Ground Beef Tacos

I tasted tacos for the first time when I visited a friend. She served me ground beef tacos and on my first bite, I fell in love. I loved the combination of crispy corn tortillas with a juicy beef filling topped with sour cream and veggies. If you can load your needed proteins, veggies and diary in one single dish without much fuss, then why not give it a try. You can’t stop eating it at just one, so make sure to load up with enough tortillas. You may use hard shell or soft tortillas for tacos. For younger ones, you may serve it as a taco salad mixing tortilla chips with filling and other toppings.

Tacos are a traditional Mexican food with a filling topped in a wheat or corn tortillas and eaten in hand. It is a very versatile dish where your imagination is the limit for fillings and toppings. The filling can be range from beef, pork to seafood, vegetables and pulses.You may top it with any of your favorite veggies like lettuce, cilantro, chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, guacamole, salsa etc… You have the option of using your favorite dairy like mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, Mexican cheese blend or sour cream. You can use store bought taco seasoning or your own home made taco seasoning. It is perfect for a quick dinner or for a large gathering. You just need to prepare the main filling and your guests can assemble their own tacos with their favorite toppings from the party table.

I made my own homemade taco seasoning for these ground beef tacos and this was a big hit in my family. This has become one of our family favorites now. This home made taco seasoning needs only a few easily available ingredients from your pantry. I added turmeric powder in my taco seasoning and ginger in the gravy(for that Indian zing) which are usually not present in Mexican tacos. This is completely optional and you may use it (or not) as per your liking.

Ingredients:

  1. Ground beef  1 lb
  2. Onion chopped   1
  3. Garlic cloves chopped    1 tsp
  4. Ginger chopped    1 inch piece
  5. Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp (optional)
  6. Kashmiri Chili powder    2 tsp
  7. Pepper powder    1 tsp
  8. Cumin powder    1 tsp
  9. Oregano   1 tsp
  10. Tomato paste    3 to 4 tbsp (optional)
  11. Oil 1 tbsp
  12. Salt to taste

Method:

  1. Roast turmeric powder, chili powder, pepper powder and cumin powder in a pan until fragrant.
  1. Heat oil in a pan over medium high heat. Add chopped ginger, chopped garlic and saute until the raw smell goes away. Add chopped onion and saute until translucent.
  1. Add ground beef and saute for 3 to 4 minutes until it turns brown.
  1. Once the beef is browned, add the roasted spice powders, oregano and mix for 1 minute.
  1. Add the tomato paste, salt and saute well. Cover with a lid and simmer the beef for 5 minutes.(Read tip no:2)
  1. Open the lid and cook it on medium to high flame for 2 minutes until the mixture is thick and dry. Switch off the flame.
  1. Warm the tacos shells/tortillas as per the directions given on its box. Spoon 2 tbsp of taco filling on each taco shell and top it with your favorite toppings. I added chopped lettuce, chopped tomatoes, chopped onions and mozzarella cheese.

Tips:

  1. I used canola oil. You can also use olive oil, vegetable oil or any other oil of your choice.
  2. Adding tomato paste makes the the beef mixture saucy and tangier. If you don’t prefer the tangy taste, you may optionally add 1/4 cup hot water and cook.
  3. You may use diced or stewed tomatoes as an alternative for tomato paste. Check here to know how.
  4. Lean ground meat (80-90 % lean) is best for making tacos. If using beef with more fat content, you can drain the oil just before adding the spice powders.
  5. I used ORTEGA brand taco shells and got 12 tacos with the above quantity.