Beef Tacos

by Melissa on April 8, 2008

Well not entirely from scratch, and not really tacos either. More like burritos, but the meat for the burritos was from scratch! Tacos/burritos/fajitas are an almost weekly staple in our house, we just change out the fillings. We are trying to decrease our sodium intake and the low-sodium taco seasoning packets just aren’t that good, so I decided to try this recipe after seeing it over at The Spicy Skillet. I thought the ground beef filling came out very well, Nate thought there was a bit to much chili powder, so next time I will probably decrease the amount slightly. I plan to try the home-fried taco shells sometime soon, click on here to see the recipe for those. Original recipe is from Cooks Illustrated.

Ground Beef Filling

CI Note:Tomato sauce is sold in cans in the same aisle that carries canned whole tomatoes. Do not use jarred pasta sauce in its place. We prefer to let diners top their own tacos with whatever fillings they prefer. There’s no need to prepare all of the toppings listed below, but cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes are, in our opinion, essential. Makes 8 tacos, serving 4.

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or corn oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped small (about 2/3 cup)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • table salt
  • 1 pound 90% lean ground beef (or leaner)
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar (preferably cider vinager)
  • ground black pepper

Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat until hot and shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes; add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes.

Add garlic, spices, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add ground beef and cook, breaking meat up with wooden spoon and scraping pan bottom to prevent scorching, until beef is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.

Add tomato sauce, chicken broth, brown sugar, and vinegar; bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently and breaking meat up so that no chunks remain, until liquid has reduced and thickened (mixture should not be completely dry), about 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.

Using wide, shallow spoon, divide filling evenly among taco shells; place two tacos on individual plates. Serve immediately, passing toppings separately. We used burrito-sized tortillas filled with lettuce, tomato, shredded mexican cheese, light sour cream and salsa.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

aggieashley07 April 8, 2008 at 9:23 pm

Yay for not using Taco Seasoning Packets! Those soft tacos look great!

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