Crunchy Chorizo Tacos ~ A crispy, hard-shelled taco recipe stuffed with chorizo, potato and burnt tomato salsa.
I’m late, I’m always late. And to make matters worse—I’m never fashionably late. These tacos that should have gone live last week so you could enjoy them for Cinco de Mayo.
Luckily, this is an evergreen recipe—so go ahead and make it this week, next week and every week thereafter. At least if you are my kids that’s what you would do. But if you are my kids, that means you are too young to do that, so you’ll beg me to do it.
If you are me, you will be slightly annoyed, because you’re panicked about deadlines and panicked about being a failing mom who can’t deliver on dinner requests like this because the said deadlines have you crazy. But then guilt sets in, you pour the oil, assemble the tacos and tattoo yourself with a few oil burns because you’re rushing. And since hot oil hurts, you curse underneath your breathe, that is until a big oil bubble jumps out from the pan onto your cheek and you curse out loud—REALLY LOUD.
You right this wrong by delivering their favorite tacos. Panic gives way to happy. Happy reminds you to chill. Chill reminds you . ..
Get up and finish your WEEEERK!
And there you have it, my kids’ favorite tacos from Guerrilla Tacos book and a day in the life of a mom who is still struggling to find the work-life balance, so accept these tacos as my apology for being late in publishing the recipe after teasing it on Instagram.
A few notes about the recipe:
- The recipe is from Wesley Avila’s Guerrilla Tacos book and originally called Pocho Tacos. I only changed the name so it was more descriptive and to the point.
- I swapped out ground beef for chorizo
- I reduced the sequin chiles from 3 to 1. Three is too fierce for my boys.
- I broiled the tomatoes in the oven over cooking them in a cast iron pan, as the original recipe calls for, because it’s easier to manage when you have kids constantly tugging at you.
- I swapped out corn for flour tortillas because my kids prefer fried flour tortillas over corn ones.
- Burnt Tomato Salsa
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 8 Roma tomatoes
- 1 serrano chile, stemmed
- 1 jalapeno chile, stemmed
- 1/2 red onion
- 6 garlic gloves
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- kosher salt
- 2 cups peeled and cubed russet potatoes
- Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4 lbs. carnitas
- 1/2 cup minced shallots
- 1 cup finely diced yellow onion
- 3 dried pepsin chile, with seeds, stemmed and chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1/2 cup pine notes
- 24 flour tortillas
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 1 pound medium cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 cup halved cherry heirloom tomatoes
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced serrano chiles
To make the burnt salsa: Toss tomatoes in oil and place them on a baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and broil for 20 minutes, until skins become nice and charred, making sure to rotate pan half way through.
Remove from pan from the oven and transfer the whole tomatoes as is (do not skin or remove seeds) to a food processor and combine it with the serranos, jalapeños, red onion, garlic and vinegar. Pulse, but keep chunky. Season with salt to taste. Set aside.
To make the filling: Add the cubed potatoes to a stockpot ad cover them with cold water. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer. Add 2 tablespoons salt and simmer until the potatoes are soft, about 15 minutes. Potatoes are ready when they are easily pierced.
In a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat, warm the vegetable oil. Add the chorizo, cook and stir until brown, breaking it up with a wooden as you go. Season with salt to taste. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a plate, but leave the fat in the pan.
Add the shallots, onion and pequin to the rendered fat and sauce over medium heat until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Then add the potatoes, cumin, garlic and onion powder; stir and cook for another 3-5 minutes, until the potatoes have a little bit of color on them. Add the pine nuts and cook until crispy but not burnt, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the meat and fully incorporated.
Spoon some meat and potatoes, about 3 to 4 tablespoons, per taco into each tortilla. Used a soaked clothespin to close tortilla or a soaked skewer and thread into tortilla too close and hold the taco together for frying. Set aside. Repeat with remaining tortilla and filling.
In a 10-inch cast iron skillet over high heat, warm 1 cup vegetable oil, or enough to cover the tacos three-fourths of the way up the sides when they are laying flat. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
Bring the oil’s temperature to about 360F. Using tongs, add as many tacos as you can without crowding the pan, and fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip them and and fry for another 2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove tacos from the pan and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Season with salt immediately. Repeat with remaining tacos. Remove any bits of filling floating around in the oil with a spider or slotted spoon if they start to burn.
Gently open each taco and add the salsa, cheddar cheese and fresh tomatoes. Serve immediately.