Taco Tuesday - Crispy Beef Tacos at Home

These delicious crispy beef tacos are easy to make, perfect for a quick weeknight meal (thank you Slow Cookers), or bring them to your next party - think taco party platter with multiple dipping sauces!

Ingredients

BEEF AND TORTILLAS

SPICE RUB

  • 1 tablespoon of each - chili powder, ground cumin, coarse kosher salt

  • 1/2 tablespoon of each - garlic powder, onion powder,

  • 1/4 teaspoon Smoked Paprika (a little goes a long way!)

  • 1 teaspoon of each - ground black pepper, ground coriander

  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili pepper (add more if you like heat)

BRAISING LIQUID

  • 1 cup beef broth

  • 1 cup mild salsa, medium if you like spicy

  • 1 4 oz. can mild diced green chilies, don’t drain

  • 2 tablespoons ketchup

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1-3 teaspoons liquid smoke, depending on how “smokey” you like it

  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano

CILANTRO LIME RANCH

  • 1 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise

  • 3 tablespoons lime juice

  • 3 tablespoons milk

  • 1/2 cup packed cilantro, finely chopped

  • 2-4 tablespoons chopped pickled jalapenos, optional

  • ½ tsp of each - garlic powder, onion powder, dried parsley

  • 3 - 4 green onions, chopped

  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

CILANTRO LIME RANCH

  • In a bowl, combined all ingredients and set aside.

  • Can be made a day ahead and refrigerated overnight.

SHREDDED BEEF

  • In a large slow cooker add all Braising Liquid ingredients and stir to combine. Set aside.

  • In a bowl, whisk together all of the spice rub ingredients; set aside.

  • Pat beef pieces dry with paper towels then liberally season with the spice rub, gently pressing to adhere. Save any excess spices to add to the pot later.

  • Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once very hot, add cubed beef and sear on all sides.

  • Transfer beef to the large slow cooker with braising liquid, add leftover spices. Cover and cook on High for 3 1/2– 4 1/2 hours or on Low for 6-8 hours, when done beef will shred easily with two forks.

  • Remove the beef to a rimmed plate (do not discard juices in the slow cooker), and shred with two forks, discarding any excess fat.

  • Add the shredded beef back to the slow cooker and toss with slow cooker juices. Cook on low for 20 minutes for beef to absorb juices. Taste and season with hot sauce/cayenne pepper, lime juice, or brown sugar to taste.

  • Remove beef with a pair of tongs to a serving bowl or strain in a colander so tacos don’t get soggy.

  • Save the liquid to use as a dipping sauce for the crispy tacos or use to cook rice.

MAKING THE TACOS

  • A little before making the tacos, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

  • Place tortillas between two damp paper towels and microwave for 30-60 seconds, or until pliable.

  • Working in 2 batches, lightly brush the top of the tortillas with olive oil then flip over (the oiled side should now be face down).

  • Add a layer of cheese to the bottom half of the tortilla and top it with shredded beef (about 1/4 cup). Make sure the beef is well drained well so it does not make the tacos soggy.

  • Fold the tortillas over in half and lightly press so they stay folded, flipping the whole taco over may help make it stays. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

  • Bake at 425 degrees for 8 minutes, flip the tacos over and bake an additional 5-8 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the tacos are crispy.

  • Serve with Cilantro Lime Ranch and any other desired toppings, including the remaining braising liquid.