Saturday, June 16, 2012

Beef Tacos (my new favorite!)

While I was growing up, my mom always made these delicious tacos.  They were simple but amazing.  She just browned some ground beef and seasoned it a little with salt and pepper.  Then, she took corn tortillas and fried them in oil for just a few seconds to soften them.  She served the tacos with sour cream, cheese, and Macayo taco sauce.  They don't sound like much, but they are a greasy, delicious mess of a taco.  My brother makes them and calls them "white folk tacos."  He and his girlfriend were hanging out with her family, and she said, "Let's have white folk tacos for lunch."  Everyone looked at her like she was crazy and asked what they were.  She explained it to them, and then my brother explained to her that he made up the name "white folk tacos."  

I hate to say it, but I like these tacos better than the white folk tacos.  Hopefully, I don't get ostracized from the family. The taco meat recipe had quite a few surprising ingredients, but I have come to realize that I should never doubt America's Test Kitchen!  They know their stuff.  The taco shells take some time to make, and you may weave a tapestry of obscenities while making them, but they are worth every second!   I crave these stupid little tacos more than a pregnant woman craves pickles.

Beef Tacos
source: America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook pg. 391

1 T vegetable oil
1 onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 T chili powder (the meat was a little spicy for the kids using 2 T)
1 t cumin
1 t coriander
1/2 t oregano
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1 lb ground beef
1/2 c smooth canned tomato sauce
1/2 c chicken broth (preferably low sodium)
2 t cider vinegar
1 t light brown sugar
taco shells ( I made my own- see below)

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute until softened, about five minutes.  Add the garlic, spices, and 1 t of salt.  Cook for about 30 seconds or until it is fragrant.

Add the ground beef, breaking it up as you stir and cook it until it's no longer pink.  Add the tomato sauce, chicken broth, vinegar, and sugar.  Stir until it's thickened, about ten minutes.

Here's a blurry picture of what you'll get.  Don't be fooled by the different ingredients.  It is amazing taco meat!  I will never use a seasoning packet again- ever!
 Here is a finished product of the mini taco shells I made.
 I used the small 4 or 5 inch tortillas because I wanted mini taco shells in the hopes that the kids would try them.  :)  I loved the small taco shells, but my husband likes it better when I use the bigger tortillas since it's easier to load up the taco.

Preheat oil over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes.  Test the oil by dipping a little of a tortilla in the oil.  If it sizzles, it's ready.

Using some metal tongs, hold one end of the tortilla.  Dip the bottom half of the tortilla into the oil and hold it in place with another metal utensil.  The bigger and wider, the better.  Hold it in place until the bottom is golden brown and stiff.
 Repeat with the other side.  Place the taco shells upside down on a paper towel-lined plate.  As a side note, this taco shells are a downright pain in the rear end to make!  I'm not going to sugar coat it at all.  However, they are so delicious, that I will make them again and again.  They taste so much fresher than the store bought shells- those things are atrocious.
 Get an array of taco toppings on a plate.  We used sour cream, cheese, lettuce, chopped tomato, green onions, and cilantro.
 Put some of that delicious meat at the bottom.
 Add some cheese shreddings.
 Add a little lettuce.
 Add sour cream.
 Top with tomato, cilantro, and green onions.
 I'm telling you- These tacos are amazing!

1 comment:

  1. We love tacos!! (I love your brother's name for the ones your family makes- ha!) this recipe looks amazing; gonna have to try it!