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What is the authentic way to season carne picada for tacos?

I love the seasoned carne picada for tacos at taquerias and when I try to inquire in my limited Spanish about how the meat is seasoned, I get vague answers and shrugs. I have tried a couple of different ways and am close- but not there yet.

asked by Lisa over 4 years ago

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3 answers 53761 views
pierino
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 4 years ago

You can try this marinade (assuming you are using shredded, not ground) beef.
White vinegar
garlic
lime juice
salt
pepper
Mexican oregano
cumin
cayenne
onion
cilantro
And for real taqueria style, fry the meat in lard and not oil.

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Lisa
added over 4 years ago

At my local Hispanic market the butcher has a tray labeled "Carne Picada - Taco Meat". It's bits of some kind of small thin beef strips. I tried to ask what cut of beef the strips came from, but he couldn't understand what I was trying to ask. My first attempt I pan fried in a little oil with some basic Hispanic seasons, it was good, but not quite there. My second attempt, was closer, following a recipe in a cookbook, but it said to boil the meat first and cook it down with onions and garlic until the water evaporated and then add some of the same seasonings you listed. The meat was more tender, flavor was better but I missed the slightly crispy taste of the meat. I will go with the seasonings again, adding the vinegar and Meixan oregano (thx- for the tip!) without
boiling it and frying it up in a little lard like you recommend and see what happens. Thanks for taking the time to reply!

Lisa
added over 4 years ago

At my local Hispanic market the butcher has a tray labeled "Carne Picada - Taco Meat". It's bits of some kind of small thin beef strips. I tried to ask what cut of beef the strips came from, but he couldn't understand what I was trying to ask. My first attempt I pan fried in a little oil with some basic Hispanic seasons, it was good, but not quite there. My second attempt, was closer, following a recipe in a cookbook, but it said to boil the meat first and cook it down with onions and garlic until the water evaporated and then add some of the same seasonings you listed. The meat was more tender, flavor was better but I missed the slightly crispy taste of the meat. I will go with the seasonings again, adding the vinegar and Mexican oregano (thx- for the tip!) without
boiling it and frying it up in a little lard like you recommend and see what happens. Thanks for taking the time to reply!