So I’ve been writing an awful lot about parenting lately, neglecting my foodie followers (okay, so there are maybe three of you who love the food posts and not the tantrum ones–shout out to the people in the back!). As promised, a week of recipes complete with photos. Today I’ll begin with one of my easiest and favorites: beef tacos. Prepare yourself for IPhone photos. They’re not the best. Sorry, not a real food blogger who cooks during daylight.
Let’s preface this with my big I-Hate-Mexican-Food disclaimer. I know, you’re going to chide me by saying, but Nell, you haven’t tried real Mexican food. My retort: yes, I have. That’s the kind I hate. I lived in Las Vegas for one year. My boss loved Mexican. We went to Donna Maria’s regularly. It was awful. I mean, it was high quality and authentic. It was made by and for native eaters. I hated it. Chipotle? Sure, I’ll eat it. I order the blandest thing ever. It’s not real Mexican. My brother in law, a great cook, loves and cooks Mexican. I can barely stomach it. I’m a gringa, what can I say?
That behind us. Whew. This is Mexican I can stomach. The chihuahua sauce is optional, thus I can handle the rest of it. This feeds 5-6 adults, with a little leftover for AA’s lunch.
things to cook
2 pounds raw ground beef from our local cattle farmer
3-5 big cloves of garlic, chopped
2 medium-large yellow onions, chopped
1 14-ounce can of organic black beans (I know, real people use dry beans. I am still learning how to)
1 quart organic chicken stock (homemade from a recent chicken who obliged us with his carcass)
1 cup organic brown rice uncooked
toppings to prep
2 avocados, ripe, rough chopped
1 red onion, diced
shredded cheddar (our fav: Vermont White Cheddar from Costco)
2 ripe tomatoes
hot salsa (I’m not cool enough to make my own, like my sister Bridget)
Mean Green Sauce or Chihuahua Sauce (for the steel stomached amongst us)
You can go with Alton Brown’s Taco Potion (recommended by my sister’s sig other (who can forget Joe of the Home Brew instructions?)) which is indeed delicious. Or you can just rely on the heavy duty dosages of sauce that your husband is going to dose the beef in–plus a little garlic powder–to do the trick.
Rice: we eat brown rice because it’s healthier. Costco sells big old bags of organic USA brown rice. Go for it. Bring 2 cups stock and a splash of olive oil to a boil in a heavy bottomed pot. Add 1 cup brown rice, bring back to boil, then turn down to simmer for 30-40 minutes. Taste it; you’ll know when it is done.
Beans: heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat with a handful of the yellow onions & half the chopped garlic. After a few minutes add the drained and rinsed black beans. Splash about 1/2 cup of stock into the pan as well. Add pepper. Stir periodically over the next 20 minutes, adding stock so the beans don’t burn on the bottom of the pan. Season with salt toward the end.
Meat: use the rest of the garlic & onions to add to the ground beef. Brown it in a cast iron skillet. When browned, use a slotted spoon to remove it and season it with garlic powder, salt, and pepper (or Alton Brown’s magic number).
Tortillas: we love the local organic flour ones. I know you can make your own (insert sigh here because I’m just not that cool yet). Heat ’em up with olive oil & a little salt in a skillet.
assemble & enjoy!