Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Taco Meat

This is probably one of the first things I learned how to make on my own. Taco seasoning packets are generally pretty good but it somehow zaps the creativity out of the cooking for me. I'd also suggest making more of this than you'll eat since taco meat freezes wonderfully and thaws quickly making an easy filling for quesadillas, or topping for nachos when you need a quick "no grocery store" meal. Per the picture here, we used it to make taco salads. I like to do crushed tortilla chips, lettuce and tomato, chopped avocado, cilantro and queso as the "dressing". Not the healthiest salad but really yummy! This recipe is my own.

Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

  • 1.25 lbs of lean ground beef or turkey (I used 7% fat)
  • 1/2 of a large, Texas Sweet onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 heaping TBSP of paprika
  • 1 heaping TBSP of chile powder
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 1 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp Sriacha
  • 1 fresh tomato or 1/2 a can of diced tomato (optional)
  1. Peel and finely chop your garlic and peel and dice your onion.
  2. If you're using a tomato, chop it as well.
  1. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high. Add your 1 TBSP of vegetable oil and let heat for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add your onion to the skillet and cook for a couple of minutes. Then, add your garlic.
  3. Once your onions are soft and cooked through, add your beef. 
  4. Add your 2 tsp of salt to your beef as it cooks. 
  5. Let the beef brown for about 10 minutes, stirring it occasionally. You can also use a potato masher to break up the beef.
  6. Once your beef is browned, spoon out any excess grease. You want to leave just a little of it in the pan though - maybe about 1 TBSP or so. See the pic below for how much was left after I spooned.
  7. Once you've spooned out the grease, add your chile powder, paprika and cumin. When I say a heaping TBSP of chile powder and paprika, I mean to use a TBSP and let the spices mound up over the top. If you want to be more precise, you can measure out 1 and 1/2 TBSP.
  8. If you're using the tomato, you'd want to add it here with the spices.
  9. Stir the spices and beef together and let cook for a couple of minutes
  10. Add your 1 cup of chicken broth and use a wooden spoon to get the yummy browned bits unstuck from the bottom of your pan. Let the liquid come to a bubble and let simmer for 10 minutes or so.
  11. Add your Sriacha at the end and stir it all together.
  12. When most of the liquid has cooked away, you're ready to serve. Use as a filling for tacos, taco salad, quesadillas or nachos. Freeze any leftovers in a ziploc bag.

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