1. Start with the right ingredient
Proper tacos need proper tortillas. And to make proper tortillas, you need the right ingredient – authentic Mexican masa harina.
Once you’ve got your masa harina, the next thing you need is a proper Mexican tortilla press. These have been used in Mexico for years as a fast way to produce perfectly thin, round tortillas.
Now it’s time to practice. Follow our guide, How to Make Corn Tortillas Using a Tortilla Press, and you’ll be a tortilla-making pro in no time.
Choose real masa harina flour made from corn or maize. It comes in two varieties – white, which is the classic Mexican maize flour; and blue, which is made from an ancient variety of blue corn and has a nuttier, sweeter flavour than white.
Naturelo blue masa harina is made from an ancient variety of blue corn, and gives a dusky blue-grey hue to your tortillas. We love to mix and match tortilla colours!
This rustic Mexican tortilla press comes direct from Mexico! It's the traditional heavyweight tortilla press for making tortillas in no time.
2. Slow Cook the Filling the Day Before
OK, so slow cooking isn’t strictly necessary, but for extra wintry comfort nothing beats slow cooked meat and veg that just melt in the mouth.
There are few things better than this recipe for smoky pulled pork for a crowd-pleasing taco filling. Marinate the pork shoulder overnight and slow cook for up to 6 hours until it’s falling apart.
For more of Mexican feel cook up a batch of Mexican birria meat stew, but use to stuff tacos instead of serving with rice. It’s rich, meaty and laced with the complex notes of three different Mexican chillies. This one is a real winter warmer.
Looking for something veggie? Our recipe for Mexican-style black beans with ancho chilli is where it’s at. Gently smoky, faintly fruity and packed with flavour, it’s the vegetarian jewel in your taco crown.
3. Add Your Toppings!
You’ve got your fresh tortillas and you’ve got your mouth-wateringly good slow-cooked filling. But no tacos are complete without toppings. And toppings are all about balancing those rich, hearty fillings.
First, think acidity – something as simple as a squeeze of lime can do wonders to lift heavy meat flavours. Even slices of fresh tomato will do the trick. Though they’re only mildly acidic, fresh tomatoes have a sweetness that cuts through rich flavours almost as well.
Textures are also important for a great taco experience. Reach for pickles to give you some crunch as well as the all-important hit of acidity. Quick pickled onions are perfect for tacos, or stick to the classics and add pickled green jalapenos with their bonus mild tingle of chilli heat.
One of the most important things to remember is: don’t be afraid to fuse flavours.
Love the funky, fizzy, chilli flavours of Korean kimchi? Stick it in a pulled pork taco. Can’t get enough of the sweet-sour-garlicky crunch of Sichuan smacked cucumbers? Pile some into a taco with slow-cooked chicken thighs. If it’s pickled, preserved or fermented, chances are it will work in a taco.
Tacos are great canvasses for new flavour combinations, so go forth and experiment!
For extra taco-points, choose your favourite sauce from our collection of hot sauces. With a drizzle of hot sauce and a sprinkling of fresh coriander or mint to add the final flourish, your taco masterpieces will be complete.