Tacos without the Packet

Most people I know make tacos using those little packages of spices. Years ago I started using this recipe from Let’s Eat In Quick and Delicious Weekday Meals. Often, I make Spanish Rice to go with the tacos, which conveniently uses 8 ounces of tomato sauce as well so you can just use half a can for each recipe. Otherwise, I find those 8 ounce cans of tomato sauce go on sale pretty frequently so I just buy half a dozen when they do as they are convenient to have around. Unless I ‘m growing it, I rarely have fresh cilantro around so I just use 1-2 tsp dried parsley instead.

Ground Beef Tacos

  • 2 Tbs oil
  • 1 small onion, peeled and diced (about 1 cup total)
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 8 ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (optional)

Heat the oil in a skillet and saute the onion and garlic a few minutes, then add the ground meat and continue cooking, stirring to break up the chunks. Cook, stirring, until no longer pink. Drain any excess fat. (Alternatively, if you have some boiled ground beef in the freezer or precooked ground beef add that and just heat through.)

Add the cumin and stir, cooking another minute. Add the tomato sauce and water and bring to a simmer. Partially cover the skillet and cook 10 minutes or so, stirring now and then. Uncover the skillet and cook another 5 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the cilantro or parsley.

Serve with crispy or soft taco shells, shredded lettuce, grated Cheddar cheese, refried beans, Spanish Rice, and salsa. You can make your own crispy taco shells by frying corn tortillas in a little oil and folding them in half partway through. Drain on paper towels.

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