Taco Night is a Fiesta

By: Anne Hynes

Everyone loves tacos. A table laden with condiments and toppings, where everyone can make their own, can turn an everyday meal into a party.Getting everyone involved makes it fun, younger children can grate cheese or set the table and older kids or teens can practice using a knife and learn how to season.  If you don’t have time to prepare your own, good quality salsa and guacamole can be purchased in most food shops (Mad Mexican makes great ones).  I bring out the lazy Susan, so that access is easy and there is more time for eating!

Tacos can be filled with any number of ingredients which makes them a staple in my house.Sometimes we use up leftover roast meats, like chicken or pork shoulder but often we will make a lightly spiced ground beef and pork mixture with beans. At Sanagan’s we always have fresh ground beef and pork as well as ground chicken or turkey. We sell a number of ready to use spice mixes and Mados, a hot sauce that pairs very well with sour cream, for those who like it spicy.

Tacos are a healthy and inexpensive meal that is sure to satisfy every diet as they can be vegetarian and even gluten-free.  In Kensington Market there are a number of places to buy taco shells but my favourite are Alba Lisa’s corn tortillas. These tortillas are cooked quickly in a hot pan for about 20 seconds and then kept warm in a clean tea towel. They are soft and delicious – definitely a way to elevate taco night!

If there are leftovers you can do what I do and have scrambled eggs or omelets the next night. That makes two easy and tasty dinners!

Ground Beef and Pork Taco Filling

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1 cup of cooked beans (black or red kidney beans work well)
1 onion, small dice
2 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoon Mexican chili powder
½ cup of chicken stock
2 medium sized tomatoes, diced
Juice of ½ a lime
1 tablespoon cilantro, chiffonade (optional)

Method:

– In a large skillet, preferably cast iron, season and brown meat in batches over medium-high heat. Drain fat.

– In the same pan cook onion until translucent, add garlic and cook a few minutes more. Add beans and chili powder, let mixture cook a few minutes then add tomato. Return meat to the pan and mix thoroughly.

– Add stock, bring to a boil and then cook in a 350˚ oven until stock has cooked down, approximately 25 minutes.

– Finish with the lime juice and cilantro. Adjust seasoning as needed.

– Serve with warm tortillas, salsa, guacamole, shredded cheese, lettuce and sour cream and lots of paper napkins.