A Proper Tex-Mex Breakfast Taco
Photo from Easy Campfire Recipes
Here in West Texas, a properly made breakfast taco is an essential part of starting your day. Almost every gas station you pass on the highway will sell some form of breakfast taco. This ain’t the kind of gas station food you’re thinking about either.
They’re real tacos and real good.
There are four key elements to a good taco. The wrapping, the filling, the salsa, and the toppings.
Some people have a tendency to combine too many elements together in one pan while they’re cooking. By doing this, they’re missing a critical piece of the puzzle. Texture.
Combining too many ingredients in the pan tends to turn them all into a soft, mushy mess. Combine that with a soft flour tortilla and a liquidy, mass-produced salsa, and you’ve got a catastrophe on your hands.
No amount of random toppings will save it. In fact, adding too many toppings just muddles the flavors. Keep it simple, but cook it well.
With this recipe, we’ll up your taco game without over-complicating your life.
This recipe isn’t traditional Mexican fare. It’s Tex-Mex. It’s got flour tortillas and hashbrowns in it, which likely isn’t something you’ll find in Mexico City.
Since we’re cooking Tex-Mex here, we’re not bound by tradition. We can do what we want, so we’re using flour tortillas because they’re easy to manage and we’re using the hashbrowns because they’re easier to crisp up than diced potato.
Here’s what you’ll need to make it happen:
For the Tacos
- 4 flour tortillas
- 8 strips of bacon, cut in half
- 1 small russet potato, peeled and shredded (you can use pre-shredded dried hashbrown potatoes if you want to make your life easier)
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- Cheddar cheese, shredded
- Pinch of salt
For the Salsa
- 1 to 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp. red onion, finely chopped
- 1 small jalapeno, stem, seeds and white ribs removed, finely chopped
- A healthy squeeze of lime juice
- 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
You can buy your salsa in a jar at the store, but it won’t taste as good. Growing up here in Texas, I’ve been fortunate to have eaten all kinds of fresh, homemade salsas and I just can’t bring myself to eat the stuff on the shelves at the grocery store.
The things they add to it to make it shelf stable also make it taste funny. No thanks.
Do not skip the salsa though. You need a fresh acidic element to offset the fattiness of the bacon. If you don’t like the heat of the jalapenos you can substitute something like a poblano or even a bell pepper.
Make Your Salsa
This salsa (Pico de Gallo) is super easy to make if you don’t mind a little chopping. Just chop the tomatoes, jalapenos, and onion into a small dice, and finely chop the cilantro. Throw it all into a mixing bowl, squeeze the lime over the top, mix well, add salt and pepper to taste, and it’s ready to serve.
Nothing to it.
Make Your Taco Filling
Now, the way we’re going to get some texture into our tacos is to cook the ingredients separately instead of all together in a big mushy pile.
First, cook your bacon until it’s crisp. Even if you normally like soft bacon, it’s better to do it crispy for this recipe. Set it aside on a paper towel-lined plate to drain while you prepare everything else.
Next, you’re going to make some crispy hashbrowns.
Pour a little of the bacon grease out of the pan until you have about two to three tablespoons left. Heat your pan to medium-high, add black pepper to your shredded potato (you won’t need salt since the bacon grease is loaded with it), and add the shredded potato to the pan.
Cover and cook until the bottom is brown and crisp, about five minutes. Carefully flip with your spatula, cover, and cook until the other side is brown and crispy, another five minutes or so.
Try not to disturb the potatoes too much while they’re cooking or they won’t brown and crisp up properly. You want them good and crisp, so if you need to leave them in a little longer, do it.
While your hashbrowns are cooking, crack your eggs into a mixing bowl, add a pinch of salt, and beat gently with a fork. They don’t need to be whipped, just mixed up a bit.
When finished cooking, remove your hashbrowns to a plate and slice it into long strips about a half-inch wide.
Turn the heat on your pan down to medium.
Throw the butter in the pan and let it melt.
Once melted, add your eggs and cook, stirring constantly until cooked through but with the appearance of being a little wet. Remove from the heat. You don’t want to cook them over the heat too long because they’ll continue cooking when you take them off the burner.
Assembling Your Tacos
Now, all that’s left is assembly.
Grab a flour tortilla, add four half-slices of bacon, some hashbrowns strips, some eggs, and top with salsa.
Sprinkle with a little shredded cheddar and you have the breakfast of champions.
Now that you know the basics of a Tex-Mex taco, you can start to experiment by changing out ingredients for similar ingredients. Maybe you change the bacon out for sausage or chorizo. Maybe you’d like a more tart salsa, so change the Pico do Gallo out for a salsa verde. The possibilities are endless. Just remember, stick to the four key components.
Explore more easy camping recipes at EasyCampfireRecipes.com. We take great recipes from the kitchen and make them easy to manage at the campsite. Good food is the difference between an okay camping trip and an amazing camping trip.