¡Arriba, Arriba! Tacos Tonight!

It seems that tacos have become the new burgers in London. From a growing number Mexican restaurants to street food pop-up sites, tacos are more popular than ever. And have they changed!

Gone are the Tex-Mex favourites of old. Now it’s all about gourmet tacos that meet the definition of taco only by being wrapped in a tortilla! Smoked bavette with chimichurri, beer-battered sea bream with salsa veracruz, pig’s head cochinita pibil (what is that?) and even buttermilk fried chicken are the toppings at the best rated taco joints in London.

And that is all good. I love the new flavours, but I still enjoy the old Tex-Mex version too. Crispy shells, spicy mince, cheese, lettuce, salsa and sour cream — Yum!

Growing up we always used packet spices but over time I’ve worked out my own blend.

Crispy Beef Tacos

Slowly simmered mince with true Mexican spices give this dish its appeal.  Better make plenty--they're moreish.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Author Bruce Heck


  • 500 gm ground beef
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of taco spice mix see below
  • 12 taco shells
  • 170 gm shredded American or Cheddar cheese 1 1/2 cups
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  • 3/4 cup salsa
  • 3/4 cup sour cream if desired

Taco Spice Mix

  • 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano


  1. Heat oven to 250°F. In medium skillet, brown ground beef and onion over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until beef is thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently. Drain.

  2. Stir in the taco spice mix and add 1 1/2 cups of beef stock. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until the stock is absorbed (about 30-45 minutes).

  3. Once the mince is ready, place taco shells on ungreased cookie sheet. Heat at 250°F. for 5 minutes.

  4. To assemble tacos, layer beef mixture, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes in each taco shell. Serve with salsa; top with sour cream.

Taco Spice Mix

  1. Just mix all of the ingredients together and store in an air-tight container.

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