Tacos have grown in popularity as one of the simplest meals to make and take and they come in a variety of flavors and fusions. National chains like Taco Bell have their version of spiced meat and crispy corn shells, but “street tacos” you will find in Mexico have fresh-cut meat and white sauce. My husband and I own a restaurant in Honolulu that takes an Asian flare with traditional Baja style fish tacos. But the tacos I grew up with at home are different altogether.

Mom calls these “Poor Mans Tacos” because they’re a mixture of ground beef and potatoes, and back when she was growing up, families in her community had to make their meat stretch, so the potatoes were added as a cheap filler, but made for a hearty and tasty meal.

I’ve also included instructions on how to fry tortilla shells yourself. You can take a healthier route and just warm them so they’re pliable, or even use flour tortillas instead.

Make the full batch and have leftovers because you will definitely want to warm this up for lunch the next day. Great to serve with sides of rice, beans, salsa, or our famous Sopita recipe.

Alternatives to Traditional Tacos:

Burrito – wrap filling with toppings in a flour tortilla

Taco Salad – filling and toppings by themselves or on top of tortilla chips, or in a baked tortilla bowl.

Soup – Called caldillo in Spanish which literally means “meat juice.” Add extra water with bouillon when cooking meat and cover to preserve juices. Serve as a hot chunky soup and add cheese to the top.

Print Recipe
Beef and Potato "Poor Mans" Tacos
A different way to make tacos that will satisfy your meat and potato craving, with traditional Mexican spices and instructions for frying your own shells.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 15 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 15 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
Meat & Potato Filling
  1. In a deep saute pan, cook beef on medium high heat until browned. While meat is cooking, chop raw potato(es) into 1/2 inch cubes and set aside. (To save time, add frying oil to another pan and set to medium heat to warm up while you're making the filling)
  2. Discard beef drippings.
  3. Add tomato sauce to beef and mix in.
  4. Add raw cubed potatoes and mix into beef & tomato sauce.
  5. Dissolve bouillon cubes into warm water and mix into beef & potatoes. Add cumin and garlic powder; mix in and bring to a boil, then sautee on low heat, covered for 20 minutes.
Taco Shells
  1. While the oil has been warming on medium heat, you will know when it's ready by testing one edge of a tortilla. Usingl tongs, if the tortilla sizzles when touched to the oil, it's ready. Place the whole tortilla to fry on both sides, about 10 seconds.
  2. Fold tortilla in half and allow the down side to get crispy before flipping to the other side - about 20 seconds each. Some like the consistency crispier than others, but keep in mind you will have to open the shell to place the filling. If they get too crispy, they'll crack and break. But you'll have tortilla chips!
  3. Prepare toppings shortly before serving: -Slice and chop iceberg lettuce into thin strips -Shredded cheddar (or Mexican blend from the store) -Diced tomatoes (or salsa / pico de gallo) -Sour Cream -Hot Sauce
Recipe Notes

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By | 2018-03-08T08:13:04+00:00 March 8th, 2018|Food|0 Comments

About the Author:

Jennifer Bryant is the wife of a good man and mother of two precious kids. Her favorite things include, reading, organizing, blogging, singing with her kids, laughing out loud with her husband, and making food for people. She lives in Honolulu, Hawaii and dreams of taking her family on marvelous adventures across the globe. In the meantime, she blogs about life and family, and encourages others to build practical skills for healthy communication, simple living, and discover their awesomeness. Read more of her posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.