Navajo fry bread tacos are typically made by topping fry bread with ground beef, shredded lettuce and cheddar cheese. In this recipe I’ve topped fry bread with Sonoran-style shredded beef, shredded cabbage, cheddar cheese and a simple tomato salsa, which is a little atypical but all components are prepared traditionally (Sonora is a northwestern state in Mexico and shares its border with Arizona and New Mexico, parts of which belong to the Navajo Nation). —Globetrotter
1 1/4 cups
Corn oil, or other frying oil
Sonoran-style Shredded Beef
beef brisket or chuck, cut into big 3-4 inch chunks
white onion, diced
freshly ground black pepper
dried Mexican oregano
1 1/4 teaspoons
medium tomatoes, diced
In This Recipe
In a bowl or on a clean work surface combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour the warm water into the center. With your hands or a wooden spoon, start working the mixture together. Sprinkle flour on a clean work surface and turn the dough out and knead lightly. The dough should be soft and moist but shouldn’t stick to your hands. Add a little flour or water as you go until you reach the correct consistency. Roll the dough into a log about 3 inches wide. Let the dough rest under a clean kitchen towel for 10 minutes.
Cut into 6-8 pieces depending on how large you want your fry bread. Take each piece of dough and roll it into a ball. Using a rolling pin and more dusting flour, roll the dough into a flat round disk, about 1/5 inch thick. Stack your flat dough on top of one another, dusting flour between each piece.
In a cast iron skillet or any heavy bottomed pot/pan, pour an inch of frying oil in and heat over medium high heat. To test when the oil is hot enough, tear off a tiny piece of dough and toss it into the oil. It should immediately float and be bubbling all around the sides. One by one, fry the dough for about 2 minutes on each side or until it is golden crispy. Place the finished fry bread on a place lined with paper towels to drain.
Sonoran-style Shredded Beef
Put the meat, onions, garlic, bay leaf, salt and beef stock into a medium sized pot. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer. Cover the pot and simmer for about 1 hour or until the meat starts to easily pull apart with a fork. Take the pieces of meat out and using two forks shred the meat and reserve the stock.
In a cast iron skillet or other heavy bottom pot/pan, combine the pepper, paprika, and oregano and turn the heat on medium high and toast the spices for about 5 minutes or until they become fragrant. Add the beef, tomatoes and a couple ladles of the reserved stock. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook until the tomatoes have broken down, about 10 minutes. Taste the beef and add salt if it needs more.