Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Taco Seasoned Ground Beef



I purchased a 3-pound family sized package of ground beef and divided it for a couple of different meals. One half became cheesy verde burgers and the other half I turned into taco meat! Cooked ground beef seasoned for tacos can become an element of several meals like nachos, taco salad or even pizza. Its not limited to just tacos.

For a person cooking for themselves or cooking ahead for a family member, seasoned taco meat is absolutely perfect. It stores well and can be frozen. When I was in college my mom would make 5 pound batches of taco meat for me to store in the freezer. I might have ran out of money for beer on a regular basis, but I always had meat for a plate of nachos.

The hardest thing about eating leftovers is having the same meal on consecutive days. With taco meat you can change up all the things surrounding it and give the leftovers a nice variety.

For this batch of taco seasoned beef, I made crunchy tacos the first day and a hearty plate of nachos a couple days later. (I have one serving left that I put away in the freezer)

For the seasoning I use my homemade American Taco Spice. It's versatile and can be used to season any cut of meat for grilling (like Pork Chops) but its main purpose is to be a cheaper, fresh and more flavorful replacement of the store bought taco seasoning packets that are loaded with sodium and preservatives.

Out of a 3 pound package of ground chuck intended for a family, I was able to make 4 burgers and 3 serving of seasoned meat for tacos and nachos. That's making the cheaper bulk packages work for the single cook, which can be difficult, because it seems everything at the grocery stores is packaged and sold to feed a herd.

Eat well, cook often ...

TACO SEASONED GROUND BEEF
1.5 lbs ground chuck (80/20)
2 Tbs American Taco Spice

In a skillet over medium-high heat crumbled ground beef, mix in taco spice and cook until browned and cook through, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and serve or let cool, place in a freezer bag and store for later use.

AMERICAN TACO SPICE
3 Tbs chili powder
3 Tbs kosher salt
2 Tbs cumin
2 Tbs pepper
1 Tbs onion powder
1 Tbs garlic powder

Mix together, store in a tightly sealed jar.

FOR CRUNCHY TACOS
Taco seasoned ground beef
8 to 10 crunchy taco shells
1 C shredded cheese
1 tomato diced
1/2 onion, diced
Cilantro or lettuce
Taco sauce

Warm shells in microwave or oven for a crunchier bite. Stuff shells with meat and toppings. Grub!

FOR NACHOS
Taco seasoned ground beef
Tortilla chips, enough to cover dinner plate
1 C shredded cheese
diced tomato and onion
sour cream
salsa or taco sauce

Spread chips on plate. Top with meat and cheese, Heat on high in 45 second intervals with a minute rest between until cheese is melted. Top with tomato, onion, sour cream and salsa.





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