Introducing Copycat Chuys Idol Beef Tacos! I’m really excited about this one; it’s been in the works for literally years! It all started with this screenshot I took a couple of years ago when I was browsing around on my Instagram explore page and happened across Chuys Tacos Dorados, a restaurant in California not to be confused with Chuy’s Tex-Mex.
It took me a few tries and two years, but today I bring you my version of what I thought to be the most appetizing of the Chuys menu options when I looked it over: deep-fried tacos stuffed with Crispy Mexican Shredded Beef, topped with Chorizo Refried Beans and shredded cheddar cheese, and I definitely recommend you give it a go – they’re delicious!
Chuys Idol Beef Tacos Ingredients
Feel free to jump to the full recipe, but here are useful notes about the ingredients you will need to make this Chuy’s Idol Beef Tacos recipe:
- Crispy Mexican Shredded Beef: Chuys uses carne deshebrada (shredded beef), and I’m not really familiar with that, so I found a recipe and adapted the hell out of it. I didn’t want to name it the same thing in case it riles up any authenticity police that might come across the recipe.
- Chorizo Refried Beans: Even if it had turned out that I didn’t care for the Idol Tacos once I had them, I would have been grateful for them bringing Chorizo Refried Beans into my life. They’re delicious.
- Vegetable oil: For frying the tacos. You can use whatever kind you like.
- Corn tortillas: Use taco-sized ones, so like 6 inches or so.
- Medium cheddar cheese: I worked really hard on finding out what cheese Chuys uses, thumbing through Yelp reviews and Instagram comments, enlarging and staring at all the photos on their website, reading all available nutritional information, etc. I decided on medium cheddar cheese because that’s what it looks like, and no reviews mentioned a tang or zip to the cheese.
- Masa, water: We use this to make a paste, and use that paste to seal the tacos together at the top, so they stay together and keep the filling intact while we deep fry. If you opt to shallow pan-fry as I do with my Crispy Tacos, you won’t need this.
How to Make Chuy’s Idol Beef Tacos
Full instructions are included in the recipe below, but here is a basic overview of what you’ll need to do, along with some important tidbits to help you make the most of this Chuy’s Idol Beef Tacos recipe:
- Prepare to deep-fry. Fill a dutch oven or another high-sided pot about halfway up with oil. Let it heat over medium-high heat while you assembled the tacos. It might be helpful to clip a candy or oil thermometer to the side of the pan to help regulate the temperature (360°F is ideal). In a small bowl whisk together the masa and water to make a paste and set that aside. Warm your tortillas in the microwave for a few seconds, just until they’re soft and pliable.
- Build the tacos. Fill them with a few tablespoons of the shredded beef, then use your finger or a small spoon to spread a small amount of the masa paste you made along the top edges of the taco, then press them together. Spread the paste out and press as much of the taco together as you can – act like you’re trying to seal it completely – but it’ll like pop apart everywhere except the very top. That’s alright: as long as it holds there we should be fine.
- Check the oil. If you didn’t use a thermometer you can add a small piece of tortilla to the oil to test it. It should sink, then float to the top and gently sizzle, without the bubbles being too vigorous. If it takes more than a couple of seconds to float to the top, let it continue heating up.
- Let’s fry!! When the oil is ready, drop the tacos gently into the oil, as many as will fit in at once. Fry the tacos until the tortilla feels hardened and turns golden brown. Remove with tongs, tilting the taco from side to side to ensure the oil drains as well as you can. Drain the tacos on a wire rack over a baking sheet. Store the rack in a 200°F oven to keep warm as you fry the other tacos. Once all the tacos are fried, top them with a heaping spoonful of hot Chorizo Refried Beans, and a large mound of shredded cheese. Dassit!
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