No. 306: Beef Tacos

It was only after I married a man raised in the Phoenix desert that I understood the power of a great taco. There, they are a simple and wonderful art form. Within a stones throw you will find delicious meats wrapped in made from scratch tortillas with a variety of fresh topping options.

And I don't discriminate. I love all possible fillings, from tongue and lamb to fish and chicken. Well, if I'm being honest I don't do tofu. That's my only rule.

Beef Tacos

Being from the Midwest, we typically make tacos with ground beef. It had been a very long time since I had eaten this form of one of my favorite foods, and it sounded great. Nothing like a little Taco Tuesday nostalgia.


1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno chile, minced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 pound ground beef
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, with juice
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
Optional Toppings: cilantro, iceberg lettuce, diced jalapenos, pickled jalapenos, Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream, Pico de Gallo, avocado

To make

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and jalapeno; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes.

Add garlic, chili powder, and cumin to skillet; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Onions and spices

Add beef; cook, breaking up meat with a spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes; simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 10 to 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, as desired.


Meanwhile, warm tortillas in a dry skillet over medium heat or directly over a gas burner, about 30 seconds on each side. At the table, fill tortillas with beef mixture and desired garnishes.

The results

These harken straight back to my childhood. The only thing missing were the hard shell tortillas and lots of sour cream.

Final plate

With some corn tortillas, black beans, avocado and lots of cilantro, my tacos were ready to eat. Yum.

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Amelia McCormick

Kansas girl transplanted to Asheville, North Carolina. Smiler, lover of great food and wine, facilitator, runner, storyteller, wife, optimist, and mother of sweet twins:)

Asheville, North Carolina