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Bricklayer Tacos with Beef and Bacon

Bricklayer Tacos with Beef and Bacon
Bricklayer Tacos with Beef and BaconNathan Congleton / TODAY

Chef notes

Pati Jinich, host of "Pati's Mexican Table," shares a taco recipe that's full of everything we love and takes just 15 minutes to make.


  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes or 1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 8 ounces sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide strips
  • 2 pounds boneless beef sirloin or tenderloin, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, cut lengthwise in half and then into thin slivers (about 2 cups)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 jalapeño chiles, thinly sliced (seeded if desired), or to taste
  • 12 flour or corn tortillas, warmed
  • Fresh tomatillo-avocado salsa verde (recipe follows)
Tomatillo-avocado salsa verde (makes 2 cups)
  • 1 pound tomatillos, husks removed, thoroughly rinsed, and halved
  • 1 ripe Hass avocado, halved, pitted, and flesh scooped out
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped white onion
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and upper part of stems
  • 1 jalapeño or serrano chile or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt or to taste



If using fresh tomatoes, preheat the broiler. (You can also roast the tomatoes on a hot comal or in a skillet, but a broiler is quicker.) Line a baking sheet or baking dish with foil. Put the tomatoes on the foil and place under the broiler, 2 to 3 inches from the heat. Broil for 4 to 5 minutes, then flip over. Broil for another 4 to 5 minutes, until the skin is charred and the tomatoes are completely soft. Remove from the heat.


Once the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, coarsely chop them. Transfer the tomatoes, with their juices and seeds, to a bowl. Or if using fire-roasted tomatoes, drain them, reserving the juices, and coarsely chop, then transfer the tomatoes to a bowl along with the juices.


Heat a 12-inch deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until it starts to crisp and lightly brown. Add the meat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sear the meat, in batches if necessary, for about 4 minutes, turning once.


Add the onions, garlic, and chiles to the pan and cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes, until softened. Add the tomatoes and their juices and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes more. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Turn off the heat.


Serve with the warm tortillas and salsa.

Tomatillo-avocado salsa verde

Combine the tomatillos, avocado, onion, cilantro, chile, and salt in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust the salt. Serve.