Tag Archives: slow cooker

Taco de Mayo

6 May

Ode to crumbly tacos of yore.

Beef Tacos
Makes 8 tacos, serving 4.

Tomato sauce is sold in cans in the same aisle that carries canned whole tomatoes. Do not use jarred pasta sauce in its place. cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes are, in our opinion, essential.

Beef Filling
2 teaspoons vegetable oil or corn oil
1 small onion , chopped small (about 2/3 cup)
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt
1 pound 90% lean ground beef (or leaner)
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
Ground black pepper

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (4 ounces), or Monterey Jack cheese
2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
2 small diced tomatoes
1/2 cup sour cream
1 diced avocado
1 small chopped onion
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
hot sauce

Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat until hot and shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes; add onion and cook, stirring occasionally,
until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, spices, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add ground beef and cook, breaking meat up with wooden spoon and scraping pan bottom to prevent scorching, until beef is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce, chicken broth, brown sugar, and vinegar; bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently and breaking meat up so that no chunks remain, until liquid has reduced and thickened (mixture should not be completely dry), about 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.

Using wide, shallow spoon, divide filling evenly among taco shells; place two tacos on individual plates. Serve immediately, passing toppings separately.


From Rick Bayless: Remember those taco-in-a-box kits? You know, the ones with spice packets and U-shaped crunchy tortillas? These…aren’t those. Consider these “North of the Border” Tacos a grown-up (and way better) version.

“North of the Border” Tacos

1 pound boneless chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes and placed in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes to firm OR 1 pound 80% lean coarse-ground beef

1/2 medium white onion, cut into ¼ inch pieces

2 tablespoons powdered ancho chile

1/2 teaspoon powdered chipotle chile

1 teaspoon Mexican oregano

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper

Sugar

Salt

1 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided use

12 warm corn tortillas, for serving

1/2 cup sour cream, for serving

1/2 small head romaine lettuce, thinly sliced, for serving

2 medium red-ripe tomatoes, cored and chopped, for serving Mexican hot sauce (I like Valentina or Tamazula), for serving

If using chuck roast, pulse the freezer-firmed meat in a food processor to a coarse ground beef texture. In a very large skillet set over medium-high, cook onions until golden brown but still crunchy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the ground beef, spreading it over the entire surface to ensure even browning. Sprinkle in the chile powders, oregano, cumin and black pepper. Mix everything together and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes, until the meat is cooked through. Taste and season with salt and a big pinch sugar to give the classic American chile powder flavor. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle in about 1/2 cup of the jack cheese to the skillet and mix just to incorporate. To make each taco lay a corn tortilla on a plate and spoon on a portion of the meat, sour cream, the remaining Jack cheese, lettuce, tomato and hot sauce. Serve immediately.

NYT’s Middle School Tacos

2 tablespoons neutral oil, like canola, peanut or grapeseed

1 medium-size yellow onion, peeled and diced

4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

2 pounds ground beef

2 tablespoons chile powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes

1 cup chicken stock or beef broth

Heat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place a large skillet over medium-high heat, and add the oil. When it begins to shimmer, add the onion, and cook until softened and starting to brown, approximately 5 to 7 minutes.

Add the garlic, and cook for a minute or so to soften, and then the ground meat. Cook until it starts to brown, stirring and chopping with a spoon to break up the meat, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Pour off excess fat, leaving only a tablespoon or two in the pan.

Add the chile powder, cumin, salt, pepper, cornstarch, paprika and red-pepper flakes, and stir to combine.

Add the stock or broth, stir, bring to a simmer and cook uncovered until the sauce has thickened slightly, approximately 4 to 5 minutes.

As sauce cooks, place taco shells (on a taco rack, if possible) on a sheet pan, and toast in oven until they are crisp and smell nutty, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Serve a few tablespoons of meat in each taco, along with whatever toppings you like.

Serve with refried beans on the side, if desired.