Main Dish Meat Mexican

Beef Tacos – my new fav taco recipe

My husband is out of town this week.  Either I’ll bake everything under the sun, or be too busy to post.  I’m not sure!  It will probably depend on if I get a part in “South Pacific” that I auditioned for yesterday.  I’ll be depressed or elated.  Only time will tell….

Back to food…

My mom taught me to make tacos by adding packets of stuff from the store to ground meat.  Out on my own and trying to make more things from scratch, I made a taco seasoning based on the non-weird ingredients found in taco seasoning packets and posted it here.  Recently, I started reading the “America’s Test Kitchen” book which goes through a few common, popular and solid dishes that people like to make.  Taco seasoning packets always make you add water to the meat with the seasoning at the end.  I never stopped and thought… water doesn’t add any flavor, so why use it?  Exactly!  “America’s Test Kitchen” solves this problem.   Next time I might tweak some of the seasonings and add garlic powder and onion powder.  But I really really like their method for cooking this dish.

Beef Tacos
serves 4

1-2 tsp. vegetable, canola, corn or olive oil
1 small onion, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed (I prefer pressed because minced leaves chunks …)
2 Tb. chili powder (I fed children and used 1-1.5 Tbs. to cut the heat)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander (this stuff is nice, if you don’t have it, increase the cumin or omit)
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (or omit for a milder flavor)
1/2 tsp salt
1 lb. 90% lean ground beef
1/2 cup canned tomato sauce
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. vinegar (cider vinegar would be ideal)

The rest: taco shells, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, chopped cucumber, sliced avocado, sour cream, etc.

1.  In a large skillet, turn the stove to medium heat and add the oil.  Once hot, add the onion and cook until soft (4 minutes).  Next, add garlic and spices (chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, cayenne and salt).  Stir constantly about 1 minute.
2.  Stir in the ground beef and cook until no longer pink.
3.  Stir into the ground beef mixture: tomato sauce, chicken broth, brown sugar and vinegar.  Simmer, not covered, for 10 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
4.  Include this in your favorite taco shells and top with toppings!

Recipe from “America’s Test Kitchens”


  1. This sounds amazing!!! We have used the store bought stuff for so long and I recently I made some homemade seasoning that went over pretty well. There are still some requests for the store bought stuff so I obviously need to keep trying. I love America’s Test Kitchen which is another bonus. I don’t know if you tried their whole brick chicken but it is awsome too. I would love to know which book that recipe is in so that I could check it out too 🙂

    1. I have almost always made my own seasoning mix because I like to control the salt content. I don’t think anyone can really overdo it on salt if you cook at home and avoid processed foods. But the packets and frozen foods really pack a punch. I do love those little flakes of flavor in the Ole Paso packets though.

      1. We have loved the Ortega packages for years because the Old El Paso had onion flakes which we didn’t love but they changed their recipe. I only get them if I have a coupon to get them for free. The recipe that I have for the homemade taco seasoning, it didn’t tell me how to make them so I mixed it with a jar of blended salsa instead of water. If you are short on time (or ingredients), taco seasoning and jar of salsa works great 🙂

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