Tacos Matamoros Recipe | PBS Food

There's nothing better than a taco with all the fixings, and this recipe courtesy of Ultimo Taco, Brownsville, TX, will satisfy all of your cravings.


Yield: 14 to 16 tacos



  • For the beef filling:
  • 1 1/2 pounds beef chuck roll, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 white onion, halved
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • For the tacos:
  • Corn, safflower or vegetable oil, to dip tortillas
  • 14 to 16 corn tortillas
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro, leaves and upper stems
  • 1 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 2 cups shredded Oaxaca cheese, or queso fresco or panela
  • 2 large ripe avocados, sliced


  1. To make the beef filling:
    Place the meat, onion, garlic cloves, bay leaves, peppercorns, and salt in a large casserole or soup pot. Fill with water until covered by at least an inch. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, skim off any foam that may have formed on top, and cover and simmer for 1½ to 2 hours, until meat is completely cooked and falling apart.
  2. Transfer the meat to a large bowl and strain the broth and reserve for other uses. Discard the onion, garlic, bay leaf and peppercorns. Once the meat has cooled, place on a cutting board and finely chop. Mix until combined and season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  3. To make the tacos:
    Preheat a comal or skillet over medium heat. In a wide bowl or rimmed plate, large enough to fit a tortilla, pour about a quarter inch of oil. Dip a tortilla in the oil, coating both sides, then place on the comal or skillet and warm up on both sides, but don’t let it get crispy. Repeat with all the tortillas.
  4. On each warmed up tortilla, place 1 to 2 tablespoons of the chopped beef, sprinkle on a pinch of cilantro, some white onion, a generous amount of shredded cheese, and top with an avocado slice.
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