Back in the day when I returned home from school in D.C., my first stop would always be at my local taco spot, Alberto’s. After being in Washington for months at a time my hankering for quality taquitos was intense. That plate was the perfect welcome each time and once I finally moved back to Los Angeles for good, I found myself there – often. Eventually my underemployed budget was taking a hit and I had to stop making the turn into the drive thru and figure out another way. Today I want to share my recipe with you because honestly, there are few things better than taquitos. Seriously, name one. In the meantime keep reading and get that, get that.
Rolled corn tortillas stuffed to the brim with well seasoned meat, topped with guacamole, shredded lettuce, shredded cheddar and pico de gallo. Yes, I am drooling too. Before I learned how to make my own taquitos at home I relied on the frozen food aisle to help me curb my cravings. Suffice it to say those weren’t as tasty as Alberto’s. While I enjoy a taco as much as the next person, for me taquitos will always reign supreme. Whether at one of my favorite local eateries or at elevated restaurants tacos dorados, flautas, or taquitos are going to make their way to my plate.
You can stuff anything inside a taquito…
Some of my favorite fillings are short ribs and carnitas, but taquitos can be made with potato, simple bean and cheese, or even something more elaborate like a soyrizo combo. The recipe I am sharing here is a short rib version that I return to time and time again because it’s fairly foolproof and easy to handle. The most difficult of part of nailing taquitos is the roll. Others opt for sticking a toothpick in the center to hold the the tortilla together as it fries but if I’m being honest, I hate it. Largely because I hate how it looks and it’s also time consuming. You have to pierce each roll and then remove it before you eat. Nah. Instead I use a much simpler method.
The Best Damn Taquito You Ever Had
Begin by seasoning short ribs with salt and pepper, set aside. Heat neutral oil in a large dutch oven or pot, to brown short ribs. Once oil is shimmering add the short ribs and brown on each side. Be mindful not to overcrowd the pot. Complete in batches until all the ribs have been browned and fat is rendered.
Remove short ribs from the pot, set aside. Add garlic and onions to pot, saute until fragrant. Add chipotle peppers, barbeque sauce, and all dry seasoning. Next, add vegetable broth. Then add the short ribs back into the pot and stir. Taste to see if more salt is needed. Bring to a boil. Once boiling turn down to a simmer – uncovered. Don’t cover or you will lose the liquid. Add bay leaves and allow meat to simmer until tender and falling off of the bone.
Getting The Perfect Roll
The recipe I’m sharing is one that’s so easy because it doesn’t require too much work. Browning the meat the longest part and then it’s all about rolling the taquito. It’s something you can begin at the start of your day and come back to at the end. Spending all day smelling the deliciousness of short ribs bubbling would make any Zoom call easier might you say?
Once the meat is done, you can prepare the tortillas for rolling. Start by wetting a paper towel and squeezing out the excess water. Then take your tortillas wrap them in the paper towel and place into the microwave for about 20 seconds. This is long enough for the shells to become more malleable and easier to roll. It should also be noted that taquitos are typically made with corn tortillas while flautas tend to be flour. After nuking the tortillas heat your oil, once it’s hot, add your meat to the tortilla, roll and using tongs place your taquitos into the oil seam side down. The frying process will secure the roll and no toothpicks are needed in the process.
DO NOT OVERSTUFF or the taquito will burst. Add meat toward the top of the tortilla and roll. Using tongs add the taquito to the oil with the seam facing down in the pan and fry on all sides until golden brown.The frying process will secure the roll and no toothpicks are needed in the process.
I know you’ve probably seen Alton Brown and plenty others use the toothpick method, but honestly, these are the same folks who think you need a foil guide to make a hard taco shell. Trust me.
The Finishing Touches
Once the taquitos are fried and done then you can top them all the goodies. My go to’s are guacamole, crumbled cotija, pickled red onions, and if I’m feeling jazzy I’ll add some other pickled veggies as well. Another yummy option is flavored sour cream. Sour cream adds the tang you need to cut the richness in this dish but adding cilantro, avocado, or pepper for some heat will only elevate the cream. Taking an already delicious meal up a notch. While taquitos are best served immediately you can make these and refrigerate them for a few days, reheat them in the oven or refry to get the crisp again. Definitely do not microwave.
I’ve got more recipes coming your way! This year I really wanted to work on my food photography instead of allowing it to keep me from sharing my meals. As always I am appreciative of each of you who reads this blog and making my space a part of your day. When you try these taquitos be sure to share with me over on IG! Follow me there @hautemommie.