On this blog I’ve mentioned Chef Wesley Avila and his Guerrilla Tacos cookbook before. If you’re not familiar with the chef and author, he’s famous for Guerrilla Tacos in Los Angeles, which began as a food truck in 2012, then eventually transitioned to a restaurant. He’s now on to a new restaurant adventure. I love this photo of him!
What I would have first prepared from Guerilla Tacos – the cookbook – were Octopus and Chorizo tacos, but since I can’t get fresh octopus I made Chile Colorado first, then chose this recipe next – Perron-style tacos.
From Chef Avila: “This taco is reminiscent of my travels down to Baja California and eating at food stands in the suburbs of Rosario, at a placed called Tacos el Gerente. I’ve also seen a version of this taco in Mexicali, so I think it’s more of a northern-style taco. Perron translates to “bitchin’” I think – it’s just a bitchin’ taco.“
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon light chili powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
2 white onions, thinly sliced
2 oranges, thinly sliced into rings (do not peel)
1/4 cup white vinegar
3 pounds skirt steak, sliced into 3 x 5” pieces, 1/2” thick, like fajitas
2 cups dried pinto beans
1 yellow onion, quartered
2 bay leaves
1 head of garlic, halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon extra- virgin olive oil (optional)
6 Jalapeño chiles
3 limes, halved
1 pound Monterey Jack cheese
12 – 5” flour tortillas, warmed
Pico de Gallo
In a large bowl, mix together the vegetable oil, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, onions, oranges, and vinegar and season with salt. Add the steak to the marinade, turn to evenly coat, and leave in the refrigerator to marinate overnight.
Rinse the pinto beans and put the beans in a pot, cover with water, and set over medium heat until they’re bubbling. Add the onion, bay leaves and garlic and simmer slowly. Don’t salt your beans until they’re done; otherwise it will extract the water from the beans and you want them to absorb the water. When the beans are cooked and break apart when pressed with a spoon, remove from the heat and season with salt. Set aside to steep.
Prepare a medium charcoal grill or a gas grill at 525 degrees F. Remove the meat from the marinade and discard the marinade. Grill the meat for about 6 minutes, or until cooked to medium, turning once or twice. Alternatively, in a 12” cast-iron skillet over high heat, warm the vegetable oil. Add the meat and cook for about 5 minutes, turning once. Once cooked, set aside in a container covered with foil to let it rest for 5 minutes, then chop into 1 1/2” pieces.
Instead of slicing before and after, I cut my flank steak into long “fingers,” which is how we do fajitas. I cooked them in a hot skillet, then also removed some of the sliced onions and sauteed those over medium-high heat. There is a lot of flavor in the onions from the marinade.
On the high-heat grill or in the 6” cast-iron skillet over high heat, roast the jalapeños and get them nice and charred, about 4 minutes. Once they’re roasted, cut off the stems, and slice the chiles. Season liberally with salt and squeeze the limes over the top. Set aside.
In a pan over medium heat, add about 1 1/2 ounces of cheese to each warmed tortilla, and melt the cheese so it’s kind of quesadilla-ish.
Once it’s melted, put the tortillas on a plate. Add the meat and beans, top with pico de gallo and guacamole, and garnish with the seasoned jalapeños.
Wow Mimi, you have set the bar very high for Taco Tuesday!
They look fabulous! I would love one with extra steak and no beans please :-)
No beans??!!!! well okay.
They really were!
Wow the flavors in the marinade alone are to die for. I’ve never heard of Perron-Style Tacos, so thanks for the introduction Mimi. Everything sounds fantastic.
I honestly think he made the name up, since he just calls these “bitchin” tacos!
Now I’m going to have to have all my tacos with a base of gooey cheese!!! Brilliant!!
It is a nice touch!
These look delicious Mimi. Thank you.
You are so welcome!
I like the oranges in the marinade. Can you get frozen octopus? It’s great to use as the freezing tenderises the octopus. I always freeze the ones Dave brings home fresh, before using.
Seriously? Oh that’s really good to know. I had no idea. I will start ordering frozen octopus! thanks!
