Tacos Norteños With Chunky Guacamole

August  4, 2021
11 Ratings
Photo by Linda Xiao. Food stylist: Samantha Seneviratne. Prop stylist: Brooke Deonarine.
  • Prep time 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • Serves 4
Test Kitchen Notes

Food52’s Resident Sugar Man Rick Martinez is back at the grill in this latest episode of Sweet Heat. He shares his recipe for tacos norteños including a citrusy beer marinade for the carne asada, a spicy and cheesy salsa, and creamy guacamole to top it all off. This dish brings both sweet and heat with bright flavors from the steak and bold chiles in the sauces for a delicious bite every time.

For more Sweet Heat with Rick, check out all of the videos in the series here. —The Editors

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Tacos Norteños With Chunky Guacamole
  • Tacos Norteños
  • Marinated Steak
  • 1 cup Mexican-style pale lager beer
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 4 chiles chipotles in adobo, smashed, plus 3 tablespoons adobo
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams /.28 oz.) Diamond Crystal or 1 ¼ teaspoon Morton kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds (680 grams) boneless ribeye or NY strip steak, cut lengthwise to ¼” thickness
  • Cheesy Skillet Filling
  • 1/4 cup lard or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (125 grams / 4 oz.) chiles poblanos, stemmed and seeded, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 medium (179 grams / 6.31 oz.) white onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 chiles jalapeños, stemmed and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams / .14 oz.) Diamond Crystal or ¾ teaspoon Morton kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds (680 grams, or about 8 medium) roma tomatoes, cored and chopped
  • 12 ounces (340 grams) queso asadero, chihuahua, quesillo or monterrey jack, shredded
  • Lime wedges, tortillas de harina or maíz, guacamole, for serving
  • Guacamole
  • 3 large ripe Hass avocados
  • 1/4 white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 to 3 serrano chiles, stemmed, seeds removed if desired, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons (or more) fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for serving
  1. Tacos Norteños
  2. Whisk beer, lime juice, orange juice, chiles chipotles and adobo, garlic, oregano, cumin, and salt in a medium bowl. Place steak in a resealable plastic bag and pour in marinade. Seal and turn to coat. Chill at least 1 hour and up to 12.
  3. In a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high, heat lard until shimmering. Add poblano, onion, jalapeños, garlic, and salt, and cook, tossing occasionally, until vegetables are tender and just beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add tomatoes and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes release their juices and start to break down, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle queso over top in an even layer; cover and keep warm until ready to serve.
  4. Meanwhile, grill the steaks. Prepare a gas grill for 2-zone heat; set one burner at medium-high and one or two burners at high. Alternatively, prepare a charcoal grill for high heat. Grill steak over high heat, turning occasionally, until charred, 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes. Slice into ½"-wide strips.
  5. Toast tortillas on grill until lightly charred, 1 minute per side.
  6. Serve steak and warm salsa in charred tortillas with guacamole and a squeeze of lime.
  1. Guacamole
  2. In a molcajete (a Mexican mortar and pestle) or a medium bowl with a potato masher or fork, coarsely smash avocados. Mix in onion, chile, garlic, lime juice, salt, and ¼ cup cilantro. Taste and add more lime juice, if desired.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Mike Thierfelder
    Mike Thierfelder
  • Twila Kim
    Twila Kim
  • Liz Summers
    Liz Summers
  • Kristie
Rick Martinez

Recipe by: Rick Martinez

Rick Martinez is currently living his dream—cooking, eating and enjoying the Mexican Pacific coast in Mazatlán. He is finishing his first cookbook, Under the Papaya Tree, food from the seven regions of Mexico and loved traveling the country so much, he decided to buy a house on the beach. He is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit, New York Times and hosts live, weekly cooking classes for Food Network Kitchens. Earlier this year, he was nominated for a James Beard Award for “How to win the Cookie Swap” in Bon Appétit’s holiday issue.

6 Reviews

Mike T. June 13, 2023
I made this tonight and was really impressed, my wife really loved it too. The only thing for me was a bit of a lack of seasoning on the steak. Only 1tsp for 1.5lbs of steak, and that salt is diluted into 2 cups of marinade. The steak turned out very tender but lacked that salty crusty quality that compliments a great cut of meat. Next time I'd pat the steak dry, then add more kosher salt & pepper 5 minutes before grilling.
Kristie March 27, 2023
We made this last night and it was delicious. We learned too late that watching the video was key to understanding some of the steps (particularly the treatment of the steak), but we made adjustments including cooking it in a hot carbon steel pan. The only thing we weren't fans of was the strong lime taste of everything if you follow the recipe exactly as written--particularly in the guacamole. Next time we make it (and we'll definitely make it again) we'll reduce the lime a bit.
Twila K. March 2, 2023
I just made these for my family. - These tacos are fabulous!! Love the complimentary flavors and seasonings are perfection! It's winter here and what a great winter time taco!
pwamelink March 1, 2023
Made this last night with Waygu strip steak. It was excellent and not that difficult.
You do need a sharp knife
Liz S. August 7, 2021
I have all ingredients on my shopping list and can't wait. I have watched the video numerous times ... good grief, it is great: entertaining, instructional, pure Rick and superb videography and editing by his team: Seabass films. LOVE it all. As far as the recipe, one of the enlightening things was the use of very thin ribeye. Now to convince my local grocery's butcher folks to cut that for me!
Max R. April 25, 2023
Costco sells rib eye sliced thin like that for Korean BBQ and Philly Steak sandwiches