Teresa Matias told me that to help satisfy her children’s cries for burgers when buns weren’t handy, she would fold a hamburger patty into a tortilla and fry it. Topped with cheese, lettuce, and tomato, it later became a regular menu item at her restaurant, Teresa’s Mosaic Cafe.
Apparently, a lot of moms had the same experience, because the beef patty taco has been standard restaurant fare around southern Arizona since at least the mid-1970s.
For this beef patty tacos recipe, a plant-based, high-moisture ground beef alternative such as Beyond Beef also works well.
For each taco you will need:
- ¼ cup lean ground beef
- 1 corn tortilla
- Salt pepper, and garlic powder to taste
- 1 tablespoon Canola or neutral flavored vegetable oil for frying
- 2 tablespoons Shredded Mexican blend or cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons Shredded Iceberg or Romaine lettuce
- 1 tablespoon Diced tomatoes
- Spread a thin layer of ground beef over half of each corn tortilla so that the meat is about ¼-inch thick.
- Sprinkle the beef with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.
- Using tongs, carefully lay the open-faced tortilla meat-side-up in the oil. Fold the other side of the tortilla over the meat and gently press down.
- Fry for about 2 minutes, then flip the taco with the tongs and cook until until the tortilla is crispy and the meat is cooked, about two minutes longer.
- Remove the taco from the oil, turning it on its side over the oil to drain. Transfer to a paper towel.
- To[p with shredded cheese, lettuce and diced tomatoes.