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Tasty Tacos el Carbon Recipe

Make a wonderful Mexican inspired dish that everyone will love with this recipe. Packed with tasty meat and vegetables, this tacos el carbon is a perfect way to feed the whole family. Tacos as we know them have a long history in Texas. Tacos date back to the 1930s where Texas vaqueros (cowboys) cooked the meat given them as part of their pay, adding wild onions, wild mushrooms and bell peppers into it, on a camp fire grill. This mixture was then wrapped in warmed flour tortillas.

Although it is not known whether this dish was called tacos by the cow hands and their families at the time, it is, in our best description, a taco nonetheless. The first known time tacos were available to the general public, as far as we know, was in 1969 when a fajita taco stand first appeared in a town called Kyle in Texas. Fajita tacos were sold at fairs and other public events and people loved the tender and juicy strips of meat smothered in onions, mushrooms, and bell peppers. It was not long before these juicy fajita wraps were prepared in homes throughout the state.

The phrase ‘el carbon’ is Spanish and means something cooked over hot coals, so you can expect a variety of grilled meats – usually your choice – nestled inside a warm tortilla. In contrast to the Tex-Mex version of tacos el carbon, the true Mexican version has a variety of meats enfolded in a warm corn or flour tortillas depending upon where in Mexico you are visiting. When in Texas however, tacos el carbon means only one thing – cuts of grilled beef and vegetables enveloped in a fluffy warm flour tortilla.

Well now you can make this tacos el carbon for your family. The simple directions below will guide you on the steps and ingredients needed to make this wonderful meal. When you make this entrée you will know that they are made with the freshest vegetables, as well as the freshest and most tender cuts of meat, seared to utter perfection. You will know, because you will have made them with the ingredients you bought from the grocer. Furthermore, your family will appreciate the extra undertaking you took to make these tacos el carbon, following an authentic recipe.

Texas Style Tacos el Carbon
Summary: Tacos el carbon makes a fantastic meal because it is so filling. This hearty mixture of steak, vegetables, chili, lime, garlic and tortillas is easy to prepare and so tasty.
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 8
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 thinly sliced red bell pepper
  • 1 thinly sliced yellow onion
  • 2 lbs thinly sliced, lean sirloin steak, at room temperature
  • Cooking spray, as needed
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2½ teaspoons olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 8 minced garlic cloves
  • 8 (6-inch) flour tortillas
  • Cilantro, for garnish (optional)
  1. Line the grill with foil and spray it with cooking spray.
  2. Brush the steak with olive oil, then cover it and set aside.
  3. Heat the grill to a medium-high heat.
  4. Put the bell pepper on the foil and grill for 3 minutes.
  5. Add the onion, and sauté for 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  6. Place the mixture in a large bowl, cover and set aside.
  7. Add the beef to the foil and cook for 7 minutes or it reaches your desired degree of doneness.
  8. Add it to the pepper and onion mixture and warm through if necessary.
  9. In bowl mix the chili powder, juice, salt and garlic.
  10. Add the meat and pepper mixture, and toss to coat.
  11. Heat the tortillas and spoon the mixture evenly over them.
  12. Sprinkle cilantro on top before serving, if liked.

Photo Description:

Tacos el carbon are famous in Mexico as well as throughout Texas. While they often boast a variety of meats in Mexico, the Texans love to use a good piece of steak to make theirs, so take your pick from these two styles. Add grilled bell peppers and onion, along with chili, lime and garlic, to bring out the beauty of this south of the border dish and give it an authentic taste. Add extra chili to make this spicier, or reduce the amount for a milder finish. This is tasty garnished with cilantro. Consider offering sour cream, salsa and/or guacamole on the side, and maybe shredded cheese too.

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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hi, I'm Christine, and I'm pleased to welcome you to I have endeavored to gather as many delicious South of the border recipes here for you, including Mexican-inspired as well as traditional Mexican, and also some Tex-Mex and Mexican fusion dishes. Food is very important to our family's lives and Mexican food is certainly a favorite around here.

We have everything from appetizers and snacks to soups, drinks, entrées, and much more. You will find everything from mild dishes to super-spicy ones, simple recipes based on fresh ingredients up to more complex ones suitable for a dinner party.

Home cooks just starting out with Mexican cooking tend to be surprised how much of the emphasis is placed on using fresh ingredients and aromatic herbs and spices. Forget the typical ideas about Mexican food being all beans, cheese and beef (that applies a little more to Tex-Mex), take inspiration from authentic Mexican dishes based on fresh ingredients, and inject all your passion into cooking South of the border food, for perfect results every time.

Thanks for visiting,