the best freakin' taco's i've ever had.

i don't even like taco's. 

and here's the best recipe ever for them! 
i think the secret is in the homemade seasoning and shells. 

adapted from Cooks Illustrated 


  • Beef Filling
  • 2teaspoons vegetable oil or corn oil
  • 1 small onion , chopped small (about 2/3 cup)
  • 3medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2tablespoons chili powder
  • 1teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • 1pound 90% lean ground beef (or leaner)
  • 1/2cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2teaspoons vinegar (preferably cider vinegar)
  • Ground black pepper
  • Shells and Toppings
  • 8 taco shells (warmed according to package instructions), or Home-Fried Taco Shells (see related recipe)
  • 1cup shredded cheddar cheese (4 ounces), or Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2cups shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 2 small tomatoes , chopped small
  • 1/2cup sour cream
  • 1 avocado , diced medium
  • 1 small onion , chopped small


  1.  Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat until hot and shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes; add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, spices, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

    Add ground beef and cook, breaking meat up with wooden spoon and scraping pan bottom to prevent scorching, until beef is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. (no photo here, thought that would be too yuck :)

    Add tomato sauce, chicken broth, brown sugar, and vinegar; bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently and breaking meat up so that no chunks remain, until liquid has reduced and thickened (mixture should not be completely dry), about 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.

    Using wide, shallow spoon, divide filling evenly among taco shells; place two tacos on individual plates. Serve immediately, passing toppings separately
To Make Your Own Shells: 

Grab some corn tortillas.  

Heat up some oil. Vegetable or canola oil will do. 

Now, lay the tortilla in the skillet. Shaping as you go. Use metal tongs! They're easiest. And I usually get my hubby to do this part, b/c i'm scared of hot oil. :)

Make as many as you'll need for dinner. Be sure to lay them on a plate with paper towel to soak up extra oil.
Gather your toppings and you're done! Yum!



katygirl said...

some things to say:
1. i saved this recipe.
2. i LOVE my necklace. love it.
3. you have the cutest little packaging supplies

Perpetual Blind Date said...

I make tacos all the time! These sound so good!

Jami Nato said...

but honestly, who makes their own taco shells? that's dedication.

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