Savory & Spicy Taco Meat
Years ago, we used store-bought taco mix on a frequent basis. It was good, but it was a little too salty, and there was too little ‘heat’. Then, after a trip to Mexico, we decided that it was time for a change. By utilizing habanero peppers and fresh cilantro alongside a minimal number of spices, one is actually able to taste the meat while also granting it the kick that an authentic taco needs.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
2 ripe habanero peppers (orange/red in color)
3 medium-sized cloves garlic
2 medium-sized shallots
2 tbsp. butter
(Optional) Fresh cilantro to taste
1½ tbsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. chile ancho
1 tsp. cayenne
1½ tsp. oregano
Fresh-ground black pepper to taste
2 lb. ground beef
1. Heat butter in skillet over low-medium heat.
2. Prepare the vegetables and spices.
Habanero peppers: Slice off tops, remove seeds, and mince/chop finely. (Gloves recommended. Also, be careful not to touch your face with 'pepper hands'.)
Garlic: Chop into small pieces and then crush into a pulp with a fork.
Shallots: Slice thinly
Cilantro: Rip leaves from stems, keeping as little of the stem as possible
3. Place Habaneros, Garlic, and Shallots (but not the cilantro) onto pan and let them cook until soft (not browned.)
4. Remove vegetables from the pan with a spatula, leaving a large portion of the butter and ‘vegetable gravy’ behind.
5. Turn heat up to medium-low, rip your ground beef into small chunks, and place those pieces into the already well-buttered pan.
6. Slowly stir in all salt, herbs, and spices for even dispersal*.
7. Cook beef until there is only a very small amount of red remaining.
8. Remove from skillet and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. This allows the beef to finish cooking and for the flavor to settle in.
9. Enjoy your taco meat on pan-fried corn tortillas and with sour cream, salsa, and salsa verde. (Feel free to also add finely chopped lettuce, tomato, and onion.)
*Sometimes we mix the spices into the beef a few hours beforehand and let it rest in the refrigerator. This allows them more time to flavor the meat, and consequently, it is why this taco meat is just as good left over as it is in its original state.
Recipe submitted by JacobV of Master Blend Cattle Company.
Step 1: Prepare and Precook
Step 2: Add Beef
Step 3: Cook lightly & add spices
Step 4: Enjoy!