Tacos de Abuelo (Grandpa’s Tacos)

Growing up in South Florida, we didn’t get much in the way of Mexican Food. I can only remember one restaurant, Mexico Lindo but it was very good. Cubans had their version of a taco called a Carne Empanada which a favorite of mine. This kind of a meeting of those worlds.








1 lbs Ground beef, lean if you can get it
2 Tbs oil
1 red onion, diced and divided
1 small yellow onion, diced and divided
1 green (or yellow or red) pepper, diced
1 cup small grape tomatoes, halved and divided
1 cup lettuce, shredded
1/4 cup Old El Paso Taco Seasoning (or you can make your own)
1/2 cup stuffed Spanish olives, sliced finely
1 tsp Tajin spice
~1/4 cup water, adjust as necessary for right consistency
16-24 oz grated cheese (sharp cheddar, Monterey jack or colby mix)
1 can of old fashioned (not good for you) refried beans
15 stand-em up crispy corn Taco shells
Favorite Salsa
Sour Cream
Cilantro, chopped for final garnish


  1. Prep all ingredients in advance. Start rice cooker and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Start your black beans with some onion and butter on the stove on low and stir occasionally.
  2. In a cast iron skillet on medium heat, allow oil to come to a shimmer and add half of the onions and tomatoes, all green pepper, taco seasoning, and tajin. Cook until veggies are softened and will mixed with spices,
  3. Add ground beef and break into small crumbles and cook until done through.
  4. Add water as needed to make sauce the right consistency (some like drier and others wetter.. this is your chance to get it like you want it.
  5. Set stand-em up taco shells on a parchment lined cookie sheet with a rim.
  6. Using a small spoon, spread a layer of refried beans in each taco.
  7. Sprinkle a layer of cheese in each shell.
  8. Spoon taco filling into each taco. Cover with another layer of cheese.
  9. Bake in middle rack of oven for 15-20 minutes to melt cheese and heat the tacos thru.
  10. Serve with tomatoes, mix of onions, lettuce, salsa, sour cream and cilantro on he side for final personal prep of each taco.

Serve with white rice and black beans.