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.
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 must have underestimated because I 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.
I looked around for some recipes that would use most of the homemade salsa because I knew it wouldn't last all that long. I found a recipe fro Spicy Beef Tacos that sounded delicious. It was basically a fancier version of my old school tacos and was perfect for this weeks Sunday Supper theme of Lean Beef Recipes.
Instead of having the base simply be ground beef there are bell peppers, green chilies, and onions in the base. Instead of a packet of taco seasoning it is made with seasonings to make your own taco mix. Then it's mixed with 2 cups of salsa. That's what sold me on it.
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 T. olive oil
- 1 onions, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 2 t. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 T. chili powder
- 2 T. cumin
- 1 t. paprika
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1½ lb. lean ground beef (I used 90/10)
- salt and pepper
- 4 oz. can green chilies
- 2 c. homemade salsa
- 2 t. 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.