This is a firm favourite in our midweek repertoire. There are a few different elements but they’re all cheap to buy, simple to prepare and a real flavour sensation when combined. Slightly charred, soft, flour tortillas are filled with mildly spiced black beans, crispy, salty nuggets of chorizo and fresh, zingy salsa, plus crunchy slaw (and I also like to add a crumbling of salty feta cheese and drizzle of Valentina hot sauce).
My top tip for any Mexican-inspired meal that uses flour tortillas is to always char them a bit – it adds a whole new dimension of flavour that you really don’t get from just warming them. See step 4 in the recipe to find out how.
Black bean & crispy chorizo tacos
Serves 3-4 (Makes enough for 8 small tacos)
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 25-30 mins
For the black beans
1 onion, finely chopped (red or white – either work)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped, finely grated or crushed in a garlic crusher
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tin black beans (kidney beans will work if you can’t find black beans!)
1 tbsp pickled jalepeños, finely chopped (+ a tsp of the pickling juice)
For the pico de gallo
½ small red onion, roughly chopped
100g cherry tomatoes, halved
½ red pepper, roughly chopped
large handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
pinch of cayenne pepper or a few drops tabasco (optional)
For the slaw/salad
½ red onion, finely sliced
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
¼ sweetheart cabbage
handful fresh coriander
approx. 100g chorizo (half a 225g ring)
8 mini flour tortilla wraps
pickled jalapeños (optional)
feta cheese, to serve (optional but advised)
hot sauce, to server (optional)
- First make the black beans: Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and a large pinch of salt and fry for around 5 mins, until starting to soften. Scrape in the garlic and fry for a minute further, then add the spices and tomato puree and fry for a few mins more, stirring to coat. Tip in the black beans, including all the water from the tin. Finally, stir in about 1tbsp chopped pickled jalapeños and about a tsp of the liquid from the jar. Turn down to a gentle simmer while you crack on with the rest.
- To make the pico de gallo: Roughly chop the red onion and put it in a dish, then squeeze over the juice of half a lime. Leave this to soak while you roughly chop the rest of your ingredients (soaking red onion in any kind of acid takes away a bit of that harsh raw onion bite). Once all the other salsa ingredients are roughly chopped, chuck them into a food processor, blender or mini chopper, along with the red onion and lime juice, with a generous pinch of salt (and a dash of tabasco or pinch cayenne, if using). Pulse in the processor until it’s looking salsa-like but not liquid – you want it to still be chunky. Taste and season accordingly (you might want even more lime if yours wasn’t very juicy). Scrape into a serving bowl.
- To make the slaw/salad: finely slice the red onion and put in a dish with the juice of half a lime, a pinch of salt and 2 tbsp white wine vinegar. Let that soak while you prepare the remaining ingredients – finely slice the cabbage, coarsely grate the carrot and roughly chop the coriander. Toss everything together in a large bowl with the onion, (including the lime juice and vinegar as that will serve as the dressing).
- Next, char the tortillas: If you have a gas hob, you can use a pair of tongs to hold each tortilla wrap directly over the flame until it chars. If not, get a frying pan onto a high heat and dry-fry each tortilla for about 30 seconds on each side – it should start to brown in patches and might even puff up a bit. Remove when it has nice brown charred patches, then repeat with the remaining tortillas. Pile them up on a plate and keep them warm in a really low oven until ready to serve (VERY low oven is important, or they’ll dry out. You can also stop them from drying out by zapping in the microwave for 20 seconds before serving).
- Finally, for the chorizo: De-skin the chorizo by scoring down it with a knife, then carefully peeling off the thin layer of paper-like skin. Slice into roughly 1 cm rounds, then chop each of these into quarters. Heat a dry frying pan over a medium-high heat and add the chorizo. Fry for a few minutes until all the oils have come out and the chorizo is starting to crisp up.
- Before serving, I like the mash the black beans a bit with the back of a wooden spoon or fork. Serve these alongside the charred wraps, salsa, chorizo and slaw, plus crumbled feta cheese, sliced jalapeños, hot sauce and extra lime wedges, if you like, then allow people to build their own tacos.