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?
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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.
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Very good but I like a bit more flavor. I only used 1large jalapeno and 2 small onions with a pound of what was labeled carne asada. I will definitely make it again.....yum.
Mary Denise Webster
I am looking forward to trying out all these delicious recipes . I live in Las Vegas and you would think I could find a great authentic Mexican restaurants. If anyone knows of one please let me.
Thanks Mary! Unfortunately this seems to be the case in most cities North of the border 🙂 Cheers.
These tacos were quick, easy, and best of all--everyone raved about them!
Thanks much Edie, so glad this one is a keeper for you. Cheers.
Love your site, just wondering where you buy boneless short ribs and how much are they a lb?
Looking at alternatives: At Aldi, they sell "Black Angus Country Style Beef Ribs" which are basically just 5 x 1.5 x 1.5-inch lengths of beef chuck. I often use them, but wonder if I could cut them into strips to use in this recipe? Alternatively, they also sell Black Angus Carne Picado, which I also wonder if it could be used? I'm sure your boneless short ribs would be better, but not sure where to get that here in NE Wisconsin, and even purchasing WITH the bone, they are quite expensive here.
Just made your pasilla chile salsa today, it is really wonderful. I ended up soaking a few arbols to buzz in there, because I wanted more heat without more chipotle flavor (which I also used a touch of). I've tossed the sauce with some left over chopped carnitas and we'll be having Low Carb Chimichangas with it tonight, with your Salsa de Aguacate right here! Yummo!
We have that Aldi carne picada on hand...so tomorrow we may make the alambre here if you think it would work?
Thank you so much, LOVING your site, even if I do have to make stuff low-carb. It's rare for me to get so many immediate ideas from one visit to a site. For instance, I'm a tired ol' person & your idea of just sprinkling all of the fresh toppings right over the meat in the skillet and letting family spoon the filling straight into the taco is brilliant weeknight idea, saves on dishing up and washing all of those little "fixin's" containers.
Hey Mary thanks much for your note, I'm so glad you are finding plenty of ideas of my site! And lots that are energy efficient too 🙂
The boneless short ribs in my area are about 8 bucks a pound. This is a cut that's taken from above the ribs near the chuck and it might have different naming conventions depending on region. Skirt steak would be my first alternative to reach for as I use that all the time in Carne Asada dishes. Here's more details on it:
Skirt steak info
If the Black Angus Ribs cut that you mention has plenty of marbling then I would be tempted to try it out, but it's tough to say for sure as sometimes grocers label those cuts so generically. Maybe see if Aldi carries skirt steak as that will be a great equivalent and will lead to lots of other easy meals too 🙂
Oh so good! the hints of bacon you get in every bite is outstanding! Everything on your site brings my family back to living closer to the border. We paired this with your flour tortillas which I make a double patch of at least once a week and loved it, paired with the salsa de aguacate was perfection. Thank you again!
When are you releasing a cookbook? We will happily buy one!
Thanks Harrison! Yeah the bacon really makes a big difference in this dish and it makes me want to experiment more with Bacon Tacos 🙂 Cheers.
This tastes like sitting on a plastic chair in the street on a Saturday night at a taco stand. We used a big nonstick pan and didn't need to use all the bacon fat but don't leave it all out, it is essential.
Thanks Laura! Yeah it's amazing what a bit of bacon can do to these tacos 🙂 Cheers.
This is one of my favorite Mexican meals to make for people because it's so accessible but still totally authentic. I usually make it with bell peppers instead of jalapeños and make 2 or 3 different salsas so that people can decide how hot (or not) they want their tacos.
Thanks Duffuser! Hey that's a good idea to make the main dish mild but serve it next to a few different Salsas with varying heat. Noted 🙂 Cheers.