Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Taco Meat {Without any Packets of Dried Chemicals}

I really wanted to post this recipe on a Tuesday because then I could be in accordance with Taco John's Taco Tuesday, but I'll got out on a limb and assume people who care about taco meat with no chemical additives are not eating at Taco Johns' Taco Tuesday, but for convenience's sake we (me) occasionally consider eating a Taco John's taco on Tuesday then regretfully remember the gut rot we'll have for the next 12 hours and decide to make our own taco meat. Like this! 

I'm so embarrassed. Look at how I haphazardly store my herbs. Parsley is crossed off via Magic Marker and has become oregano, all different shapes and sizes, jars flecked with what is hopefully granulated garlic. Some people have whole blog posts dedicated to overly obsessive spice rack organization. Not me. Nothing about me is obsessive. Except my hunger. Moving on! 
Back to the recipe! Please try to make your own taco meat! This recipe is so family friendly, a quick, easy weeknight meal that's inexpensive and I'd like to even call it healthy. Call me crazy. Which I am, by the way. Completely Crazy.
So, you've browned your meat, added in the vegetables and garlic, gotten everything all softened and translucent. Then comes the tomato paste and.....
.....every spice known to man. Not really, just feels that way. After the spices are stirred up and have a chance to marry and become fragrant, add in some water, bring the mixture up to a simmer over moderate heat and serve! Spoon the meat into a crisp taco shell, layer in some cheese, top with fistfuls of lettuce, then go over the top with a dollop of sour cream and some black olives for your vegetable (only partly kidding). I'd call that a complete meal with every food group. 

Printable Recipe Here

Taco Meat {Without any Packets of Dried Chemicals}

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 giant carrot or 2 small, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1-2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pinch cinnamon
1 cup water

Heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Add ground beef and cook through, breaking up as cooking, but not moving it around too much - you want to the meat to caramelize, about 8-10 minutes. Once almost cooked through, add vegetables and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and give that a stir. Stir in tomato paste, cook for another minute. Sprinkle in the spices and mix to combine well. Pour water in and bring up to a gentle simmer, 5-7 minutes. Serve. 


  1. OMG. This is such an awesome recipe. Making it tonight. Right now. Really.


I'd love to hear all about your kitchen adventures! Xo, Becki