The almighty brisket is Mexico’s humble suadero. This is a dish that we see in street stalls all over Mexico City. It’s usually in a cauldron of boiling fat, often alongside some chorizo, onions, and lots of mystery meat. When I’m in El Centro craving tacos, I try to stop by Los Cocuyos. There are eyes, snouts, and sweetbreads in that cauldron, but tempting as those are, I can’t resist their suadero.As much as I love a simple suadero taco, I wanted to find a way to elevate the dish a little bit, while capturing the same satisfying flavors and textures of a well-cooked slab of brisket. The chiles in this braising liquid enhance the meat’s natural depth, while the radish salsa provides refreshing acid and crunch. This is a fun, easy centerpiece for a taco party.
Short of investing in a vertical broiler, this hack is the closest you’ll get to al pastor tacos at home.
After my mom passed away, my aunt used to make us tons of tacos de papa dorados—basically mashed potatoes inside a tortilla either folded or rolled up like a flauta and fried—and leave them in big bags in the fridge. My friends and I would grab a few, microwave them, smother them in tart, fresh, bright-green tomatillo salsa, and wolf them down while watching episodes of Richard Bey. It’s a casero-style (homemade) snack, sort of like a Hot Pocket. You wouldn’t really see these on a menu anywhere. So when I first got the cart, I figured why not make this taco with a few modifications.
Cochinita pibil is the pride of the Yucatan peninsula—a dish of smoky, slow-roasted pork marinated in a special blend of ingredients including cinnamon, allspice, and achiote (annatto) seed. Cochinita means “baby pig,” and the real-deal recipes use a whole suckling pig. Traditionally the whole thing is wrapped in banana leaves and then buried in a pib—a pit with a fire at the bottom. Here I use Boston butt and employ a two-stage “grill-and-swim” cooking process to make things a little more convenient and a lot juicier. Pregrilling the meat adds great flavor, while low and slow cooking in a water bath produces especially succulent meat—no pib required. Plus, you won’t have to fire up your grill on taco night, so you can focus on making Homemade Corn Tortillas or that sweet playlist you’ve been meaning to put together.
A true Baja California experience requires sunny, breezy patios and a plate of tacos. We aimed to re-create the feel of a Baja-style fish taco in our home kitchen, instead bringing veggies to the forefront.
It’s taco Tuesday! Or any day! Who wouldn’t overuse exclamation points?! I loved taco night when I was a kid, when it meant yellow cheese, seasonings from a packet, and machine-molded tortilla shells—essentially, an insult to all of Mexico in one convenient box. It is, of course, better to make real tacos with sweet fresh flour tortillas.