Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Recipe: Taco Bell Ground Beef

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Taco Bell's beef has an unmistakable appearance...it doesn't resemble any beef I've ever been served in any other Mexican restaurant! I don't know how they get it so finely ground, but I figured how to replicate the texture using an immersion blender. That's optional, of course, it will taste good no matter how finely it's ground!

Ingredients:
1 pound ground beef
Special equipment:
Immersion blender (optional)
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
1 cup water

Makes enough for two Mexican pizzas, and four taco supremes with a small amount leftover.

Recipe

Heat a skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add the pound of beef. Break it up with a spatula and cook until no red remains, about 5 minutes.

Optional: if you want the beef to have a finer texture, after it's browned, turn off the heat and transfer the beef to a bowl with high sides. Using an immersion blender, hit the beef with one second blending spurts, stirring the mix with the turned-off blender in between each spurt. It's important to not run the blender for too long so the beef doesn't turn to mush! About 10 blasts will do it. Return the now even-grounder beef to the skillet.

Add the all the seasonings and salt to the cup of water and stir with a spoon. Pour over the browned beef and cook on medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until most of the water evaporates. It should take about 5-10 minutes. You can keep it warm over low heat while you prepare the Mexican pizza and taco supreme recipes, just add a tablespoon or two of water if it gets too dry.

Cooking for One

This beef recipe stores for about a week in an airtight container in the fridge. It's much easier to cook it all at once and add a bit to meals as needed; try it in quesadillas and taco salad in addition to the Taco Bell recipes!

Update 4/17/10: I should add that with the particular brand of beef I used, Trader Joe's 100% Grass-fed Organic Ground Beef 85/15, hardly any fat escaped when cooking so I haven't included a draining step here. If you a being a cheater and using non-organic/grass-fed beef (or a fattier cut of the good stuff!) I would drain off most of the fat right before the immersion blender step.

You shouldn't be a cheater, though. I'm telling.

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