How to make Hard Shell Beef Tacos

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A yellow crispy hard shell, seasoned beef, lettuce, tomato, & shredded cheese. This is what a lot of people picture when they hear the word taco.

Given those ingredient constraints, I wanted to make the highest quality version of the homemade hard shell ground beef taco that I could. I focused on the quality of the ingredients in addition to cooking techniques to take the taco from fast-food level to gourmet beef taco.

Step aside Taco Bell and all other hardshell makers, this is the best hard shell taco you can get!


– 1 lb 80/20 ground beef
– 2 TBSP Cumin
– 1 TBSP Paprika
– ½ TBSP Chipotle Powder
– ½ TBSP Smoked Ghost Pepper Powder
– 1 TBSP Diced Tomato
– Salt to taste

1. Set a cast-iron pan over medium heat.

2. Add the beef and a healthy handful of salt. Brown the beef

3. Meanwhile, heat a pan over medium-low heat. Toast the cumin, paprika, chipotle powder, and smoked ghost pepper powder. Once the spices are fragrant and warmed through, add to the beef.

4. Mix the spices with the beef.

5. Add the tomato and stir to combine.

6. TASTE IT! Add more salt if you need to.


– Lettuce, finely sliced
– Tomato, small dice
– Cotija cheese, grated

– Corn Tortillas

1. Steam the corn tortillas by folding them in a damp towel and microwaving for 60 seconds. This is done to make them more pliable for frying.

2. Fill the tortillas with a large spoonful of the beef and a small pinch of cotija cheese. Fold them in half.

3. Heat a cast iron with a thin layer of oil over medium-high heat.

4. Lay the tacos and fry until the outside is just golden brown and crispy. Flip to the other side.

5. Lay on a paper towel to soak up any excess oil.

6. Add the toppings and enjoy the best damn hard shell taco you can get.


Music: Provided by Musicbed
Filmed on: Sony a6400 w/ 18-105mm F4
Voice recorded on Behringer Ultravoice Mic
Edited in: Premiere Pro #TacoTuesday

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