keep it in mind if you've got an avocado laying around.
Just plop these ingredients in a blender and give it a whirl:
1/2 garlic clove
4-5 sprigs cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup water
If it's not combining readily then add another splash of water.
Goop some of this delicious green sauce on your Tacos de Alambre and all will be well in the world for a few bites.
Don't forget to warm up your tortillas before serving. For big groups it's fine to just warm up a stack and plop 'em on the table, but for 1-2 people I think it's worth giving the tortillas a couple minutes in a dry skillet over medium heat. This not only warms up the tortillas but will slightly crisp them up as a bonus.
Okay, let me know if you have any questions about these Tacos de Alambre. I think this recipe has a great reward-to-effort ratio as you can get delicious, satisfying tacos on the table in less than 30 minutes. Sound good?
Tacos de Alambre
- 1 lb. steak (I used boneless short ribs)
- 4 slices bacon
- 1 small onion
- 3 jalapenos
- 2 roma tomatoes
- 1 cup Queso Fresco (or cheese of your choice)
- freshly chopped cilantro
- 10-12 corn tortillas
For the Salsa de Aguacate:
- 1 avocado
- 1/4 cup water
- juice of 1 lime
- 4-5 sprigs cilantro
- 1/2 garlic clove
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Start by chopping up 4 slices of bacon into 1/4" sized pieces. Add bacon to a skillet over medium heat, stirring regularly.
- As the bacon is cooking you can give the beef a thorough salting on both sides. These short ribs were already sliced thin, but I did quickly pound them down to ensure even cooking.
- Once the bacon is cooked set it aside for later. There should be plenty of bacon drippings left in the pan that we'll use to cook the remaining ingredients. I usually spoon off about half of the bacon drippings into a ramekin and set it aside for the onion and jalapeno.
- Add the beef to the pan. These short ribs needed just 1-2 minutes per side to reach medium rare (I used a little over medium heat). Once the beef is cooked you can set it aside and cover with foil. Note: I cooked the beef in two batches.
- Finely chop a single small onion. Rinse, de-stem, and finely chop three jalapenos. Add the remaining bacon drippings to the pan along with the chopped onion and jalapeno. For a milder batch you can use less jalapeno or even a green pepper.
- Cook the onion and jalapeno for a few minutes over medium heat until softened. Chop up the meat into bite-sized pieces and add it back to the pan along with the bacon pieces. Once everything is up to temp it's ready to serve.
- Top with your choice of fixings. For this batch I used 2 Roma tomatoes, plenty of Queso Fresco, freshly chopped cilantro, and a big squeeze of lime. Serve immediately next to a stack of corn tortillas.
- You can optionally serve your Tacos de Alambre with Salsa de Aguacate. To make the Salsa de Aguacate, combine the following ingredients in a blender or food processor: the flesh of a ripe avocado, 1/4 cup water, juice of 1 lime, 4-5 sprigs of cilantro, 1/2 peeled garlic clove, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Combine well and taste for seasoning. If it's not combining readily simply add additional splashes of water.
- Be sure to warm up the corn tortillas before serving. For big groups you can either put the tortillas in the oven for a few minutes or cover them with a damp paper towel and nuke them for 60 seconds. For smaller groups I like to put them in a dry skillet over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until they are warm and slightly crispy. More info on warming up corn tortillas.
Want to see the latest post? It's this Chili con Carne made with Ground Beef.