Oh how we love Tuesdays in our house. I’m not sure if that’s because my guys are fans of all things Mexican and Spicy, or if it’s the Margaritas that they love so much. One thing is certain, most Tuesdays are pretty darn festive here.
While my passion has always been Italian, more and more Hubby has won me over to all things Mexican. Every now and again, I manage to really crank up the heat. These tacos are a prime example. Living in an Ag town with a large Mexican population has its advantages. For one thing, just down the street from us is a small Mexican Market. They make their own Chorizo on site. Over the years, the heat level has increased. Lately we had taken to using a pound and a half of ground beef with a half a pound of chorizo just to tame the heat a little. The change still had some heat but without all the sweat.
Then again, there are times when sweating while you eat is a good thing. To crank up that sweat, this recipe calls for an even split of ground beef and spicy hot chorizo. Just remember, both the type and quality of the Chorizo are key. There’s that stuff you find in most American Markets incased in plastic. The fat content must be insanely high, because it cooks down to a pan of bright orange grease. Then there’s Spanish Chorizo, more akin to Italian Salami, which is delicious but hardly works in Tacos. And then there’s the good stuff. For that you can either make it yourself or find a good Latin Market.
Next you need to have the right Chili Powder. This isn’t Chili Powder as in making a big bowl of chili. It’s New Mexican Red Chili Powder. It is brighter in color and even smells hot – like New Mexican cooking.
I buy mine by the bag full, then put it in a recycled spice jar. What is a recycled spice jar? That’s an empty spice jar. Rather than throw it away, I wash mine and use them for a number of things – like when I buy my spices in bags.
And last but hardly least is the Salsa. To truly capture the heat of New Mexico, only Hatch Chili Salsa will do. Now you could make it yourself, as I did while we had some of those peppers from New Mexico. You could also find Hatch Chili Salsa in a well-stocked market or buy some on-line. Just make sure it’s the real deal from New Mexico.
Spicy 50-50 New Mexican Tacos
1 lb Ground Beef
1 lb Chorizo
2 tablespoons Taco Seasoning
1 teaspoon New Mexican Red Chili Powder
2 tablespoons Beef Stock
1 teaspoon Tomato Paste
In a large cast iron skillet, crumble the ground beef and chorizo meat together. Over medium-high heat, brown the meat mixture, breaking it into small pieces as it browns. DO NOT DRAIN right away. Add seasonings to absorb some of the fat (it’s packed with flavor).
Transfer meat to a colander that is inside a large bowl to catch the grease. (This prevents the unwanted grease from going down the sink and making a mess of your pipes. Once drained, simply discard grease into a can and toss). Using a wooden spoon, stir the meat while in the colander to drain completely without squeezing out the good stuff. Once meat has completely drained, return to the skillet. If there are any large pieces remaining, break them into small pieces.
Add beef stock and tomato paste, stirring to combine completely. Cover and keep warm until ready to use.
1/2 cup shredded Lettuce
4 chopped Roma Tomatoes
1 cup shredded Mexican Blend Cheese
Spicy Hatch Chili Salsa as desired
To shred lettuce, stack leaves, roll tight (like a cigar) and slice thin. Perfect every time!
Dice the tomatoes into small pieces, set aside. Have shredded cheese and salsa at the ready.
12 Corn Tortillas, taco size
Vegetable Oil as needed
Parmesan Cheese as desired
Note: For this particular recipe, you’ll want to get that dried Parmesan Cheese that comes in the green can.
Heat a flat griddle over medium heat. Lightly oil griddle. Soft-fry tortillas, one at a time, just until warmed and easily pliable.
Spread some salsa down the center of each tortilla. Top with some cheese, then the spicy meat mixture, lettuce and tomatoes. Fold shell over the filling, sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese, serve and enjoy.
Perfect with refried beans topped with a little cheese and a dollop of salsa. As always, don’t forget the Margaritas!