Authentic Tacos – Ben’s Mom’s Style

Posted on March 22nd, 2008 by Danielle.
Categories: Beef, cheesey, dinner, ground beef, Intermediate, mexican, recipe, tacos.

Hi All!
So I’m sure you’ve noticed that the winner of last week’s poll was…..TACOS!! For those of you that voted for pork chops or chicken, never fear, those recipes will be coming shortly regardless. So, on to tacos. When Ben and I first started dating I made tacos for dinner one night. He was a little confused by my method – taco shells, ground beef with that sauce-powder you get at the grocery store. Then we went to his mom’s house one night and she made the most amazing tacos and I understood.  She’d been making these tacos for him since he was little. Now granted, these are certainly not the best-for-your-diet tacos, but they are soooo good. I’ve learned to make them and even though it seems difficult and perhaps a little dangerous (see the extra below), they are so worth it if you can stick through the cooking. :) This recipe doesn’t have many ingredients, but make sure you read all the instructions before trying to make them, this is not a read-for-the-first-time-as-you-cook recipe.

tacos.jpg

Ben’s Mom’s Authentic Tacos:

For tacos:
1 lb lean ground beef
1 small pkg of corn tortillas (12-20 tortillas)
Vegetable oil

For garnish:
Avocado sliced thin
Tomatoes diced
Mexican style shredded cheese
Refried beans
Green Taco sauce
Salsa

Cooking materials:
cookie sheet covered in paper towel or news paper
Large round skillet
Large splatter screen
tongs – the longer the better
Paper towels

Open up the package of ground beef and the tortillas. With a butter knife or your fingers spread about 1-3 tablespoons of meat on half of one tortilla. Your tortilla should look like a pie graph with one half filled in with meat. Make sure you press the meat into the tortilla firmly, that will help keep the meat on the tortilla when you are cooking. Prepare all of the tortillas in this manner until you are either out of meat or out of tortillas.

Set uncooked tacos to the side of the stove. Heat the oven to 200 degrees and place the cookie sheet with the paper towels or newspaper inside it. On the stove heat about 1/2 cup vegetable oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. When the oil is heated, slip your first uncooked taco into the oil. The tortilla should be floating meat-side up. With your tongs move the tortilla around in the pan a little to coat the face up side of the taco with oil. This will help soften the tortilla to make it easier to fold. You’ll be able to see the ground beef browning on the side touching the tortilla. When it’s about 1/2 way brown use your tongs to fold the empty side of the tortilla over making the taco shape. Now that it’s taco shaped, turn the taco over in the oil to cook the other side. When the beef is browned, pull the taco out of the skillet.  Try to drip most of the excess oil back into the pan as you take it out. Place the cooked taco in the oven on the paper. This will soak up the extra oil and make the tacos crispy. You may put another taco in the pan now and restart the process. Replenish the oil as needed to cook all the tacos. When the last one is done, leave the tacos in the oven for 10 minutes so the last few can crisp.

Follow The Recipe Extra:
The Oil – It will spatter!! Make sure you are using your screen! I always make these tacos wearing long sleeves and it helps if you put a piece of paper towel on the top of the screen to keep spatter from jumping up at you. Also, towards the end you’ll find that the tacos and oil spatter more, and seemingly for no reason. This is for two reasons, 1.) the temp of the oil is too high or 2.) the oil has residual meat in it. The solution for problem 1 is to turn the stove down (duh!) and for 2 you can use an empty can in your sink to pour the old oil into and put new oil into the pan and continue. Do not touch the hot oil can with your bare hands until it has fully cooled!

The Tacos – You can usually cook two tacos at a time depending on the size of your pan. You should always be removing one, folding the other in 1/2, and then adding a new one to replace the one you just took out. I cannot recommend doing more than two at a time the first time that you do this.

The Meat – Sometimes the meat will fall out while you are flipping or removing. The key to avoiding this is long tongs and always turning, flipping or removing the tacos by using the tongs on the side of the taco that is open.

You – This recipe makes a lot of tacos. Lucky for you they are awesome left over. I included the list of condiments that we use, but use whatever you want. Everything is good on these tacos. Finally, if you’re a little nervous or concerned about splattering oil or burning yourself, then only heat the oil to the temp that you are comfortable with. The tacos will take longer to cook, yes, but you will have a more enjoyable time making them if you aren’t worried about the oil.

Enjoy – feel free to comment with questions!

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