It only takes 30 minutes to make a delicious batch of Gluten Free Quick and Easy Taco Meat. It’s a great filler for a variety of meals!
The word “taco” just screams men to me. I mean, I love tacos and all. In fact, I love burritos, nachos, quesadillas, enchiladas, and mucho mucho more! But, when I think of these Mexican feasts loaded with primarily ingredients like beans, cheese, potent veggies (like onions and jalapenos), and MEAT…I just can’t help but think of MEN!
Not only are the ingredients right up the masculine alley, but the act of eating a taco with all it’s glorious mess is all guy. I mean, really, have you ever seen someone eat a taco with poise and finesse??? I didn’t think so. Show me one person that can eat a taco like a refined lady, and I’ll make that person tacos for life. Seriously.
Even Braelyn, my 6 year old, knows that tacos are the vehicle to a man’s heart. She’s been intensely into diagrams, graphs, charts, and other analysis type documentations lately. I find “projects” all around the house lately analyzing every little detail of our lives and others, down to the clothes we wear to the shows we watch on TV.
Ben ran across a chart the other day entitled “Our Family” that outlined each of our favorite activity, food to eat, color, and best friend according to Braelyn’s mindset. It was no surprise that she picked TACOS for Ben’s favorite food.
I’m guessing the main reason Ben loves it when I make tacos is because so frequently I cook vegetarian due to high meat prices and poor planning ahead. So whenever there is a meal involving some other living thing than a plant, he rejoices and stuffs his face. But, to Ben’s credit, he is pretty much the most amazing and helpful husband and father there ever was, so I don’t mind fueling his manly cravings here and there.
I especially don’t mind cooking meat when it’s as effortless as this Gluten Free Quick and Easy Taco Meat. It’s just that: quick and easy.
Making this taco meat makes me feel good because it’s built from scratch. I know there’s nothing outrageously bad about using simple McCormick taco seasoning, or some other similar brand, but to make something from scratch, building it from the bottom up, gives such a sense of accomplishment. And it settles my soul knowing where each and every one of the ingredients came from.
And if that doesn’t make you feel good enough inside, this homemade taco meat tastes even better than the taco seasoning and it’s almost just as easy. I always add extra veggies to my taco meat anyway, so really making this recipe doesn’t include that many more steps than just throwing in some taco seasoning anyway.
Basically the flavor in this meat comes from sauteing the beef with fresh veggies, adding in some spices, and letting the meat simmer in a mixture of red wine vinegar and tomato paste. The flavors are a combination of rich, deep, and tangy with that traditional Mexican flare that everyone loves.
And once that meat is cooked, your options for dinner are endless. Throw it on some tacos, in a burrito, on top of a Fiesta salad…you name it. Whatever you did with taco meat before, you just keep on doing it with this new and improved version. You’ll love it. I promise.
So whether you’re a lady that likes to keep her fingers clean or a meat head man that can’t wait to get his hands on any ounce of protein…it’s time to eat a taco, or two, or three…
What do you do with your taco meat?
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- ¾ cup chopped mushrooms
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
- 1½ lbs. lean ground beef
- ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon pepper, divided
- 1 small can tomato sauce
- 2-3 dashes of cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground mustard
- ¼ teaspoon coriander
- ½ teaspoon dried cilantro (or 1 tablespoon freshly chopped)
- ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1½ teaspoons cumin
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Once pan is hot enough that a drop of water sizzles, add onions and stir. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until tender and turning brown, stirring occasionally to avoid burning. Add mushrooms and cook for additional 3 minutes. Add minced garlic and stir for 1 minute more.
- Add ground beef into pan. Season with ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cook meat, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink. Drain liquid from pan.
- Add remaining ingredients to pan, including remaining ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper, and return to heat. Stir ingredients well and bring to a simmer over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes until mixture is heated through and most liquid has reduced.
- Serve warm in tacos or burritos or on top of nachos or salad.