“North of the Border” Tacos

Servings: 12tacos


  • 1 pound boneless chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes and placed in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes to firm OR 1 pound 80% lean coarse-ground beef
  • 1/2medium white onion, cut into ¼ inch pieces
  • 2tablespoons powdered ancho chile
  • 1/2teaspoon powdered chipotle chile
  • 1teaspoonMexican oregano
  • 1/2teaspoon freshly ground cumin
  • 1/2teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • 1 1/2cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided use
  • 12warm corn tortillas, for serving
  • 1/2cup sour cream, for serving
  • 1/2small head romaine lettuce, thinly sliced, for serving
  • 2medium red-ripe tomatoes, cored and chopped, for serving
  • Mexican hot sauce (I like Valentina or Tamazula), for serving


If using chuck roast, pulse the freezer-firmed meat in a food processor to a coarse ground beef texture.  In a very large skillet set over medium-high, cook onions until golden brown but still crunchy, about 4 to 5 minutes.  Add the ground beef, spreading it over the entire surface to ensure even browning.  Sprinkle in the chile powders, oregano, cumin and black pepper.  Mix everything together and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes, until the meat is cooked through.  Taste and season with salt and a big pinch sugar to give the classic American chile powder flavor. Remove from the heat.

Sprinkle in about 1/2 cup of the jack cheese to the skillet and mix just to incorporate.  To make each taco lay a corn tortilla on a plate and spoon on a portion of the meat, sour cream, the remaining Jack cheese, lettuce, tomato and hot sauce.  Serve immediately.


  1. What kind of tortillas do you recommend? I live in the East Coast and the tortilla quality is not the same as in Chicago.

    1. Hi Anna- We always prefer corn tortillas for our tacos and I would look at the list of ingredients on the package, less ingredients the better! Good Luck!

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