Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Spicy Mexican Beef ( for Tacos or Nachos!)

Since I finally got an excellent taco seasoning blend recipe that I enjoy, I figure that I may as well also share my tips and tricks for making spicy Mexican beef for filling tacos or topping nachos. I usually only make this with ground beef, but I have done with ground chicken as well and all I really change is that I add just a touch less of my seasoning blend to the chicken.

Speaking of the taco seasoning, you'll want to check out my recipe for that so click here to see it.

Oh, I should also mention that these aren't really authentic Mexican tacos, since I have never been to Mexico and I haven't eaten at an authentic Mexican restaurant. But regardless of my lack of knowledge of Mexican cuisine this is a recipe I have been tweaking for a few years now and it really is a crowd pleaser.

So when you finish making this recipe there are still several options open to you, you can use the spicy meat to fill tacos, along with some lettuce or spinach, tomatoes, cheese, green onion etc.

Or you can layer the meat in with nachos and your favorite nacho toppings.

Or you could make a Mexican pie, layering the meat in a casserole dish with layers of sour cream, a layer of cheese, a layer of mixed veggies (like corn, tomatoes, peppers, etc), and large round tortilla wraps. Do several thin layer of each following the order, and bake the pie at 350C for about 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Let it set for 10 minutes after baking, and cut like a pie to serve.

 You can also just layer the meat with layers of sour cream, cheese, and veg in a deep dish style pie pan, bake until the cheese melts and serve as a dip with tortilla chips.

Not bad really, one easy spice blend to make, and one recipe for spicy Mexican beef can add up to four or five different meal or snack options. Love a good multi-use recipe. I also sometimes freeze my left over taco meat so the wonderful man in my life can make himself a nacho snack or taco supper while I am away at work. Reheats very well and keeps its flavor.

Oh this recipe also calls for fresh jalapeno pepper. I recommend either wearing gloves or hiding your hands in a ziplock bag. Because the pepper is full of capsaicin which is what gives pepper their heat, but it will also cause a burning sensation for some people on their skin. The reason I wear gloves or ziplock baggies when handling the peppers is because I am terrified that I will go from touching the peppers and then touch my eyeball or somewhere equally sensitive. So be smart and wash your hands after you handle the jalapeno pepper, and wash the cutting board so you don't accidentally get capsaicin in your eyes later on.

Spicy Mexican Beef

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Pound ground beef
1 White onion, finely minced, or pulsed in a food processor (about 2/3 of a cups worth)
3 Cloves garlic,  finely minced, or pulsed in a food processor
1 Red pepper,  finely minced, or pulsed in a food processor
1 or 2 Fresh jalapeno peppers,  finely minced, or pulsed in a food processor
1 Green pepper,  finely minced, or pulsed in a food processor
2 1/2 Tablespoons Taco seasoning mix or more for extra spice
2/3 Cup water

Instructions:

In a large wok or high walled skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onions and garlic for about 5 minutes.

Add the ground beef and scramble cook until beef is cooked and no longer pink.

Drain the fat from the beef if there is any, and add the red pepper, the jalapeno peppers, and the green pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes.

Add the water and the taco seasoning blend and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Stirring occasionally.

Taste the beef for spice level. If it needs more add about 1/2- 2/3 of a tablespoon more of the spice blend, stir and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Taste again and adjust as needed until satisfied with the flavor. The meat is ready for tacos or nachos now!

Enjoy!

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