Here’s another fast and easy recipe to finish out the week – Beef Tacos from the October 2003 issue of Everyday Food. I remember eating tacos often when I was growing up. Mom would cook up some ground beef with taco seasoning, we’d open a pack of crispy shells, and then we’d dress them up however we liked. (I was a picky eater, so mine was probably strictly beef and cheese. I’m guessing I begged her to skip the taco seasoning as well. Boring!) You’ll earn “homemade credit” with this recipe and still take dinner from skillet to table in 25 minutes.
Veggie prep was minimal. I skipped the minced jalapeno (sorry, New Mexico friends – I’m weak!), so I only had to finely chop 1 large onion. I heated 1 tablespoon of canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and then added the onion, seasoning with salt and pepper. I cooked it, stirring occasionally, until it was softened (5 minutes).
I added 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1 tablespoon of chili powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin to the skillet and stirred the mixture until fragrant (1 minute). Next, I added 1 pound of ground beef and cooked it, breaking it up with a spoon, until it was no longer pink (5 minutes). I added 1 14.5-ounce can of diced tomatoes (juice included) and simmered the mixture over medium-low heat until thickened (12 minutes). I seasoned the meat with salt and pepper and served it in warm flour tortillas with lettuce, Monterey Jack, and sour cream.
These probably aren’t going to replace your favorite restaurant tacos, but they’re good. I’d say this is a reliable weeknight recipe that would be great for families and groups because tacos are so easily tailored to individual likes and dislikes. Actually using the jalapeno would probably create a more “authentic” taste, for those of you out there who enjoy spicy foods.
TIPS: Make sure you choose relatively lean ground beef to avoid really “drippy” taco meat. Since the meat goes in after the seasoning, you wouldn’t want to try to drain the mixture. I would stick with 90% lean or leaner.
Recipe link: Beef Tacos