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Course: Mains
Keyword: All American Beef Taco, Beef, Cinco de Mayo, Tex-Mex, Weeknight Dinner

All-American Beef Taco

ACTIVE TIME: 1 hour 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
Juicy ground sirloin perfectly seasoned with a smoky homemade spice mix and packed into a classic and crunchy yellow corn tortilla — it's a classic all-American beef taco and the perfect vessel for your favorite taco night toppings.
This is essentially a north-of-the-border version of the original Tex-Mex tacos dorados.
This recipe first appeared in Season 14 of Good Eats.
Photo by Lynne Calamia
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Taco Potion #19

All-American Beef Taco

  • 3/4 cup peanut oil
  • 12 (6-inch) yellow corn tortillas
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 16 ounces ground sirloin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup low-sodium beef broth
  • 6 ounces panela cheese, crumbled
  • 12 slices pickled jalapeno
  • 1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce, optional
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and chopped, optional
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, optional

Specialized Hardware

12-inch cast-iron skillet
Candy/fry thermometer
ACTIVE TIME: 1 hour 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yield: 6 servings


Taco Potion #19

  • Put all of the ingredients in a small jar and shake to combine.

All-American Beef Taco

  • Make a taco mold by rolling out aluminum foil and folding it over in 10-inch increments until you have a 4-sheet-thick piece of foil. Fold the large foil square in half horizontally, bringing the bottom to the top, and then turn 90 degrees. Crimp over the top and bottom edges by 1 inch, and then fold over the sides by 1 inch. Place the aluminum foil roll or a narrow rolling pin into the center of the foil square and bring the sides together to create a hollow, narrow tube to mold the taco, making sure it can stand up on the long side.
  • Heat oven to 250ºF.
  • Heat the peanut oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat until it reaches 350ºF on a deep-fry thermometer, about 5 minutes. Adjust the heat to maintain the temperature.
  • Shape 1 tortilla around the aluminum foil mold, forming a taco shape. Use tongs to hold up the sides against the mold and put the bottom of the tortilla into the hot oil and fry for 20 seconds. Lay 1 side of the tortilla down in the hot oil and fry for 30 seconds. Flip the tortilla over and fry for an additional 30 seconds. Remove the taco shell to a wire rack set over a paper towel-lined half-sheet pan and cool for 30 seconds before removing the mold. Sprinkle the hot tortillas with kosher salt, to taste. Repeat frying procedure with the remaining tortillas. Keep the taco shells warm in the heated oven while preparing the filling.
  • Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the peanut oil from the skillet and return to medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion, and cook until softened and lightly browned around the edges, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the ground meat, 1 teaspoon salt, and garlic. Cook until browned, 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally to break up the meat. Add Taco Potion and beef broth. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until sauce is slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Assemble each taco with meat mixture, panela, jalapeno slices, lettuce, tomatoes, and cilantro. Serve immediately.
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