Oh Paprika, how I love thee,
your red warm glow and peppery aroma just- Oh. Hello there. I was just. Ahem. Nothing.
Then again, something. I believe that in this day and age, paprika is sadly underused and underestimated. It’s been pushed to the back of the spice cabinet to fraternize with that one spice that one friend picked up for you that smells funny. The spice, not the friend.
Back to paprika. It is sadly used by some as ‘just for color’. No real flavor, no zing, no magic!
It is not true I tell you!!! I was once a ‘just for color’ thinker. I have changed.
And I’m here to present you with my favorite taco meat recipe. It is drenched with paprika.
Here’s our lovely in workings,
Onion, garlic, ground beef, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, and I used a bit of butter, but you don’t have to.
Mince up the onions and garlic, and saute them in a little butter or oil over medium heat in your favorite skillet. Mine is cast iron. I think it’s one of my favorite things.
Once the onions start getting that milky clear color, and smelling like saute’d onions, add the ground beef.
Cook until mostly done, stirring occasionally, to get everything nice and brown.
Look over at your son, who has just picked each individual cheerio off his highchair, one at a time, and has dropped them over the side. And then has the audacity to look adorable about it.
Give him a piece of one of the tomatoes you’re chopping up to go with your tacos. He’ll like it better than cheerios.
Drain off your meat now, and replace with water. In the above picture, that’s not meat juice, that’s water. You want to almost, but not really, cover the meat with it. Trust me on this.
Enter your glorious spices. In one dish is paprika. In the other, is everything else. Just to give you an idea of ratios here.
Mix in your spices well, and keep your heat up. Your next goal is to cook off all the water, giving the meat a wonderful crumbly texture, and infusing it with deliciousness as all the spices soak in.
When the water is gone, you’re finished with your meat. Serve with hot tortillas, sliced tomatoes, (yes those are homemade salsas, not by me however) Cheese, lettuce, ect. Whatever makes you happy.
I had two.
It’s a great and simple meal. If you don’t have time to make your own tortillas for soft tacos, just wrap some store bought ones up in foil and pop them in the oven at 350* while you’re making the meat. They’ll be soft and piping hot when it’s time to eat.
Here’s the recipe, to be halved or doubled as fits your family. This serves about 8 people.
3 cloves garlic
2 tbs butter
3 lb ground beef
Water – around 2 cups
1 tsp pepper
salt to taste
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1/4 cup paprika.
Saute onions and garlic until soft. Add beef, and cook down until almost finished. Drain off grease and meat juices, and add water and spices. Cook until water has boiled off. Serve with your favorite taco additions. 🙂
Then go find out what your kid is getting into in the next room.