Basic taco meat mix

tacomeatmix1.jpg

It's hard to believe that I have never posted this really basic basic, but looking though my archives I have not. So here it is, a 'taco meat' mix that I make all the time in some quantity, freezing in portions. It can be used in tacos of course, as well as a sort of Western-tasting soboro to top rice. Try it in pita bread pockets too. I try to get as many vegetables as I can into the mix, making it almost an all-in-one type of recipe.

This most recent batch was made by The Guy by the way, proving that it's quite fuss-free...provided your Guy (or Girl, whichever designation fits the non-cooking partner in your household) doesn't mind chopping vegetables, or else can use a food processor. (In the photo it's packed with some spiced couscous, which is what you see in the right bottom corner.)

Recipe: Basic taco meat mix

Makes enough for at least 8 to 10 tacos, or 4 to 5 bentos used as soboro

  • 1 kg (2 lb 2 oz) lean ground beef
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • about 1/3 cup water (about 80ml)
  • oil for cooking
  • 1 Tbsp red chili powder, or more to taste
  • 1 Tbsp sweet paprika powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. salt (or to taste)
  • freshly ground black pepper

Chop up all the vegetables quite finely. If you have kids or picky adults to feed, using yellow and red peppers sort of disguises them better than using green peppers, though those work just as well.

Heat up a little oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Sauté all the vegetables until limp - don't let them burn though. Add the ground beef, and sauté until browned. Add the tomato paste and water and stir.

Clear a little space in the pan and add the spices; sauté a bit to bring out the aromas. Stir into the meat. Season with salt and pepper. Tip: Let a little bit cool down to room temperature before tasting, to make sure it will be good when cooled and packed in bentos.

To freeze, let cool and divide into portion sizes of your choice in plastic bags or containers. This will keep in the freezer for a month or so.

About 40 calories per tablespoon, depending on how lean our ground beef is.