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Jun 12, 2007 10:09 AM

Father's Day - taco/burrito bar

Hi hounds -

We're doing a taco bar for 12 people for Father's Day, where various people are bringing fillings, tortillas, salsa, etc. I'm in charge of the meat (since I'm the only real cook in my family), and I've never been real inventive when it comes to tacos (ground beef, chicken), so I haven't tried doing carnitas or carne asada. Any good recipes come to mind? I have access to a plethora of good Mexican markets, so I should be able to source any ingredient relatively easily.

Any advice is appreciated! Thanks.

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  1. Chorizo is nice and it is easy. Cooked greens and cheese (queso blanco)make awesome veggie tacos.

    Most latin markets speak enough english to help with things such as carne asada. The genuine article is thin cut "flap meat' . I believe it called arracharra (spelling?) when translated.

    Rick Bayless cookbooks have some suggestions for "taco parties". Check them out.

    1. If you live near a Trader Joe's, they have a great pre-marinated carne asada in their fresh meat case.

      1. I make taco/fajita bars all the time. My favorite carne asada-esque recipe is to use a 2 lb cut of either flank steak or skirt steak (although flap meat is the traditional choice as Brandon pointed out) and marinate it overnight in

        1/4 cup worcestshire
        8 cloves fresh garlic chopped
        1/2 cup chopped cilantro
        2 tblsp lime juice
        1 tblsp red chili powder or ancho powder
        1 tblsp cumin powder
        1 tblsp mexican oregano
        1 tblsp montreal steak seasoning
        salt and pepper
        2 tblsp oilve oil
        1 tblsp white vinegar

        for a little extra heat you can blend in a couple of chipotles.

        I have never actually measured out the ingredients so play around with it if it doesn't look right.

        1. The recipe linked below, for "Grilled Garlic Marinated Skirt Steak with Lime" from Gourmet is a really tasty version that is great for tacos.

          If you do live in a neighborhood with a lot of good Mexican markets, I assume you also have Mexican meat markets (carcinerias) near you? If so, another option might be to investigate the pre-marinated (uncooked) carne asada from your local markets -- I live in Los Angeles, and some of the carcinerias have fantastic marinated carne asada, which you can buy by the pound and grill at home.

          1 Reply
          1. re: DanaB

            Yes, someone mentioned that today on another board; knowing that my weekend is going to be busy, I'm leaning towards that option.


            Thanks for the suggestions - they all sound great!

          2. i LOVE to make carnita meat! the easiest way to me (and tastiest and lightest!) to prepare the meat is to buy a flank steak, throw it in a crockpot with a bottle of "good" beer, juice of one lime and enough orange juice to cover the meat. cook 4 hrs on high, and the meat will shred oh-so-nicely!

            1 Reply
            1. re: britterbeezer

              Interesting... I have never heard of beef carnitas, only pork. Is there enough fat left over to crisp it up?