Tacos de Bistec

Steak Tacos

One of the most iconic taco preparations, this version of tacos de bistec comes from Mely Martinez' cookbook The Mexican Home Kitchen.

If I had to confess to one weakness, it would be tacos. I love them, especially the ones that are sold at taquerias, which contain only meat, a topping of fresh cilantro and chopped onion, and, in my case, a very spicy salsa. If you have visited Mexico, you have probably seen these taco stands at night, with the lights hanging from the roof and lots of people gathered around. This recipe for street-style steak tacos does not disappoint. ~ Mely Martinez

Reprinted from The Mexico Home Kitchen: Traditional Home-Style Recipes That Capture the Flavors and Memories of Mexico by Mely Martinez (2020) with permission from The Quarto Group. Click here to purchase your own copy.


  • 1 tablespoon lard (15 g) or vegetable oil (15 ml) (lard is better for an authentic taste), plus more if needed
  • 2 pounds (900 g) thinly sliced rib-eye or chuck steaks
  • Salt, to taste
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped


  • In certain Latin markets, you may be able to find meat already sliced thinly.
  • A variation of this dish is tacos campechanos, in which the chopped steak is mixed with chorizo. Simply fry up some chorizo in the same skillet you cooked the steaks, then warm it with the chopped steak in step 3.

Serves 4


  1. Add the lard to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the meat with the salt. Add the steaks to the skillet. Cook the steaks for about 2 minutes per side. If you are making several steaks, wrap the cooked ones in aluminum foil and keep them in a warm oven or near the heat while you finish cooking the remainder of the steaks. Make sure not to overcook them.
  2. While the meat is cooking, start warming the tortillas in a separate large skillet over medium heat. Wrap the warmed tortillas in a cloth kitchen towel.
  3. Once all the meat is partially cooked, chop it into pieces that are 1/3 inch (8 mm) or smaller, then return it to the skillet to warm it again. Stir the meat to ensure it thoroughly heats through. If you want, you can add an extra dab of lard (or drizzle of oil) to the skillet.
  4. Assemble the tacos by placing a portion of the meat onto each warm tortilla. Some taco stands warm their tortillas in the same skillet as the meat; this way they absorb some of the flavor (some also add more oil or lard to the skillet while warming the tortillas). Top each taco with the chopped onion and cilantro.
  5. Serve with the salsa.