• Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Tacos al Albañil

Bricklayer tacos come together in less than 15 minutes. They get their name from the Spanish word albañil, or bricklayer, as tacos like these are a common meal served at lunchtime. They are sold by street vendors who set up outside of construction sites. These tacos are so delicious, they're now served in restaurants and taquerías all over Mexico.


  • 1 pound ripe Roma tomatoes

  • 8 ounces bacon, sliced

  • 2 pounds beef sirloin or tenderloin, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • Kosher or sea salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 2 cups white onion, slivered or sliced

  • 1 jalapeño chile, sliced, seeding optional, or to taste

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped

  • Flour or corn tortillas

To Prepare:

Place tomatoes in a baking dish and under the broiler for 6 to 9 minutes, until charred, mushy and juices have begun to run. Once cool, roughly chop, but don’t discard the juices.

Heat the skillet, add the bacon and cook until it is crisp and browned, about 5 minutes. Add the meat and season with salt and pepper and sear for about 2 minutes per side.

Add in the onion and jalapeño and let them soften for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and before it browns, in less than a minute, add the chopped tomatoes. Stir here and there and let it all season for about 4 to 5 minutes.

In a skillet or comal, set over medium-low heat, heat the tortillas. It will take about 1 minute per side. Place the tortillas in a tortilla warmer or wrap them in a clean kitchen towel or cloth napkin.

Serve along with the tenderloin tips; guests can fill the tortillas with the amount of filling they desire.

Patricia Jinich
Pati Jinich is a cooking teacher, food writer and chef at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, D.C. She hosts the public television series Pati’s Mexican Table broadcasted nationwide and released her first cookbook, also titled Pati’s Mexican Table, in March 2013.