Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Tacos for Dummies

First, I should note that my spaghetti recipe actually turned out great when I reheated and re-seasoned the sauce the next day. I've updated that post to reflect this. Mission accomplished.

Anyway, I figured I'd do another recipe post for something I've pretty much got mastered, at least to my taste: tacos. It's a much simpler process.

Specifically, this is for ground beef you would then put into a taco. Shells are store-bought and come with their own directions, and you can dress your tacos however you like. I'm personally very boring: just meat on my tacos. No cheese, no lettuce, no beans or anything.

So, one must imagine that my taco meat must be pretty good to stand on its own, right? I certainly think so. It's a super easy process, though.

1) Brown your onions.
2) Cook your beef.
3) Drain your beef.
4) Cook your beef a little more.
5) Add sauce.


  • Ground beef. I'd say 1/4-1/3lb per serving
  • Ortega Taco Sauce - Mild
  • Ortega Taco Sauce - Medium
  • 1 Onion (small)
  • Salt
  • Taco shells (whatever kind you like)
1) Brown your onions.

Chop your onion into bits and add them to a pot with the heat set medium-low. Add a little bit of water and stir. Repeat until the onions are brown, or at least softened.

I think I had my heat a little too low, so the onions cooked and cooked and never got brown. The result was exactly the same, though, so I guess "browning" isn't that necessary. Just cook the onions down.

2) Cook your beef.

Add your meat to the pot, then mix it up. I like to try and break up the chunks as much as possible to make the beef more or less granular in the end, but it doesn't really matter so long as the beef is cooked thoroughly.

This is a good time to add a bit of salt. Not much--maybe a teaspoon, or a few pinches. A little will go a long way to bring out the beef's flavor.

Stir occasionally to maneuver the uncooked, red meat toward the bottom of the pot. Keep doing this until all of the meat has become a bit brown.

3) Drain your beef.

You'll notice as the meat is cooking that beef juice is pooling at the bottom of the pot. That's gross. Pour out the excess juice. Don't worry about getting it all, but if you can drain most of it from the pot that will help.

Once you're done, return the pot to the stove.

4) Cook your beef a little more.

Keep stirring the beef until it's all a nice, rich brown. It should be nice and crumbly.

5) Add the sauce.

I like to add a bit of Mild sauce and a bit of Medium sauce, but really it just depends on how spicy you want your tacos. Ortega sauce is the best I've found, flavor-wise.

Add a bit of sauce and stir, then add and stir some more until the beef is thoroughly coated with sauce. Don't add too much sauce, though, or else you end up with leaky tacos.

With the sauce added, continue to heat and stir the beef for another minute or two to allow the meat to absorb that saucy flavor.

With that, you're done! Add that beef to a taco shell. Alternately, treat it as a sort of dip for tortilla chips, or make a burrito. It's all good.

By the way, no, this is not going to become a recipe blog. The only other recipe I know is for hamburgers, and that doesn't require a whole blog. Just pretty much do what I did for the meatballs in the spaghetti recipe and make the following changes: 1) subtract the breadcrumbs 2) form the meat into patties instead of balls 3) toss them onto a George Foreman grill instead of into an oven. Serve on buns.

Hopefully I'll learn some other good recipes over the course of the year, though.

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