Taco Night is my favorite night.
Why is this night unlike all other nights?
Because, dear children, on this night we prepare and consume tacos. Sacred, greasy, crunchy, delicious tacos.
...ok, so I usually demand taco night once a week or so. Which might make them seem less special. But I assure you, these tacos are the epitome of special. Why, you ask? The meat. The secret is in the meat. Also, in the ridiculous amount of time that you have to cook it to achieve maximum taco specialness. But I promise you, friends. It. Is. Worth. The. Wait. I'll teach you how to make it, and then you may form a line at the door to thank me for imparting this one on to you all.
*disclaimer: I make nothing off of this. Nobody has casually offered us monies to use certain products. Everything you see is just what we prefer to use in our home, and have around. That said, I also do not own the rights to any of the products used, so... someone tell me if I need to start hiding labels. *awkward dance*
Magical Taco Meat
Prep Time: 20ish minutes
Cook Time: 2ish hours (yeah, I know)
Total Time: 2.5ish hours (again, I swear it's worth it)
Yields: at least 10 tacos worth of meat (less if you live with me)
- 1 pound of ground beef (we prefer chuck)
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- taco seasoning
- 1 can of tomato paste
- 1 can of Tecate (you'll really only need half of it for cooking, so grab a lime and enjoy)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Finely chop the onion. You want those pieces tiny so that they aren't a source of unwanted crunch later.
Next, it's time to tend to the garlic. Smoosh it with the flat side of your knife to get it started (it makes peeling easier too), then chop it up! There's a brief garlic smooshing tutorial throughout the next few images. Feel free to scroll past if you are already a professional garlic smoosher.
Once that's done, it's time to deal with the ground beef. Remove the packaging, and put the beef in a bowl and add your desired amount of taco seasoning (I recommend at least 3 tablespoons).
Add the onions and garlic, and mix it all together.
Once it's thoroughly mixed, go ahead and get a skillet nice and hot, and open that can of tomato paste.
Thoroughly brown the beef before adding the tomato paste.
You'll only actually need about 2/3 of that can of tomato paste, so either have a plan to save the rest for later, or make your peace with being a burden to our planet.
Once the meat is browned, go ahead and add 2/3 of the can of tomato paste, but don't stir it in just yet.
Once the tomato paste is on the meat, pour in half of that Tecate (or you can use water if you're squirrelly about alcohol). It'll help the paste blend in with the taco meat.
Stir it all together, and bring it to a boil. Once it's boiling, reduce the temp to low heat (we use our simmer burner), cover, and go find something to do for a while.
Give it about 45 minutes, and then check on the meat. Make sure it's not too dry! If it's looking that way, go ahead and pour in a little more beer.
Letting the meat simmer for so long is the most important piece of this puzzle. It's the real secret to making tacos that are truly worthy of being praised, vs those that you half heartedly munch on because it's Friday.
If you are like us and you like crunchy tacos, I highly recommend putting the shells in the oven for about 12 minutes. No need to pre-heat. Set the oven to 350 and the timer to 12 minutes at the same time, and all will be well!
And that's it. That's all that you need to know! The rest of the process is based on your own personal preferences.
And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Our recipe for taco meat. Go forth, and make delicious tacos. Until next time, dear readers!
Oh, but back to that personal preference thing...
...and I tend to say "life's short, GIMME ALL THE TACOS!!!!".