For years I have used a simple recipe for taco meat that was from a small Mexican cookbook that I got in southern California. It is quick and much better than the typical taco served in a restaurant and vastly superior to the package mix. I can whip this out in 30 minutes start to finish. I have been very satisfied… until now.As you know, recipes for the same thing tend to look very similar. So when I saw a vastly different one from Cooks Illustrated, I decided to have a have a taco shoot out. I was sure I wouldn't change much… not my personality. But the new recipe won hands down. You'll forget you are eating ground beef. This is wonderful but took me 90 minutes to do. See my notes at the end about how I'm going to try to cut the time down.
Newer version is as good, much much faster and easier... click the link...
2 lbs ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup tomato sauce
2 T. chopped parsley
2 T. chili powder
1 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
Brown meat and onions, drain grease. Add other ingredients and simmer uncovered for 10 mins.
Ingredients: This was a single pound recipe that I tripled for leftovers
3 lbs ground beef 90% or better-see note
1-2 T vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups chopped onion (about 2 medium onions)
3Tablespoons minced or pressed garlic (about 9 medium cloves)
6 T Chili powder
1 T ground cumin
1 T ground coriander
1 ½ t oregano
¾ t cayenne pepper
1 ½ t salt
pepper and added salt to taste
1 ½ cup tomato sauce
1 ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth (I will probably eliminate this… see note)
1 T brown sugar
2 T vinegar
1) Over medium high heat, add oil. Cook onions until clear. Add garlic and spices. Cook about 1 minute until very fragrant.
2) Add ground beef and cook until browned. As usual, break up the meat and scrap bottom of pan frequently with wooden spoon.
3) Add tomato sauce, chicken broth, brown sugar and vinegar.
4) Cook down for about 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
1) Be sure to use lower fat ground beef. There is no convenient point to suction it off as in the previous recipe. I had 80% ground chuck having read the recipe last week.
2) I will try pre-crushed garlic. I know it's cheating but it's being cooked anyways. (Saving 10 minutes)
3) I took me about 45 minutes to reduce the final product to a reasonable consistency. At 10 minutes, it was taco soup. Some of this may be related to the 80% beef not being as dry. Next time I eliminate the chicken broth or add it last and only add the amount to make it a consistency that will cook down in 10-15 minutes. (Saving about 30 minutes)