Wow! So much flavor going on here from the oranges in the marinade to the seared jalapenos. I love the way he breaks outside of the mold to bring extra flavor to tacos! And the title is pretty awesome, too!
He’s very creative!
Whoa, those really are some bitchin’ tacos! Awesome way to highlight National Taco Day, and you even made the beans from scratch?! Fantastic—save me a seat!
I know! what a great name! The frugal side of me, that will never go away, loves buying a bag of beans for 99 cents!
Love tacos especially the onions, peppers, cheese and beans – didn’t know oranges were a part of this type of taco which I would not care for. I do love citrus though but not here :) Looks wonderful…
Carne asada combines orange juice in its marinade. It’s not as weird as you might first think!
I looked online for more info and I saw that limes are also used in the marinade (seriouseats). Maybe I would like it – never say never – I’m just not drawn to it :)
Looks fabulous, Mimi, although I also love the idea of octopus and chorizo tacos. In any event, we’re going off to Mexico in about 10 days’ time. Looking forward to consuming many many tacos on their native turf while we’re there!
Oh how exciting! It’s so nice to travel again!
I would have to leave out the jalapeños (my husband can’t eat them), but otherwise that looks great!
Well, you could serve them on the side. They were really good!
Wow this are mean as tacos, I love every element on it and how they were prepared.
This guy knows what he’s doing!
This is a mouthwatering recipe! There are so many taco trucks and Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles that tacos almost become ho-hum. Almost! These are very definitely special. I really should attempt to visit this location, just to see what it’s all about. I think I’d previously heard that some of these elevated taco recipes were maybe too adventurous for me, like octopus, the flank steak sounds fabulous. :-) I’d definitely make this recipe, and if I make a field trip to try an authentic “guerrilla taco” I’ll let you know.
Oh, you’re so lucky to live in Los Angeles. At least for all of the food varieties! I haven’t been back since I left and got married, so that’s a very long time ago! I hope you can check out the restaurant!
There are many reasons why Los Angeles isn’t so great, as I’m sure you’re well aware, Mimi, but we do have many great food opportunities. LOL! I guess that’s something to be pleased about. :-)
The variety of restaurants, the great outdoor markets… but not the traffic. I haven’t been there since I moved from Santa Barbara in 1978. I really want to go back to California…
Santa Barbara…just about perfect in my book. I learned a few years ago that my dad had an opportunity to take a job in Santa Barbara when I was very young, and then for some reason he didn’t. I told her I was very disappointed in their decision. LOL! I’d have loved to live there.
I really wish I could have stayed. But I needed a job!
Isn’t that the truth!
Mouth watering buffet of tasty ingredients. I’m all for the orange in the marinade. :)
The orange flavor was a wonderful addition!
Everything I love in a taco, Mimi! Especially the melted cheese!
That is a nice touch!
i think i’ve seen this fellow on tv. Tacos look fabulous.
Yes, I’m sure you’ve seen him. He’s very tattoo’d!
Holy tacos, Mimi — those look utterly fantastic! Every photo has me drooling. I bought the book as soon as it came out and gave it to friends — what was I thinking?
Ha! I think you’d really like the book because he’s so creative.
I know — I just ordered another copy! 🤷🏼♂️
These look absolutely delicious Mimi. When I was in Mexico at the end of last year (our first holiday since Covid) I could not get enough of Taco’s!
I understand! I’ve never met a taco I didn’t like!
OMG- this looks so good! Oranges in the marinade- not that we need to try. Perfect game day food too. The boys would inhale this.
I bet they would!
These look so delicious—what a great meal! Tacos are the best! :)
They really are! In any form!
That is a great photo of the chef. And what an interesting taco! I’m so surprised by the orange!
I have yet to meet a taco I did not like and this would be no acceptation. Would love to make these for friends!
I know exactly what you mean!!!
Mimi, these look fabulous. Such a delicious group of ingredients. I so often see orange juice in Mexican recipes and I love the tangy flavor it brings. :-) ~Valentina
I like that addition as well, especially oranges.