Not just for ‘Taco Tuesday’s’. The perfect midweek meal.

Make sure you buy the highest quality beef you can when you make these simple beef tacos with red kidney beans and watercress.

  • SERVES: 2 -4
  • PREP TIME: 5 mins
  • COOK TIME:  20 mins
  • DIFFICULTY: easy
  • IDEAL FOR: healthy, midweek meal

Simple beef tacos with red kidney beans and watercress

This is a great dish when you’re busy but a bit fed up with the usual midweek meals.

It’s easy, simple, quick, and tasty.

I always keep a packet of corn tortillas in my store cupboard, along with kidney beans.

This means, that as long as I’ve got a nice piece of (grass-fed) beef in the freezer, I can whip up some tacos.

You don’t need a lot of meat and it doesn’t have to be an expensive cut.

I use flank, skirt, flat iron, etc but I buy the best quality I can afford.

And I only use approx.. 200 – 250 grams and then slice thinly and it goes a long way.

… and tastes amazing.

Just make sure you don’t overcook the cheaper cuts.

Simple beef tacos with red kidney beans and watercress

Taco vs tortilla

A confusing situation.

What are you making when you make a taco or make a tortilla?

In a nutshell, the taco wasn’t used in Mexico to begin with.

But it seems to be a word that can mean both a hardshell taco OR a softshell corn tortilla.

And the hardshell taco belongs more to America’s Tex-Mex version of Mexican dishes.

So, my view is, that ‘taco’ can be used as a generic word but to have an authentic Mexican dish.

Then a soft corn tortilla is what you need to use.

Corn tortilla vs. flour tortilla: which one?

For some reason, I also never got my head around the various names of some Mexican classics.

I partly blame the different types of tortillas, tacos, etc you can find in a supermarket.

And I think brands often use the names incorrectly so it makes it even more confusing.


I decided to do some research (about time!) and found The Taco Catering Guy, has laid it all out for me/us.

Let’s start by comparing them.

The difference between corn and flour tortilla’s

Corn tortillas

Corn tortillas have been a staple of Mexican cuisine for thousands of years.

In Mexico, corn tortillas are the go-to option to cook with.

So, if you want to make an authentic Mexican dish, the corn is the one.

They’re been using corn for more than 1000 years.

Corn tortillas are made of masa harina, a special corn flour.

They’re usually thicker and smaller than the flour tortilla and have a firmer texture.

The taste is more earthy and has a slight sweetness about it.

And if you have celiac disease, like my nephew, then these are gluten-free to perfect for him.

Flour tortillas

Flour tortillas

Are made of wheat flour.

That’s a shocker! Lol.

They are thinner than corn tortillas and softer and often bigger.

What to use in your cooking

We’ve ended up back at tortillas and tacos.

Corn tortillas are great for Mexican dishes like tacos, enchiladas, and tamales. They are also perfect for use in tostadas, and quesadillas.

Flour tortillas are often used in burritos, quesadillas, fajitas, and chimichangas.

If none of this has cleared things up, don’t worry.

Just use whatever is easiest and available.

But if you want a more authentic Mexican vibe, then it’s corn (soft, not hard shells) tortillas all the way.

Good luck and enjoy this simple beef tacos with red kidney beans and watercress.

For more midweek Mexican-style recipes, visit here.

Simple beef tacos with red kidney beans and watercress

Course Main Course
Keyword beef tacos, mexican
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 people
Cost £


  • 200 g flank, skirt, bavette steak (grass-fed if you can)
  • 400 g tinned red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 corn tortillas (or flour tortillas)
  • 200 g watercress
  • 1 red chilli, sliced, to garnish
  • fresh coriander, to garnish
  • fresh lime
  • creme fraiche (optional)

Pickled onion

  • 1 red onion (ir white), sliced thinly
  • 1 tbsp castor sugar
  • 4 tbsp cider vinegar


  • In a frying pan, add a little olive oil and gently fry the sliced onion, then add the garlic for another minute. Add the kidney beans and stir in (you can add some chilli flakes here if you want a spicier dish). Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • In a small bowl mix the castor sugar and cider vinegar – taste and adjust to your liking – then add the sliced red onion and leave to pickle.
  • Season the steak with salt and pepper and cook on each side for approx. 3 mins or until it's cooked to how you like it. Remove and rest.
  • In a clean frying pan, on high heat, place the corn tortilla to warm up – flip to warm both sides.


  • Slice the steak thinly.
    Lay the tortilla on a plate, add some watercress, spoon some of the onion and bean mix, then lay some slices of steak on top, add some pickled red onion, sliced red chilli, a squeeze of lime, scatter fresh coriander, then add a small dollop of creme fraiche.