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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Homestyle Taco Meat

Taco Night Two Ways!

Let's Dish

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The key to a really great taco is the meat. Simmered low and slow with a lot of bold flavors can take a taco to the next level. Don’t stop there, pick your choice of a vessel to serve your tacos, also important. Finally, finish by using your favorite ingredients full of bright colors and textures to fill your tacos. The best phrase I can think of to describe these tacos is eye candy.

This is my recipe for Homestyle Taco Meat.

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Oregano

I’m using two fresh herbs for my tacos. Oregano from my Hanging Herb Garden and fresh cilantro.

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Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice With Black Beans

If you want my recipe for Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice With Black Beans, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

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You can choose between using plum tomatoes or grape tomatoes for your Pico de Gallo.

Pico de gallo

If you’d like my recipe for Pico de Gallo, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

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If you’d like my recipe for Chunky-Style Guacamole, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

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How about these Tex-Mex-Style Baguette Pizzas? Buy a jar of your favorite taco sauce to smear over grilled baguettes, top with shredded cheese. Place them under the broiler until the cheese becomes lightly golden brown and bubbly. Top with my Homestyle Taco Meat and fresh Pico de Gallo.

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Yields: 4 servings (12 tacos)
Equipment: 6-quart Dutch oven, chef’s knife, 3 large mixing bowls

Note: A variety of fresh salsas and Pico de gallo are now available in the refrigerated section of the produce department in most grocery stores. Take advantage of these products to use as ingredients for taco meat, even guacamole.

Ingredients For Taco Meat:
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 pounds of ground pork (substitute ground chicken, lean ground sirloin, or turkey)
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Fresno chili, seeded and minced (substitute jalapeno)
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 tablespoons of taco seasoning
1 lime, juiced
4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups of beef stock, unsalted
3/4 cup of store-bought fresh Pico de gallo
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup of sliced green onions, reserve green tops for garnish, thinly slice the tops on the bias

2 boxes of crunchy taco shells (substitute soft corn tortillas)
2 (8-ounce) packages of Mexican blend shredded cheese
2 limes, cut into wedges to serve with tacos
Cilantro for garnish
Green onion tops for garnish

Ingredients For Taco Seasoning:
1 1/2 tablespoons of chili powder
1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon of onion powder
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

Note: Recipe yields approx. 1/4 cup of taco seasoning.
Note: 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning per pound of ground meat.

Directions For Taco Seasoning:
Add all the ingredients for the taco seasoning into a medium-size mixing bowl. Mix to combine.

Tip: Store taco seasoning, in an airtight container, in a dry cool place.

Directions For Taco Meat:
Set the pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and the diced onions. Stir and cook until the onions begin to soften and become translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the ground pork, 4 tablespoons of the taco seasoning, diced green onions (the white parts), minced Fresno chili, minced garlic, dried oregano, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper into the pan.

Using a wooden spoon break up the meat. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is no longer pink, 10 to 12 minutes. Add tomato paste and fresh Pico de gallo, stir to combine. Next, add the Worcestershire sauce, fresh lime juice, and beef stock. Bring everything up to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, simmer, stirring occasionally, uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes.

At this point, all the liquid and seasonings have absorbed into the meat giving you a deep beefy flavor. Turn the heat off and add in the sliced green onion tops and cilantro leaves, mix to combine.  Transfer to a large serving bowl. It’s Taco Night!

To serve. I prefer the crunchy taco shells but really it’s totally up to you! This is my Homemade Tacos Meat.

Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice With Black Beans

Chunky-Style Guacamole

My Hanging Herb Garden And Summertime Flowers

Pico de Gallo

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Taco Bake With Black Beans And Hominy

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My Taco Bake With Black Beans And Hominy is a great way to switch up having traditional tacos to a casserole with all the flavors you love.

