Yes, you can make tacos without that ubiquitious packet of seasoning mix. And guess what else – it’s a heck of a lot tastier and not that much more work. If you want to take it to another level, search out fresh taco shells from a local taqueria and maybe some Mexican crema. Or you could even make your own shells (yeah, I’m not that ambitious). But if you can’t go quite that far, just lose the packet. You’ll be so glad you did!
The recipe I use comes from America’s Test Kitchen. Mostly, I’m including it here cause I use it often and always forget which book it comes out of.
Courtesy of America’s Test Kitchen
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 lb lean ground beef (very important! the way this recipe is written, you don’t drain the beef…so unless you like greasy orange beef…get lean)
1/2 cup canned tomato sauce
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
8 taco shells
- Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat until shimmering.
- Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic, spices, and 1 teaspoon salt
- Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in the ground beef
- Cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato sauce, broth, vinegar, and sugar
- Simmer until thickened, about 10 mintues.
- Season with salt to taste.
- Divide the filling evenly among taco shells and serve, passing any desired accompaniments separately.