My favorite beef tacos

This week I made 2 of my all-time favorite beef tacos. First, a remake of the Vampiro taco from Sol Cocina in Newport Beach, California, and second, a ground beef & bean mixture that I’ve been eating since I was a kid. Because I love ALL the tacos, it’s so hard to pick a favorite, but these two are my favorite BEEF tacos.

I posted about the Vampiro taco last year – honestly I don’t know why I don’t make it more often. Super garlicy steak, spicy chipotle sauce, plus guac and you’ve got the best taco ever. This year I changed it up just a little by making homemade corn tortillas from Jessica Gavin. It took some effort to get my technique right, but I feel confident I can make these perfectly again! The taste and texture was AMAZING. To add the final touch to these tacos, I layered a corn tortilla, then Serrano peppers and cheese, and another tortilla, and grill it like a quesadilla. That’s my trick to make store-bought corn tortillas cooperate. These tortillas cooperated regardless, but the cheese & pepper gives an extra kick to this taco.

Perfectly grilled Vampiro skirt steak

I served these tacos with a whole fruit margarita. I am pretty sure this margarita is why I bought a Vitamix. Buy one, and make this marg – and then serve it with Taco Vampiro. Best Taco Tuesday ever! This was my favorite taco / meal of the entire #mayipleasehaveataco month!


  • 1 whole orange, peeled
  • 1 whole lime, peeled
  • 1 whole lemon, peeled
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 oz tequila
  • 3 oz triple sec
  • 4-6 cups ice

Add the peeled fruit and sugar to the Vitamix and blend to combine. Then add tequila & triple sec. Add ice one cup at a time until you reach the desired consistency. Rim a glass with salt and add the blended margarita.

My second taco of the week is a childhood favorite – ground beef & bean. Disclaimer – it’s not as pretty as a medium rare skirt steak, but it is delicious, easy, and versatile.


  • Olive oil
  • 1 packet taco seasoning (my favorite is Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 lb ground meat
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup taco sauce, enchilada sauce, or salsa
  1. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a large skillet, then add ground meat. Sprinkle the pack of taco seasoning evenly on the meat.
  2. As the meat cooks, use a spatula to break it into smaller pieces.
  3. Once meat is cooked through, drain the pan if there seems to be excess liquid.
  4. Add the can of refried beans, and work to thoroughly combine the meat & beans.
  5. Add sauce – as much as needed for desired consistency.
  6. Let meat simmer for a few minutes, until bubbling.


  1. Use ground turkey or ground chicken in place of beef.
  2. For an extra special edition, add a few dabs of cream cheese and let the cheese melt into the meat & beans.
  3. Use taco sauce, enchilada sauce, or your favorite salsa in the meat mixture.
  4. Add jalapenos to the meat if you like a kick.
  5. Make extra and freeze it – don’t forget to label it!
  6. Make a taco – small tortilla + cheese + salsa, guac & sour cream.
  7. Make a burrito – large tortilla all folded up, then cover with desired sauce – queso, salsa verde, enchilada sauce, or just a metric ton of shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes and serve.

This time, I went with the “drenched in queso” option. I made jalapeno queso from Half Baked Harvest and it was to die for. Using a large tortilla shell, I filled it with meat and folded it as best as I could. The seam side down, I placed the burrito on an oven safe plate, topped it with queso, and baked it for about 10 minutes. This was a restaurant quality meal! Shaun voted this as his favorite meal of the week.

Breakfast quesadilla for dinner

The last new Mexican meal of the week was breakfast for dinner – a breakfast quesadilla from Half Baked Harvest. Super simple and very filling. Tortillas layered with cheese, bacon, scrambled eggs, green chiles & chipotles, and then an avocado salsa.

This is nearly the end of #mexicanmay / #mayipleasehave a taco month! I made one last meal, didn’t get a single picture, but I’ll post about it with a summary of May’s feasts later this week!

Are you ready for June’s theme?

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