Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Taco Beef

This is one of those deceptively simple recipes. So easy, so quick, and yet so good. It comes by way of Ann from Thibeault’s Table. There are probably hundreds of taco filling recipes out there, but this one is different. Three things distinguish this recipe from others: 1) The seasoning proportions are just right – not too much chili and not too much cumin 2) No tomato is added. Tomato sauce can sometimes overpower and/or mask other flavorings. This filling is perfectly balanced. 3) The meat is simmered rather than just quickly browned. This extra step results in nicely tender meat that is permeated with the wonderful seasonings. The flavorings do not just coat the top of the meat, they pervade every morsel. So important when you’re dealing with low sodium dishes.

I followed Ann’s recipe with just a few low sodium changes. I did not add any salt to the meat mixture, I used a salt-free chili powder, and I used NSA beef broth. Garnishes were chopped lettuce, salt-free pico de gallo, homemade salt-free guacamole, Sargento’s shredded low sodium cheddar, and dollops of sour cream. I used sodium-free taco shells the first night, and the next day used salt-free tostada shells for lunch.
Taco Beef
(Printable Recipe)

1 pound lean ground beef
1 clove of garlic - minced
1/2 small onion chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder (I used a salt-free blend)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Salt (I omitted)
Beef broth (I used NSA broth)

Saute beef in a small amount of oil until the pink is gone. Add the onion and garlic and seasonings and continue to cook for a few minutes until onion is tender. Add one cup beef broth, cover and simmer for 1/2 hour. Remove lid and cook until the liquid has evaporated.
The meat is great in tacos, taco salads, tostadas, and burritos. Mix it with already cooked rice for a quick bell pepper stuffing or use it to top a Mexican-style pizza.


Desi said...

Hi, I'm making these tacos tonight for dinner, using corn tortillas. Where did you buy the salt free taco shells.
Love your blog!!

Thibeault's Table said...

Sue, Great photo. You should post that over on the Cooking Forum's What's for Dinner.

I'm happy that you were able to make that recipe work for you.

Your dinner looks so good, I think that is what we will have for dinner tonight.

shambo said...

Thanks for your kind words, Ann. I'm not exaggerating, the taco filling recipe is one of my favorites. My husband loves it. That's so important when dealing with low sodium cooking. Sometimes things can taste flat. But this filling tastes great even without the salt.

shambo said...

Desi, I hope you enjoyed the recipe as much as we do. I'm fortunate to be able to buy several different brands of sodium-free taco shells at my local markets. One brand that is totally salt free is Mission. Another brand, Casa Fiesta, has only 10 mgs sodium, and all the Safeway store brand taco shells are salt free. I even got some blue corn taco shells made by Garden of Eatin'. The taste is pretty much the same as the yellow corn, but they're fun to eat.

It's like everything else in the low sodium world --I spent quite a bit of time checking every single taco shell box on the aisle until I found something I could use. One store didn't have anything low in sodium, so I had to shop elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Love,love, love your blog. Hubby has had heart failure for 9 years, and I have become skilled at creating low sodium foods. I am always looking for new recipes, products and tricks. I think your blog will be a big help. Many thanks.

shambo said...

Thank you for your kind words. Please feel free to share any favorite low sodium recipes or handy tips. We all have a common goal -- to lower our sodium intake while still cooking and eating tasty food.