Spicy Beef Tacos (based on Spicy Lamb Tacos from Sunset)
We all know the saying “The quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”. This can also be a fairly speedy route to the female heart as well. Staying in and making your date dinner (or making it together) rates high on the romance scale. You get to show off your creativity and appreciation for nuance & details, even if it’s a simple dish. No different from putting an outfit together. That’s what this series is about. She or he will be left impressed, and you won’t need the skills of Wolfgang Puck.
- Familiar Ingredients: cabbage, radish, cilantro, lime, garlic, fresh oregano, cayenne powder, chili powder, cider vinegar
- Not So Familiar Ingredients: grass-fed ground beef, cumin seeds, cauliflower tortillas (say what?!?)
- Number of Pans/Pots you’ll need to make this dish: large skillet, medium bowl for cabbage, and if making cauliflower tortillas you’ll need a food processor, large bowl, baking sheet, and parchment paper
Happy New Year! Everybody sticking to their resolutions? Was one of them to make your diet a little healthier, perhaps drop some weight and put on some muscle? Maybe you made this resolution with the object of your affection, and you’re both ready to kick some butt in 2015. This recipe should help you out with that. Lean protein, low carbs (if you make cauliflower tortillas, or make it a salad), and a good serving of veggies.
Top the tacos with this delicious cabbage mixture.
So, let’s address the cauliflower tortillas. First, I swear they are delicious, and they don’t break when bent to make a taco. My husband (the object of my affection) was thoroughly impressed with them. I sourced the recipe from Paleo Leap. Be warned, there is some prep involved, and the recipe only makes 5-6 small tortillas. It took me about 20 minutes to prep and create the tortilla mixture, and then it’s an additional 15 minutes of cook time. In my book it was well worth it, but if it looks daunting, just use regular corn or flower taco tortillas. Here are a few pointers on making the tortillas and the recipe in general:
Cauliflower Tortillas – The biggest pain about making these is squeezing the water out of the steamed broken down cauliflower. That being said, it’s not hard to do. It’s an important step though, otherwise the tortillas come out soggy and break. Also, when you divide the finished mixture up and spread it into small circles, it may look really thin, but the tortilla mixture binds really well due to the egg in it, and they cook up flexible and soft. But if you don’t feel like making tortillas, and don’t want to use corn or flour tortillas, just make a salad by topping some mixed greens with the cabbage mixture, meat, and any other taco toppings your heart desires.
Taco Meat – The original recipe from Sunset calls for lamb. If you have access to it, go for it! I just couldn’t easily find ground lamb, so I opted for grass-fed ground beef instead. Grass fed beef has a gamier taste than its feed lot counterpart, plus higher ratios of nutrients. You could also use bison, or make it vegetarian with black beans. Just combine the beans with everything you’d put in the meat, and allow to simmer until a lot of the liquid has evaporated.
Beer – The original recipe calls for some beer to be added to the meat (which is the perfect beverage accompaniment for these tacos), but I’m back on the Whole30 wagon for a month, so I replaced the beer with broth. Either work.
Chili Powders – The original recipe calls for some chile powders that can be harder to find in the typical grocery store, so my revised recipe uses powders you can find at any store.
Final Note: Mexican beer will fit the beverage bill here, like Pacifico or Negra Modelo. If you’re cutting down on booze in the new year, Lime La Croix would be a good option. Make it look fancier by pouring it in a glass with ice and garnishing with a lime wedge and mint. Now for the recipe…
Cauliflower tortillas. Yes really. And they’re spectacular.
Spicy Beef Tacos
- 3 cups thinly sliced cabbage
- 1 bunch radishes, sliced into half-moons
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 pound ground lamb or beef or bison
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- 1 teaspoon chile powder
- 1/2 to 1 tsp. cayenne chile powder
- 1/4 cup beer, broth, or water
- 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
- 8 warm corn or flour tortillas, or 6 cauliflower tortillas
Combine cabbage, radish, cumin seeds, cilantro leaves, and lime juice in medium bowl. Season with salt to taste (it doesn’t take much, don’t over salt it!).
In large skillet, cook meat, garlic, and oregano over medium-high heat, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Cook until just about all the pink is out of the meat, then drain the extra fat off. (To do this, push the meat mixture to one side of the pan, and tilt it a bit so the fat runs down to the other side. Using a metal spoon, spoon the fat out into a disposable container, or into a ceramic or heat proof glass bowl. Let the fat cool and solidify, then you can just wipe it out of the bowl with a paper towel and throw it in the trash. Don’t pour the fat down your sink drain; it will cool and solidify and eventually clog it.)
Add the chili powders, beer (or broth/water), and vinegar. Season to taste with salt, then stir and cook until most of the liquid evaporates, around 3 minutes.
Dish the meat mixture onto a taco shell, top with the cabbage, and any other condiments you see fit (I’m a big Cholula fan).
Sarah is a self proclaimed foodie and contributor to theprettyguineapig.com. She’s over winter, even though technically it just started, and is currently obsessed with foods associated with warmer climates. You put the lime in the coconut.