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Pati's Mexican Table : TV Recipes

Pati Jinich

Tacos de Carne con Jarabe de Jamaica y Jalapeño
Makes 8 generous servings

1 lb flank steak
2 cups jamaica/hibiscus flower concentrate (see below)
2 bay leaves
3 whole cloves
A pinch black pepper, freshly ground
3/4 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
Safflower or corn oil
Salt to taste
1 serrano or jalapeño chile, halved and seeded
1 ripe Mexican avocado, halved, pitted and sliced
1/2 cup queso fresco, crumbled
16 corn tortillas

Pour the jamaica concentrate, bay leaves, whole cloves, black pepper and salt into a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until it reduces to half the original amount.

Let the marinade cool and pour over the flank steak in a baking dish or container. Cover and let it marinade anywhere from 1 to 24 hours.

Set grill pan, grill or saute pan over medium-high heat. Brush with a light coat of oil. Sprinkle meat with a bit more salt. Grill meat anywhere from 4 to 6 minutes per side, depending on how cooked you want it.

Meanwhile, pour the marinade into a saucepan set over medium heat and drop in the halved serrano or jalapeño chile. Let the sauce reduce for 15 minutes, or until it coats the back of a wooden spoon. The syrup will thicken considerably as it cools. Remove from heat and let cool.

When the meat is ready, slice it thin and if you want, cut it into chunks. Heat corn tortillas over a comal or skillet over medium heat, it will take about a minute per side. For each taco, add a couple tablespoons or slices of meat in the center of each tortillas, a slice of avocado, some crumbled queso fresco and drizzle some of the jamaica and syrup on top. Enjoy your tacos!

Makes about 5 cups

8 cups water
6 oz dried hibiscus flowers, about 2 cups
1 1/2 cups sugar, or to taste
2 tbsp fresh lime juice, or to taste

In a saucepan, pour 8 cups of water and place over high heat. Once it comes to a boil, add the jamaica flowers, simmer at medium heat for 10 minutes and turn off the heat. Let it cool down and strain into a heat proof glass or plastic water jar. Add the sugar and lime juice, mix well, cover and refrigerate.


I watched your show for the first time. It is almost summer and I can’t wait to make the Jamaica water and the steak tacos, they just look tasty.

Ayer los hice y me quedaron riquisimos! Donde la regue fue calentar tanto el jarabe al punto de evaporacion. De todos modos, me gusto que quedo como un glaseado. Los voy a volver hacer muy pronto. Nos puedes dar la receta para hacer chiles rellenos con queso panela?

Hi Patis I was born in jamaica and while growing up I saw my
mother use the hibiscus to make beverage and jam.
I was so pleased to see your recipe with the Jamaica and Jalapeno sauce.
I will be trying it soon.
Thank you so much. Keep up the good work.

Hope you enjoy the recipe Theresa!

Hi Pati,
I was wondering if you can provide a source for dried hibiscus flowers…
I love your show and know by looking at the ingredients in your recipes that they will be delicious. I live in New Orleans and love to cook all types of cuisine, but Mexican cuisine is definitely one of my favorites.
I just disccovered your show and your website and will be cooking your recipes all summer long.
Thank you, deary…
Liz Gober

ever since I saw your show I have watched constantly I love your accent and the way you explain food the taste and aromas and textures. I think one of my favorite episodes was when you were cooking with your sister it reminded me of me and my sister who always pulls the I am the big sister card even though she is only one min older. Ever since I saw this hibiscus taco recipe I have been obsessed with making it and I finally got the chance. THE TACOS WERE AMAZING!!!!!!! My sister loved them as well and we will definitely be making again. Thank you so much for your hard work!!!

Gracias Vanessa! I had a blast cooking with my sister and can’t wait to doit again and I am so glad you enjoyed that episode! Thank YOU for taking the time to write your lovely comment: It means a lot.

We just returned from Christmas in Mexico and stayed in a beautiful villa near Puerto Morelos on the beach. We hired a Mexican chef to prepare Christmas dinner for us and it was spectacular. We asked the chef at the end of the meal what was in the salad dressing that was so delicious. She said fleur de jamaica. I just looked it up and found your recipe for the vinagrette dressing. It most likely will be very similar to the one we had. The salad was made with Romaine lettuce sliced very fine, almost like a chopped salad, nuts, seedless cucumber diced, and some kind of tasty white cheese-possibly feta-sprinkled on top. I can’t wait to try your dressing . Thanks so much for posting it.

Hola Sue, Thank you for writing to me! It sounds like your Christmas in Mexico was fabulous – I’m getting hungry just thinking about the dinner. I’m excited you discovered jamaica, and I’ve several more recipes with jamaica in this post, including a salad with a jamaica vinaigrette: I hope you try it, too!

Hi. I need help! I want to make this recipe but I do not have hibiscus flowers. I do however have dried hibiscus powder (1 oz). I am wondering if I can substitute this and, if so, how much to use?

Hola Julie, Yes, just look at the instructions on the hibiscus powder package for how much powder per cup of water, then use enough for the 8 cups of water to make the concentrate.

Hi Pati, I just found your show and website. I am so happy, as I love to cook. I made your tamales, coco flan, and Jamaica Flower concentrate. I can’t wait for your next book!!! (I have your first one) There is a question I have about the amount of hibiscus flower. The recipe says 2 cups or 6 oz. I have a good kitchen scale, and 6 oz. is more like 5 or 6 cups. I found a big bag at the grocery store, so maybe more dried?
It is delicious. A local health food store sells 8 oz. Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup for $6. Directions say to add syrup and 1 flower to a glass, put in one flower, and fill with Proseco or Chanpagne.
Thank you for your contagious happiness especially when you are cooking. I smile a lot watching your show.

Thank you, Rita! Maybe that your package was much more compact. 2 cups is more than enough :)

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