Tacos Norteños

Updated: Mar 12, 2019

For San Antonians, tacos aren't just something to eat. They are a mantra to live by. Tacos are for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Tacos make us feel happy when we are sad. They make us feel EXTRA happy when we are happy! Tacos bridge cultures, classes and religions. TACOS FOR PRESIDENT! Woah... I'm getting a little carried away. But seriously- San Antonio's heart beats to the rhythm of a tortilla being filled and folded on repeat.

I usually make a big roast of some sort on Sunday night- it's so convenient having meat leftover to use in other dishes on Monday and Tuesday. However, I'm not really a big "leftovers" person unless i can transform the last night's dinner into something totally different. Recently, I was deciding what to do with a bunch of leftover beef pot roast and knew immediately that I'd be making Tacos Norteños, or tacos filled with meat, beans and cheese then griddled on a comal or hot skillet. These are inspired by a dish at one of our favorite local Mexican food restaurants, SoLuna- but I've lightened them up using corn tortillas in place of flour, lard free black beans and less oil. Plus I top mine with tons of crunchy veggies so its almost like you get a bonus salad on top. These tasty tacos are sure to please everyone at your table!

*prep time: 20 min *cook time: 20 min *serves 4


1-1/2 cups leftover shredded meat (beef, pork or chicken)

avocado oil

1 chipotle en adobo chopped, plus 1 tbsp of the sauce

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp dried oregano

8 pliable corn or flour tortillas (If you're near an HEB, the Mixtli tortillas are good for this or the corn and wheat flour blend from Central Market)

1 can refried black beans (I use Pacific brand)

shredded Monterrey jack cheese


sliced avocado, shredded cabbage, sliced radish, lime wedges, red or green salsa


Heat 1 tbsp of avocado oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chipotle en adobo plus sauce and spices and stir to make a paste. Let spice paste cook about 2 minutes to caramelize. Add meat to spice paste and stir to coat. Cook until meat is warmed through and beginning to brown. Remove from heat. Assemble tacos by spreading 1 tbsp of black beans on each tortilla. Top with 1 tbsp of grated jack cheese. Divide meat mixture equally among the 8 tortillas and fold. Heat a cast iron or heavy bottomed skillet over med-high heat and add another tbsp of oil. When oil is hot, add tacos, working in batches. Lightly fry on each side for 2-3 minutes until golden. Remove tacos to a platter and either serve immediately or keep warm in a 200 degree oven. To serve, divide tacos among 4 plates. Open each taco slightly and top with sliced avocado, shredded cabbage, radish, salsa and a squeeze of lime on top.

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