Recipes: Tailgating tacos 3 ways

Mole negro barbacoa, roasted tomato chicken + chorizo, fall squash medley

SAN ANTONIO – Up your tailgating game with three taco ideas from Chef Leo Davila from Stixs & Stone restaurant on San Antonio’s Northwest Side.

One is a mole negro barbacoa taco. The others include roasted tomato chicken and a chorizo and fall squash medley. The recipes are below.

You’ll find Stixs & Stone at 5718 B Wurzbach Rd. It’s open Wednesday through Sunday.

Tailgating tacos 3 ways


For the mole negro barbacoa

• 2 pounds beef cheek, store-bought or homemade

• 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

• 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more to taste

• 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano

• 1/2 cup mole negro, store-bought or homemade

For the roasted tomato chicken

• 2 pounds cooked shredded chicken

• 1/2 cup tomato sauce

• 3 garlic cloves, minced

• 1 red onion, minced

• Kosher salt & pepper, to taste

• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

For the chorizo & fall squash medley

• 8 ounces sweet potato, acorn squash, and/or butternut squash, cubed 1″ dice

• 1 ounce sesame oil or canola oil

• 1 ounce green onions, cut on the bias

• 2 cloves garlic, minced

• 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds (optional)

For the tortillas (blue or yellow)

• 8 ounces Maseca masa (blue or yellow)

• 5 ounces hot water

• 1 teaspoon kosher salt


For the mole negro barbacoa

  1. Score beef cheeks and remove excess fat, season generously. Place into an instant pot and cook under high pressure for 1 hour and 30 minutes. For oven use, place in an oven-safe dish and cover tightly with foil, cook at 350°F for 1.5-2 hours or until fork-tender.
  2. Remove cooked barbacoa and, while hot, add mole negro one tablespoon at a time until desired flavor profile is reached. We typically stop at two tablespoons.
  3. Adjust seasoning and reserve.

For the roasted tomato chicken

  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, add onions and garlic, cook for 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and cook for an additional 7 minutes.
  2. Add cooked shredded chicken, stir to incorporate all ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add a dash of paprika and/or Mexican oregano for added flavor.
  3. Cook for an additional 5-7 minutes. Reserve for service.

For the chorizo & fall squash medley

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Liberally season the fall medley with oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 30-45 minutes or until fork-tender.
  3. Once fork-tender, in a bowl, toss the medley with a touch of sesame oil, minced garlic and green onions.
  4. Preheat a skillet to medium-high heat, add Mexican chorizo and cook for 5-7 minutes or until completed cooked through.
  5. Option 1: Toss cooked chorizo into squash medley bowl and reserve. Option 2: Add fall medley mix to taco and finish with the chorizo on top.

For the corn tortillas

  1. In a medium stainless steel or plastic bowl, add the masa and salt.
  2. Slowly add the warm water, 1 ounce at a time. Using a circular motion, mix the masa and hot water. Be careful not to overwork the masa, press down to compress it or make it dense. The consistency we are looking for is playdough or wet sand.
  3. Mix the masa until it is no longer dry and it does not stick to your hand.
  4. Allow the masa to rest for 30 minutes before use for best results.

Tip: If you are still unsure of the homemade corn tortilla technique, check out a great how-to video that Chef Davila filmed with Eatmigos.

To plate the tacos

  1. On a plate add three tortillas, we sauce with a touch of strawberry jam on the bottom for a great sweet and savory component.
  2. Add 3 ounces of filling to each tortilla, one of each kind for each of the three tacos.
  3. Garnish with your favorite pico de gallo, salsa or guacamole.

Tip: Chef Davila loves adding pickled watermelon rind, pickled red onions or pickled carrots.

Tailgating tacos three ways by Chef Leo Davila. (Chef Leo Davila 2021)

About the Author

Diana Winters is a San Antonio-area native, Emmy award-winning and GLAAD-nominated journalist who loves the Alamo City. She is the executive producer of SA Live, creator of South Texas PRIDE and co-creator of Texas Eats.

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