A staple dish in Matamoros, Mexico, this simple recipe starts with ground beef mixed with spices that you already have in your kitchen and turns into a great family dinner! Perfect to 'make ahead' on busy days. Serve with warm corn or flour tortillas, Spanish rice, and beans-a-la-charra.

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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Place the ground chuck in a large skillet, and season with chili powder, paprika, cumin, salt, garlic powder, and garlic. Pour in enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 1 hour. Add more water as necessary during cook time, and break the meat into small pieces.

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  • Mix the bell pepper and onion into the skillet, and continue to simmer 30 minutes. Drain and reserve juices. Skim the fat off the juices(or, if not preparing the tacos right away, place juices in the freezer until fat may be easily removed from the top). Mix 5 tablespoons of the remaining juices back into the skillet with the beef, and cook until heated through.

  • Serve the beef on the tortillas. Garnish with queso asadero, sour cream, tomato, and lettuce.

Nutrition Facts

629 calories; 39.1 g total fat; 128 mg cholesterol; 868 mg sodium. 33 g carbohydrates; 38.4 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (93)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
12/25/2006
Wonderful recipe for ground beef taco meat! This is indeed how it is made in mexico.. although in the states we are more used to browning the meat first and then adding packaged seasonings (which are always high in sodium). If possible drain the meat really well and chill the broth. You will get the best separation of fat broth and...well...sludge. Toss the fat gently scoop out the broth that has set up (kinda like jello) and toss the rest. I returned all the chilled broth to meat and simmered it on med. high to reduce the amount of liquid.. there is no sense tossing all of that flavor infused broth that adds to much to the taste! Thanks for the great authentic recipe! Love the flavor of this dish! Read More
(67)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
03/06/2008
uh no this is not authentic-tasting. i grew up in deep south texas then lived in laredo for 5 (long) years. with all the rave reviews i thought i was in for a treat and ditched my own way of making taco meat. i was so dissappointed last night that i made another batch today using way more spice since the orig. is quite bland. it was better but not great. i sooooo disagree with the boiling method and cannot ever remember eating a taco with this consistency in matamoros reynosa progresso nuevo laredo mexico city monterrey san miguel etc etc and all points in between. i honestly thought the second batch would be a huge hit but even with the zippier spices (jalapenos way more garlic oregano cayenne diced tomatoes potatoes etc) no cigar. authentic taco meat is supp. to be soft just not soft and slightly rubbery. we'll eat this pot full o' mush cuz anything is pretty much edible wrapped in a tortilla heaped with sour cream cheese and salsa. Read More
(27)
107 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 61
  • 4 star values: 26
  • 3 star values: 11
  • 2 star values: 9
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
12/25/2006
Wonderful recipe for ground beef taco meat! This is indeed how it is made in mexico.. although in the states we are more used to browning the meat first and then adding packaged seasonings (which are always high in sodium). If possible drain the meat really well and chill the broth. You will get the best separation of fat broth and...well...sludge. Toss the fat gently scoop out the broth that has set up (kinda like jello) and toss the rest. I returned all the chilled broth to meat and simmered it on med. high to reduce the amount of liquid.. there is no sense tossing all of that flavor infused broth that adds to much to the taste! Thanks for the great authentic recipe! Love the flavor of this dish! Read More
(67)
Rating: 5 stars
12/25/2006
Wonderful recipe for ground beef taco meat! This is indeed how it is made in mexico.. although in the states we are more used to browning the meat first and then adding packaged seasonings (which are always high in sodium). If possible drain the meat really well and chill the broth. You will get the best separation of fat broth and...well...sludge. Toss the fat gently scoop out the broth that has set up (kinda like jello) and toss the rest. I returned all the chilled broth to meat and simmered it on med. high to reduce the amount of liquid.. there is no sense tossing all of that flavor infused broth that adds to much to the taste! Thanks for the great authentic recipe! Love the flavor of this dish! Read More
(67)
Rating: 5 stars
07/02/2005
This was VERY good. I've eaten many times in Matamoros and Progresso Mexico (Garcia's and Angel's restaurants) and this IS what it tastes like. I doubled the recipe for a party of 7. Everyone loved it! Will try it in taco salad next time. Pay no attention to the bad review. It's worth a try! Read More
(41)
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Rating: 4 stars
10/11/2007
I would have given this a five star if I didnt have to change it so much. I added 1/4 cup chopped onion 1 large roma tomato chopped 1/3 cup of corn (our personal fav version) and salt pepper oregano garlic powder onion powder and 1/4 cup of tomato sauce. put in fried tortilla shells topped with tomato salsa lettuce and sour cream and it was delicious I guess I can say thanks for the inspiration the recipe as written wasnt that great though. Read More
(38)
Rating: 2 stars
03/06/2008
uh no this is not authentic-tasting. i grew up in deep south texas then lived in laredo for 5 (long) years. with all the rave reviews i thought i was in for a treat and ditched my own way of making taco meat. i was so dissappointed last night that i made another batch today using way more spice since the orig. is quite bland. it was better but not great. i sooooo disagree with the boiling method and cannot ever remember eating a taco with this consistency in matamoros reynosa progresso nuevo laredo mexico city monterrey san miguel etc etc and all points in between. i honestly thought the second batch would be a huge hit but even with the zippier spices (jalapenos way more garlic oregano cayenne diced tomatoes potatoes etc) no cigar. authentic taco meat is supp. to be soft just not soft and slightly rubbery. we'll eat this pot full o' mush cuz anything is pretty much edible wrapped in a tortilla heaped with sour cream cheese and salsa. Read More
(27)
Rating: 4 stars
03/22/2012
I used a red bell pepper instead of green and I increased both the amounts of the bell pepper and the onion to whole instead of half. I also did NOT use the full amount of salt just enough to taste. Authentic or not our family liked this "taco" meat. I made a Make-Your-Own-Taco-Bar last night using this meat and with the other toppings I also added more chopped onion avocado and homemade salsa. There wasn't much left over. Read More
(20)
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Rating: 5 stars
03/13/2014
I am the original poster of this recipe.. an addition would be to simmer the ground meat.. whether it be a combination of turkey/beef/or pork in fat free Swanson chicken broth and definitely add 3 to 5 bay leaves to the meat/broth mixture.. adjust the seasonings to your liking. Read More
(17)
Rating: 3 stars
12/07/2010
I thought these were just okay. They were very soft but they just didnt have much flavor to me. I added about a 1/4 teaspoon extra of the seasonings which helped a little but not much. We ate them the first night and had lots of leftovers so I made chili out of the meat and it turned out great. Read More
(15)
Rating: 5 stars
03/02/2007
Very authentic! I didn't realize it when I started this recipe that it's time consuming so I started it one night & finished the next. Used lean ground beef. It's delicious. Use the authentic cheese which is saltier than we are used to. It goes perfect with the less salty meat. Read More
(15)
Rating: 5 stars
07/26/2010
Excellent excellent way to cook taco meat. I have hated the packaged seasoning for so long and never use up a whole batch if I make my own so this makes sense for us. I halved the recipe and there was still enough meat for three meals for two of us. Simmering in water is just the perfect way to make the meat tender and tasty! Thanks for a great recipe. Read More
(11)