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Hard shell beef tacos get a make over with onions, peppers, chilies, and homemade salsa.
I am a huge fan of the “old school” taco. It’s what my mom used to make me as a kid and it’s still how I eat them today.
Old school tacos are simply lean ground beef tacos in a hard taco shell with cheese and lettuce. That’s it. There’s no sour cream, no salsa, no jalapenos, and no fancy stuff. They are simple, delicious, and easy to make. The only things I’ve added over the years is my homemade taco sauce.
Of course I have plenty of other favorite Mexican recipes. These Enchiladas with Homemade Red Chili Sauce take a bit of work but are worth the effort. Crunchy Gorditas with homemade shells can’t be beat. Then we have my favorite easy to make meal of Mexican Street Corn Nachos.
Over the last few weeks we’ve been getting a lot of tomatoes in our CSA. I’m talking 2-3 pounds per week. Since I don’t eat plain tomatoes this has been an issue. It was finally so out of control that last weekend I had to make something with them or risk them all going bad.
I’m a huge fan of canning so I decided to make a batch of medium salsa and a batch of freezer marinara sauce. I cooked it all up, put the marinara into freezer bags, and put the salsa in the jars. I still had about 3 cups of salsa left that wouldn’t fit into the jars. So I put it in a container and popped it in the refrigerator figuring I’d use it in a Mexican style dish.
- olive oil
- bell pepper (any color)
- Worcestershire sauce
- chili powder
- garlic cloves
- lean ground beef
- green chilies in a can
- homemade salsa
- hot sauce
- taco shells
I decided to make Spicy Beef Tacos in a hard shell. Instead of having the base simply be ground beef there are bell peppers, green chilies, and onions mixed in the base.
Can I use a different meat in the tacos?
Sure! If you prefer using chicken or pork simple add thinly sliced pieces to the skillet when you would add the ground beef to this recipe. Make sure you cook the meat to the proper internal temperature. Stuff the tacos as you normally would.
Instead of a packet of taco seasoning it is made with seasonings to make your own simple taco seasoning mix. Finally the beef is mixed with several cups of salsa which is what totally sold me on this recipe.
How do you make homemade taco seasoning?
While the recipe below includes a very basic taco seasoning recipe I have a recipe that I use and store in a jar in my cupboard so I can take out what I need when I need it. It is simply 4 tablespoons chili powder, 4 tablespoons paprika, 3 tablespoons cumin, 2 tablespoons onion powder, 3 tablespoons garlic powder,2 teaspoons black pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper mixed together and placed in an air tight container.
I whipped up a batch of these last week and was pleased with the results. Not only did it taste really good, it also made a larger portion then we are used to so we had plenty left over for lunches and taco salads.
The tacos are a bit spicy from the green chilies and hot sauce but they aren’t over the top. I used a little bit of sour cream on mine to cool them off a bit. I liked the crunch of the vegetables along with the meat in the tacos. They certainly weren’t old school but they were pretty tasty and I used up most of my salsa.
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onions, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tablespoons chili powder
- 2 Tablespoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef (I used 90/10)
- salt and pepper
- 4 oz. can green chilies
- 2 c. homemade salsa
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce
- 12 hard taco shells
- cheddar cheese, lettuce, jalapenos, and sour cream for topping
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes. Add in the bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes.
- Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and garlic cloves. Mix well and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add in the ground beef, salt, and pepper. Cook, breaking up the beef, for 5 minutes or until no longer pink.
- Mix in the green chilies, salsa, and hot sauce. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
- To serves, fill the taco shells with ground beef mixture and top with cheese, lettuce, jalapenos, and sour cream.
Recipe adapted from Food Network