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Tacos de Cachete: Savory Beef Cheek Tacos Recipe

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Tacos de Cachete, or beef cheek tacos, are a beloved dish in Mexican cuisine known for their rich, tender meat and deep flavors. Prepared from beef cheeks, this cut is slow-cooked until incredibly tender, then shredded and served in warm tortillas. Tacos de Cachete highlight the traditional cooking methods of Mexico, emphasizing slow simmering to achieve a melt-in-your-mouth texture and a robust, savory taste. These tacos are typically garnished with fresh toppings and served with salsa for added zest, making them a favorite among taco enthusiasts.

Ingredients

For the Beef Cheeks:
  • 2 lbs beef cheeks, cleaned and trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Water, as needed
For Serving:
  • Corn or flour tortillas, warmed
  • Chopped onion and cilantro, for garnish
  • Salsa verde or salsa roja
  • Lime wedges
  • Radishes, thinly sliced (optional)
  • Pickled jalapeños (optional)

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Beef Cheeks:
    • Place beef cheeks in a large pot and add enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil over high heat.
    • Skim off any foam that rises to the surface. Add quartered onion, garlic cloves, bay leaves, whole black peppercorns, and salt.
    • Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer gently for 3-4 hours, or until the beef cheeks are very tender and easily shred with a fork.
    • Remove the beef cheeks from the pot and let them cool slightly. Shred the meat using two forks or your fingers, discarding any excess fat or connective tissue.
  2. Assemble Tacos de Cachete:
    • Warm the tortillas on a griddle or in the microwave until soft and pliable.
    • Place a generous amount of shredded beef cheek onto each tortilla.
    • Garnish with chopped onion and cilantro.
    • Serve with salsa verde or salsa roja on the side, along with lime wedges, thinly sliced radishes, and pickled jalapeños if desired.
  3. Tips for Serving
    • Variations: Experiment with different types of salsa or add a squeeze of fresh lime juice for added zest.
    • Side Dish: Serve Tacos de Cachete with traditional Mexican rice, refried beans, or a side of guacamole for a complete meal.
    • Make-Ahead: The beef cheeks can be cooked and shredded ahead of time. Reheat gently in a skillet with a bit of cooking liquid before assembling the tacos.
  4. Cultural Significance

    Tacos de Cachete exemplify the culinary heritage of Mexico, showcasing the country’s use of slow cooking and traditional cuts of meat. This dish highlights the importance of slow simmering to achieve tender, flavorful meat that is celebrated in Mexican cuisine.

Conclusion

Tacos de Cachete offer a delicious taste of Mexico with their tender, flavorful beef cheek filling and traditional garnishes. Whether enjoyed as a street food snack or a main course at home, these tacos embody the essence of Mexican flavors and culinary techniques. Embrace the rich heritage of Mexican cuisine by preparing homemade Tacos de Cachete with this authentic recipe, inviting you to savor the robust flavors and cultural significance of this beloved dish.

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Written by Robert Zelesky

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