Crispy Beef Taco

Alton Brown’s seasoning mix is ​​a great homemade version of packaged tacos from your childhood, and fried corn tortillas are an easy alternative to buying takeaway tacos. Just fry some ground beef, fill up on fried shells, top with some fresh lettuce, shredded Mexican cheese, and a few sprinkles of hot sauce, and you’ve got a Tex-Mex fest on a plate.

Check out all of our other tantalizing taco recipes, too.

  • fruit: 8 to 12 tacos
  • difficulty: Average
  • the total: 35 minutes
  • Energetic: 20 minutes

components (17)

To season the tacos:

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon light smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon hot smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon habanero powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

For tacos:

  • 3/4 cup grapeseed oil or peanut oil
  • 8 to 12 soft corn tortillas
  • 1 large red onion, medium dice
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pounds minced meat
  • 3/4 cup water

To assemble the tacos:

  • chopped lettuce
  • shredded mexican cheese mix
  • hot sauce (optional)


  1. Make taco seasoning by mixing seasonings, cornstarch, and salt. Mix well to ensure that the cornstarch is completely combined and there are no lumps.
  2. Frying taco shells: Preheat oven to 250°F. Lay a double layer of paper towels on a baking tray and place in the warm oven. Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet until it registers 350 F on a deep frying thermometer. Fry one tortilla at a time, using tongs so they don’t burn: Place the tortillas carefully into the hot oil – try not to submerge them in the water. Fry them flat for 15 seconds, then use tongs to fold them in half. Fry an additional 30 seconds, flip, and fry for a final 30 seconds.
  3. At this point, the tortilla should be browned with a few spots but still elastic. Remove from the oil and drain on a towel lined baking sheet (try to lift the shells if possible – this doesn’t always work).
  4. Return the baking tray to the oven to keep the crust warm. Continue until all the shells have fried. When done, pour in most of the frying oil, but leave about 1 tablespoon in the skillet.
  5. Place the skillet on medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook until softened, about 4 minutes.
  6. Add minced meat to the skillet. Chop them up with a spoon and cook until they turn brown, about 5 minutes.
  7. Add the taco seasoning and toss with the beef until combined.
  8. Add water and cook, uncovered, for a few minutes until mixture boils and becomes thick.
  9. Collect the tacos!

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