Like Spicy Beef Candy, minus the guilt. Featured here in the Macho Nacho salad
Today I am going to talk to you about seasoned ground beef and a variation of spicy taco meat I came up with on a whim because it was so wonderful that I have GOT to tell you about it.
So, on to the really great stuff and a surprise new surprise ingredient (and one not-so-surprising) to making a moist, delicious taco meat… (You’ll either think I am brilliant or that I’m wearing pantyhose on my head and prancing around singing, “I’m a pony! I’m a pony!”).
Spicy Taco Meat
2 Tbsp cooking oil
2 pounds ground beef
2-4 Tbsp Spicy Taco Seasoning Mix (see box below)
3/4-1 C liquid from can of olives
Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a skillet over med-low heat (I use between 4-5 for heat)
When heated, add 2 pounds ground beef. Cook and chop finely with a spatula.
Add (depending on how spicy you can handle your foods, 4 is nose-running spicy) Spicy Taco Seasoning Mix.
Add the liquid from a can of black olives (hey, you probably use them in your tacos and on pizzas and for snacking, and you don’t need all of the liquid keeping those olives moist) instead of adding water. (And why dump out the liquid? Use it!)
Turn heat to simmer/low until most of the liquid is absorbed (about 20 minutes) stirring occasionally.
The meat has some oomph and flavor you can’t get from water alone as an additive, and it is delicious. My family has been eating it like crazed teenagers (we’ll discount the fact that they are mostly crazed teenagers). For convenience, make extra for future recipes. The cooked beef keeps well in the fridge and reheats quickly and very nicely for later meals in many variations (I’ll be sharing more with you soon).
Again, the full-on Tbsp of the Spicy Taco Seasoning (The good, high-octane stuff in the clear packets) can be a bit much if your family likes mild, so start at half-strength (1 Tbp per pound). When they’re ready to grow chest hair and have their noses run a little, tune it up to 2 Tbsp per pound
Again: the two secret keys? Black olive liquid, and quality, high-octane spices without the preservatives.
That Spicy Taco Mix? I am sincerely a fan of whole ingredients–in other words, I know what the ingredients are, and no sugars are added. Recently I’ve located a delicious seasoning at Super-Walmart which you’re likely to find in your ethnic food aisles or near the produce of your local store. Mine is called ‘Spicy Taco Mix’ (Fernandez is the brand I’ve found). Yours might have a different name. Regardless of name, look for the CLEAR packets with the simple (probably paper) labels hanging from hooks. Just 1-2 Tbsp per pound makes this a cost value purchase, and supports the companies making delicious spices without the additives.
Let me know where you’re finding your organic taco/Mexican seasoning mix!