Homemade Tacos (aka My Mom is The Bomb)

Every year it goes a little something like this:

Mom: Don’t you want a roast or a ham for Christmas this year?!
Me: No. I want tacos.
Dad: Oh god.
Mom: Are you sure? Doesn’t a ham sound nice?!
Me: No. I want tacos.
Mom: How many would you eat?
Me: One or two. (Because I’m in total denial and trying to “eat healthy.”)
Mom: I’m not making tacos if that’s all you’re going to eat.
Me: Fine. I’ll have three.
Mom: Fine. I’ll make tacos.
Dad: She only makes them for you.

See, my mom makes the most amazing tacos every year for Christmas. Our family bucks tradition, setting the Christmas ham aside, and makes Mexican food. Some years it’s tacos, tamales and refried beans. Other years it’s just tacos and beans. But there are always tacos. And they’re my most favorite meal of the whole year. Yep. Of the whole year.

I took step-by-step pictures to show you (and remind me) how she does it. I have a fear of deep-frying things. Hot oil + me + tiny kitchen = panic. I’m hoping my new dutch oven will help set some fears aside because it’s such a deep vessel. (I’m ridiculous, I realize.) So here we go:


Prepare your seasonings. Mom chops up an onion for the meat and uses some salt and pepper.

I might add some chili powder? Fresh garlic? Whatever you like really.


Mix, mix, mix!


She’s a beast with the meat. Rar!

The rest of the steps are after the jump!


Now pat the meat onto one half a white corn tortilla. White corn is so much nicer than yellow corn we’ve decided.


Pat, pat, pat! But only on half so it looks like this:


Just right!


I asked my mom where she learned this method and she told me she learned it from her Grandma. My Great Grandma. Apparently Irene was a very colorful woman! Explains a lot about Mom and I…


Repeat this step until you have as many tacos as your tummy desires.


Mmmm! Pictures of ground beef. Soooo appealing! Did I mention you’ll want to have a pan with an inch to 1.5 inches of vegetable oil getting all hot and ready for the frying? You’ll want that.


Carefully sllliiiiiide the tortilla with meat into the hot oil meat side up!


If you don’t have a splatter guard, you’ll definitely want one for a project like this. The oil is hot. And bubbly. And it pops. Painfully. On your arm sometimes. Be careful!


After you’ve fully submerged the whole tortilla/meat in the oil you’ll want to fry it for a moment. Maybe 20 seconds or so. Then you’ll raise the side of the tortilla that does not have meat on it over the meat side to make a…taco!


Mom is a pro at this. She’s fearless in the face of hot oil. I admire that.


See! A taco frying! Now you’ll want to leave it in the oil frying until the tortilla turns a deep golden color and the meat is fully cooked. This can take a minute or two.

Your house will probably smell like oil after this is all done. It’s unavoidable. So get some Fabreeze and be ready.

Repeat this step for all your tacos.


Mmmm! Homemade tacos! Screw you Taco bell.


Once the tortilla shell is golden brown you’ll want to use tongs to remove the taco from the oil. Make sure you turn the taco on both ends to make sure all excess oil drains out!


You’re almost done. Hang in there. This whole process takes my mother about 30 minutes. Not bad really.


Ta-da!!! Tacos!


This last step is highly individual. I wouldn’t tell anyone how to dress their tacos. It’s a personal choice! But I’ll show you how we do it.


Shredded lettuce, cheese, heated Rotel w green chilis!


That’s about it folks! From here you serve with sides of your choice: Mexican rice, refried beans, or anything else that strikes your fancy!


Mom’s pretty much the best ever.

Enjoy! :)


PS – Remember to let the oil cool fully before you dispose of it. And do NOT pour it down the drain. That’s bad. Use an old jar or coffee can stuffed with a paper towel or two to dispose of the oil in the trash.



27 thoughts on “Homemade Tacos (aka My Mom is The Bomb)

  1. These look delicious! I think I’m going to have to try this next week, substituting the beef for chicken or turkey maybe!

    Thanks so much for sharing. Tell your mom she’s famous on the internet now!

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  5. That’s really neat! Thanks for sharing. Never seen fried tacos (tacos dorados) made quite that way. I’m from L.A. The methods that our moms taught us out here are more assembly line kinda based, where you make all the different ingredients and then build your taco by selecting a shell, meat and whatever toppings you like. I’m curious as to where your mom grew up? Her method saves steps because you’re using one pan to do both the shells and meat. Probably a lot nicer for people with smaller kitchens too. Never ceases to amaze me, the creative methods that lots of moms come up with.

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  10. Myo always made taco’s this way and they are one of my favorite meals! We all thought it was something that she had thrown together, since we’ve never run across this style.

  11. you make me sick this looks absolutely disgusting. This is just tragic how you could take a classic american dish and completely screw it up

    • you think i forgot how horrible these are, i actually went home and made these tacos and they were horrendous! SHAME!

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