Most times, my famiky would wait for a special occasion to prepare alambres norteños(grilled beef kabobs). I have vivid memories of my mom slicing and dicing all of the ingredients on that small kitchen table. That all in one resin cutting board, with permanent food stains, used for everything that needed chopping. Everything! Lol! In my kitchen today, I store several cutting boards, all colors, all sizes. I guess I never really knew the importance of a good knife and a good cutting board until I had to cook on my own.
Mom Had A System That Worked!
My mom would set up her little work station and magically she would always have just the right amount of ingredients to prepare the perfect kabobs. I always end up having too much meat and not enough of the other ingredients. And some of you may wonder why go through the fuss of skewering all those ingredients together, when you can just grill them separately, right? Tradition! It just wouldn’t be the same. For me, these alambres norteños, are as traditional in our family as pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving is to other families. And more than anything, we do it to keep the legacy going!
#foodieforlife #arribaelnorte #tradition #mexicanfood
I ran out of peppers, onions and bacon, so prepared one, all beef, kabob!
I Regret Not Taking More Photos Of All The Cooking!
Why, why, why didn’t I take more photos when I was still living at home?? In 1986, I didn’t have a phone in my pocket! Lol!! If I had documented mom’s cooking, it would had been a lot easier to recreate her dishes once I was on my own and living far from home. Good thing I spent time with her in the kitchen and was generally interested in cooking!
Here is mom preparing some alambres when we lived in Houston. Sometimes she would prepare both chicken and beef. The plastic green colander that I proudly own now. So many wonderful memories attached.
And here is Dad grilling the alambres in that Texas heat! Dad had a big collection of fans! The bigger, the better! Lol!
For the 100th time, and I can’t say it enough, invest in an inexpensive meat thermometer. I use mine all the time.
Tacos de Alambre with no melted cheese. Garnished with Tomatillo Avocado Salsa! To prepare the tacos, using the leftover alambres, simply chop the alambre ingredients smaller. Sear in a little oil and add a good melting cheese while still in the pan. Serve on warm tortillas with your favorite salsa, lime and cilantro!
Tacos de Alambre with melted manchego cheese and a Salsa Tatemada de Jalapeño Rojo. I charred red jalapeños instead of green to prepare this spicy and smoky salsa! If you click onto the link. you can find the recipe for the green jalapeño version which would be the same.
One of my absolute favorite tacos to date!
It is most common to use only green bell peppers for the alambres norteños, but why not add some more color by using red or orange?
I believe on this day, I did not have any bacon! What?
Here is the chicken version of Alambres Norteños, Alambres de Pollo
- 2 pounds beef sirloin chuck or beef stew
- Juice of 1 orange
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh cracked pepper
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 4 tablespoons oil
- 1 pound bacon
- 2 green bell peppers or poblano
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1 large white onion
- 6 12 inch metal skewers
- Slice the beef into 1 inch pieces, only making them 1/2 thick. Slice the bacon, peppers and onion as close in size to the beef as possible.
- Add the beef to a bowl. Add orange juice, lime juice, spices, vinegar and oil. Toss well to combine. Cover and marinate for 2-4 hours.
- When ready, assemble the alambres. I start with beef, bacon, onion and then pepper. Repeat until skewer is filled. You should have about 8 pieces of beef per skewer, more or less.
- Preheat grill to medium/high heat with the lid closed.
- Brush grates with oil. Place alambres on direct heat. Close lid. You will want to turn the alambres every few minutes for the next 10-15 minutes. If they are charring too fast, move them over to the cool side of the grill and continue cooking until internal temp. of meat reaches 130 degrees F.