Tacos with meat: which is the worst and best meat, according to chef Aarón Sánchez

Tacos with meat: which is the worst and best meat, according to chef Aarón Sánchez

The tacos al pastor, steak and carnitas are some of the most popular tacos in Mexico.

Photo: Los Muertos Crew / Pexels

Tacos are one of the most popular Mexican foods that have existed since pre-Hispanic times. There is a huge variety of tacos with different fillings such as pork, beef, chicken, fish, seafood, insects or just vegetables.

If you are planning to make tacos as they are traditionally made in Mexico, using ground beef is a no. Nor are they usually prepared with a hard shell like the tacos they serve at Taco Bell.

As we warned, the tacos can be of many fillings, the Aztecs filled them with fish, snails, escamoles (ant roe) nopales, among other stews. With the arrival of the Spanish, pork was included on the menu.

Pork is the meat used for one of the most popular tacos in Mexico: tacos al pastor. Other favorite tacos are: carnitas (pork) tacos; barbecue tacos (lamb or goat meat); tacos de pibil (pork); tacos de bistec (beef) tacos de canasta, the common fillings are chorizo, longaniza or pork rinds, beef marinade, potatoes and beans; tacos de suadero (beef); birria tacos (beef); and tacos de cabeza (beef).

Ground beef is not the best choice

If you want to make pork tacos, the worst option is ground beef. “That’s not good,” chef Aarón Sánchez, current judge of “MasterChef”, told Food and Wine.

Sánchez prefers a cut of beef, shoulder of lamb or goat cooked over low heat, simply marinated with ancho chile, garlic and Mexican oregano.

Tips for making tacos

Sánchez also shares other important recommendations such as:

Use soft tortillas. In Mexico, tacos are made with soft tortillas. Except for the golden tacos. Tortillas are often fried to make toast.

For a perfect consistency and temperature, Sánchez suggests heating the tortillas on a griddle with a jet of water and oil in equal parts.

Leave a meatless space around the taco. The chef recommends that when placing the meat, a quarter-inch space is left around the tortilla so that the contents do not spill.

Small omelette. Taqueras tortillas are smaller than typical tortillas. It is also common for street tacos to be served with a double tortilla to prevent the taco from breaking with the moisture and weight of the filling.

Sánchez opts for 4-inch corn tortillas that come down to two bites. “If you have a 6-inch tortilla, when you take a bite, things start to fall off.”

Use white onion. For your onion and coriander garden in Mexico white onions are used, they are softer than the Spanish ones.

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