Yes, forget the store-bought packet of spice mix and season the beef with ingredients you probably already have. This ground beef taco recipe is the bomb! And don’t forget these three simple steps to thoroughly infuse the seasonings into the beef.
Taco cravings can happen any time, not just on Taco Tuesdays. I always make sure to have 75-80% lean ground beef in the freezer for just this reason.
About taco shells. I used to always eat tacos with soft flour tortillas, but then I came to prefer the hard-shell corn tortilla. To me, the crunch of the shell and the flavor of the corn take the beef taco to another dimension. For fish and chicken tacos, though, I still prefer the soft flour tortilla.
I don’t add too much cayenne for heat; to me it can easily drown out the rest of the flavors.
These are the three key steps to making this beef taco recipe.
- When you’re browning the beef, break it up into small, small pieces. This way, the spices aren’t fighting to work their way into larger chunks of beef.
- When you add the water, slow simmer it so the spices mix well with the water and infuse into the beef.
- Lastly, don’t cook off all the spiced water – leave a bit in the pan to keep the beef juicy.
Okay, let’s cook!
Ground Beef Taco Recipe
The Beef Filling
- 1 pound 75-80% ground beef
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 2 Tbsp cumin (yes, 2!)
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper add more if you want more heat
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp paprika
Traditional Taco Toppings
- finely sliced lettuce
- sour cream or Mexican crema
- chopped onion
- chopped tomato
- shredded medium cheddar, or Mexican blend
- lime wedges for squeezing
- In a large non-stick skillet, over medium heat, brown the ground beef, taking care to break it up into small, small pieces. Remove any excess fat, but not all of it.
- Turn the flame down a bit and add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion becomes transparent.
- Add the water and the spices. Stir well to mix the spices into the liquid thoroughly.
- Cover the skillet and simmer for 15 minutes. This will allow the spices to work their way into the beef.
- Remove the lid and continue cooking at a slow simmer until most but not all of the liquid has evaporated. Remove the skillet from the heat.
- Serve immediately with your choice of tortilla, a lime wedge for squeezing, and the traditional toppings of lettuce, cheese, onion, tomato and sour cream.