Discada - How to Feed 30 People with $40

Jan 22, 2006 by Oscar Anguiano | 0 Comments| Share it:   



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In northern Mexico, specifically on Chihuahua, there are three popular ways to make tacos. Carne al Pastor, Carne Asada y Discada.

Carne Asada is basically grilled steak.

In my extended family there are three main cooks for parties, and each one specializes in one of those three dishes. My specialty, is Discada, and I am here to tell you how to make it.

The spirit of Discada is similar to that of Paella, you cook everything in one pan, in this case a disco, but instead of using rice or grains for filling, you only use meat, a lot of meat. Also, similar to paella, everybody and his mother has a different way to prepare it, my way deviates a little from the mainstream but everyone that has tasted (more than 150 different people) it had said that is the best Discada they’ve ever tasted.

Discada is the best dish to serve in a party, in fact I can say that 2 of every 5 parties where food is served, Discada is in the menu. Why?, simply because you can make a lot of food at a relatively low price. In Mexico the minimum wage is 4 dollars per day and when a kilogram of beef (a little more than two pounds) cost almost six dollars you can guess that not a lot of people can afford to make Carne Asada o Carne al Pastor.


  • Prep: 30 mins. - 1 hr.
  • Cook: ~30 mins.
  • Serves: 30

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To make Discada you will need:

- Beef
- Vienna sausages or any kind of hot dog you like (you can use turkey, pork, chicken or beef hot dogs)
- Ham, simple cooked ham
- Bacon
- Chorizo (if you can't get it, forget about doing this recipe)
- Onions
- Tomatoes
- Jalapenos
- Salt
- Pepper
- Paprika

The recipe that I am about to show was to feed 30 adults 5 tacos each, accompanied by Frijoles Rancheros and guacamole, Chiles toreados and roasted salsa. The quantities I used were:

- 5 pounds of lean round beef
- 7 pounds of Discada beef, which is basically round beef, but with more fat than your normal cut of round beef. This is important, because it will make a juicier Discada.
- 2.5 pounds of baked ham
- 2.5 pounds of Vienna sausages
- 1.5 pounds of smoked bacon
- 5 balls of chorizo (a little less than one pound)
- 5 medium sized tomatoes
- 1.5 medium sized onions
- 15 jalapenos

As you can see, that's a lot of meat. You can adjust the quantities of each ingredient to your taste. For example if you want to feed more people with a lesser budget, use more deli meats than beef. If you're going to make this for your family, then go for more beef than deli, it's up to you. This batch was made for my father-in-law's baseball team, so I tried to balance it a little.

The most important thing is to cut and prepare all the ingredients first:

Tomatoes, sliced for Discada, diced for Pico de Gallo

Step 1

Onions, sliced for Discada, diced for Pico de Gallo.


Step 2

Jalapenos, diced for Discada and Pico de Gallo, roasted and peeled for salsa.


Step 3

Lean round beef, ask your butcher to slice it at medium, and then dice it.


Step 4

Fattier round beef, it's a little dark because it's the one I chopped first and the air gives it that color.


Step 5

Chorizo and diced bacon.


Step 6

Baked ham, sliced thinly and then diced.


Step 7

Vienna sausages, diced.


Step 8

The original recipe, made for outdoors, uses a cast iron disc over a high flame. Since is more than probable that you will not have one, you can do what I did and use a Chinese wok (I used it because it was very cold outside that day). Because of this, I'm making two batches, halving all the ingredients.


Step 9

Turn the flame up to high and throw some vegetable oil, if you want you can use olive oil, but a canola or corn oil is better. Then throw the chorizo in the wok and cook it until it comes apart in little pieces.


Step 10

Breaking up the chorizo.


Step 11

After the chorizo is cooked, move it to the walls of the wok, away from the direct heat, and throw your bacon.


Step 12

When the bacon starts dripping all the fat, move it to the sides and let it drip a little more fat in to the pit that is forming in the wok. Then throw a handful of onions. Lower your heat to medium.


Step 13

After the onions starts to golden move it to the sides, pushing everything a little higher and throw the ham and the Vienna sausages. After you put the deli there, give it a quick toss and mix them with your first ingredients. You don't want to cook the ham and sausages too much, just enough to heat them and get covered in your delicious bacon fat. This should not take more than two minutes.


Step 14

Immediately after make everything to the sides and throw your beef on the pit. Put your fattier beef first, then the leaner beef on top.


Step 15

Then, put your tomatoes, onions and jalapenos on top of the meat. The order is not important, I just wanted to show the beautiful colors of the Mexican flag.


Step 16

Spice everything, with salt, pepper and paprika (I use paprika mainly for coloring, it doesn't hurt to use to much or to little). Cover everything and lower the flame to your next-to lowest setting. Don't mix anything yet! Let it cook for 8 minutes and then mix it all up. Sorry, no photo of this step. Cover again and let it cook for another ten minutes, mixing everything occasionally.


Step 17

This is 3 minutes after mixing the ingredients.


Step 18

After 10 minutes the meat will start to pour all its delicious juices. From this moment on, you have to cook another 15 minutes on low, again, mixing occasionally.


Step 19

15 minutes have passed and the Discada is ready. Or is not?


Step 20

You are the judge of this, at this point you should raise the flame up to medium to dry the Discada to your taste. I left it another 5 minutes on medium and 5 minutes on low and the result was: Remember that this stuff is going on tortillas, if you leave it too moist, the tortillas will soak up the extra juice and your tacos will break. But the reality is that all that juice taste like haven. When you feel the Discada is ready lower the heat to the lowest level and start heating up your tortillas. Serve directly from the wok to the tortillas, without cutting the heat. And that's it, enjoy your Tacos de Discada with some guacamole, salsa and Chiles Toreados. As the title says I spend a little more than 40 dls (480 pesos to be exact) to make all this food (including the salsa and the chiles toreados).

Now that you have learned how to make discada - how to feed 30 people with $40, please be sure to view these other beef recipes. Also, you will love these Mexican recipes.


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