The Cachetadas from Tampico

To spanish language speakers the name of this taco is a bit funny: Cachetada means a slap; probably from the effect felt from the hot salsa when wholeheartedly biting into this spicy taco...! The cachetadas are a typical taco from the city of Tampico, Tamaulipas. They differ from other tacos by the type of tortilla used, the beans with shredded beef, furthermore traditionally they are not folded in two like other tacos, they are folded twice in a special way (as can be seen on photo). The tortilla made especially for these Cachetadas is yellow and thin, but with regular white corn tortillas we can get close enough to the original taste!

| Yield: 5-6 servings | Preparation: | Cooking: | Total time: , plus time to cook the beef

Cachetadas from Tampico

Recipe for Cachetadas

Ingredients (serves 5):

* 20 tortillas for tacos
* 2 lb. pulled beef, from braised beef chuck roast
* 2 tablespoons tomato paste
* 3 cups slightly mashed black beans
* Canola Oil for frying
* Thinly sliced ​​cabbage
* 2 Chopped red tomato when serving
* Sliced or chopped onion
* Canned pickled jalapeño chiles with carrots
* Queso Fresco or other cheeses if unavailable
* Sliced avocado

Red Salsa for Cachetadas (green salsa on the photo)
* 8 Ripe red serrano chiles, if available; otherwise any medium hot red chile will do
* 1 ripe red tomato
* Water, as necessary
* 3 cloves garlic
* Dash of vinegar
* Salt


1) First, we need to prepare the pulled beef, as this is the most time consuming step. Here I made my chuck roast meat cut cook in the oven at 325 °F (165 °C) for 5 hours in water mixed with some tomato paste; until the meat was tender and pulled easily. Then, using 2 forks I shredded the meat which I put back to fry in a skillet and made it absorb some of the broth the beef cooked in - pulled beef should never taste dry!

2) Making the red cachetada salsa: Cook the peppers and tomato in just enough salted water to cover; after, liquefy completely using a blender, including the garlic cloves and a dash of vinegar. Season with salt if desired; this salsa is supposed to be very spicy!

3) First heat up the tortillas in the microwave oven so they can be folded easily, wrapped in cloth. Heat up enough oil to cover the bottom of a skillet; take a tortilla and spread some beans, you should only put a little. Add some pulled beef at the center of the taco and fold twice: take the opposing extremities of the tortilla and fold so the edges meet at the center. To make sure they stay folded as they are: place two toothpicks, one at each end, through the taco.

4) Fry the tacos in the hot oil to brown them, then flip with kitchen tongs when one side has browned. They can be served still soft, in which case you fry them only briefly in the oil; but usually they are fried until crispy.

5) Place 4 tacos on each plate, put some shredded cabbage over them, some onions, crumbled or grated cheese, chopped red tomatoes, pickled chiles with carrots, salsa and avocado slices, and serve your authentic cachetadas!

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