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Cilantro

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 12 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 42 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 9 x 9 casserole dish, 10-cup food processor, 12-inch sauté pan, 3 large mixing bowls, 1 medium-size mixing bowl.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds of ground pork (substitute ground meat of your choice)
1 sweet onion, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
2 cloves of  garlic, minced
1 cup of Cantina-style salsa
1 15.5-ounce can of hominy, drained and rinsed
1 15.5-ounce can of black beans, low sodium, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup of fresh corn, removed from the cob
8 small flour tortillas
2 limes, juiced
2 bunches of cilantro (each bunch equals approx. 3/4 cup of packed cilantro leaves)
1 pint each of red grape tomatoes, halved
1 pint of yellow grape tomatoes, halved
1 Fresno chili, seeded and minced
2 avocados, pitted and diced
1 package (8-ounces) of shredded cheese, Mexican blend
1 package (8-ounces) of Colby jack shredded cheese
3 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
4 tablespoons of taco seasoning
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 cup of beef stock, unsalted

Ingredients For Cantina-style Salsa:
2 15-ounce cans of fire-roasted tomatoes, drained (substitute diced tomatoes)
1/2 onion, quartered
1/2 a jalapeno, seeded and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of cilantro leaves
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt

Ingredients For Taco Seasoning:
6 tablespoons of chili powder
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
4 teaspoons of smoked paprika
8 teaspoons of ground cumin
4 teaspoons of Kosher salt
2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper

Note: Recipe yields approx. 3/4 cup of taco seasoning

Note: 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning per pound of ground meat.

Directions For Taco Seasoning:
Add all the ingredients for the taco seasoning into a medium-size mixing bowl. Mix to combine.
Tip: Store taco seasoning, in an airtight container, in a dry cool place.

Directions:
In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat add olive oil with ground pork. Add the diced onion. Using a wooden spoon, break up the meat. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink. Continue stirring, add minced garlic, 4 tablespoons of the taco seasoning, tomato paste, and 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt. Add beef stock, reduce the heat to medium, simmer for another 15 minutes.

Turn the heat off, add  2 tablespoons of fresh chopped cilantro. Set aside.

In the meantime to a food processor add the fire-roasted tomatoes. Add onion, 1/2 cup of cilantro leaves, 1/2 the minced Fresno chili,  garlic, the juice of one lime, sugar, and 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt. Pulse the ingredients together until you get the consistency of a Cantina-style salsa. Transfer to a medium-size mixing bowl. Set aside.

Directions For the Avocado Pico de Gallo:
In another large mixing bowl add the red and yellow grape tomatoes, diced red onion, 1/2 the minced Fresno chili, 2 tablespoons of roughly chopped cilantro, diced avocado, the juice of one lime, and 2 tablespoons of Kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper. Gently mix to combine. Place plastic wrap directly over the salsa. This prevents the avocado from turning brown. Transfer to refrigerator to chill.

In a large mixing bowl add both kinds of cheese, mix to combine.
In another large mixing bowl add the black beans, corn, 2 tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro, hominy, 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper, mix to combine.

Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
In a casserole dish, start by ladling 1/2 cup of salsa in the bottom. Arrange 4 tortillas on top of the salsa. Add half of the meat mixture spreading it out evenly over the tortillas. Add half the cheese mixture. Next spoon the hominy, black bean, and corn mixture evenly over the cheese. Using a spoon, add dollops of salsa over the top of the hominy mixture. Arrange another 4 tortillas for the next layer. Add the remaining meat mixture, again spreading it out evenly over the tortillas. Add a few more dollops of salsa. Finish with spreading the remaining shredded cheese evenly over the top.

Spray the dull side of a large piece of foil with non-stick cooking spray (this will prevent the cheese from sticking to the foil when it’s removed). Cover tightly, bale for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown. Let rest for around 20 minutes before slicing. Garnish with 2 tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro.

To serve, place a slice of the taco bake onto a serving plate, top with the Avocado Pico de Gallo. There you have it, my Taco Bake With Black Beans And Hominy.

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