crispy beef tacos video – scroll down for recipe
We never had McDonald’s when I was a kid, but Taco Bell was on the “okay sometimes” list. I don’t remember ever eating Taco Bell when we weren’t in the car, so it must have been some kind of back-up plan for food emergencies on the way to important places like the post office or the day-old-bread store, but that part really doesn’t matter. The only thing that mattered was the crispy tacos. Me and li’l brother would always get crispy tacos. I guess because he was so little, li’l brother didn’t really know how to eat a crispy taco without breaking it all to pieces, or else he was too young to understand that that’s just a fact of life when you eat crispy tacos.
Either way, once that taco was broken, IT-WAS-ALL-OVER. Like, mayhem and chaos and crying in the back seat and his day was absolutely RUINED, probably also ruining my mom’s day. It could have ruined mine, too, if I weren’t always so occupied stuffing my taco-loving face as quick as I could. Poor mama would try to convince him that a crispy taco held sideways is “just like a sandwich!” Travis knew that was horse shit and he was no longer interested in that G.D. crispy taco and was wishing it had never come into his life.
I don’t know why my mom let him keep ordering crispy beef tacos.
Another time, as I was wolfing down my taco, I started choking on a piece of taco shell and barfed in the car. Fortunately, we still hadn’t even left the drive-thru line and the car was parked so I was able to open the door and get it (mostly) outside. Oh yeah, I guess it was also fortunate that I didn’t die. But that should also tell you something about how desperately I LOVED crispy tacos as a kid. I still love them, but I no longer devour them like a feral dog and can usually manage to eat them without spilling taco sauce all over my shirt.
Watch the video above for a demo on making the taco shells and to hear the crispy beef tacos song!
crispy beef tacos recipe
- 8 corn tortillas
- Cooking oil spray or vegetable oil and a basting brush
- ½ cup diced onion
- 1 teaspoon cumin seed (or ½ teaspoon ground cumin)
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 jalapeno, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 teaspoons)
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- ½ cup water, beer, or beef stock
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- For serving: shredded cheese, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, avocado, salsa
- Make the tortilla shells:
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Sprinkle the tortillas with a little water and microwave for 30 seconds or so to soften. Spray or brush lightly with oil. Lay each tortilla over 2 oven rack bars. Bake for 9 minutes, then remove tortillas from bars and set upright on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet back in the oven and turn oven OFF while you make the filling.
- For the filling:
- Saute onion in about ½ teaspoon or oil (or use cooking spray) for 10 minutes over medium-high heat until translucent and slightly browned.
- Add cumin and chili powder and stir for 10 seconds.
- Add garlic, jalapeno, red pepper, and beef.
- Break the meat into large chunks and add water.
- Continue to stir the meat, breaking it into smaller pieces with the water.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink.
- Add oregano and salt and simmer another 5 minutes to evaporate excess water.
- Fill the taco shells with the beef and serve with the toppings of your choice.