I like tacos. You like Tacos. We all like tacos. The only problem with the tacos is that they never last long enough. People are either just too into the taco or else you didn’t buy enough of the things that make tacos great.
Today I’m going to show you how to make the ingredient that makes the taco (the meat) last all week. As an added bonus, you’re going to learn how to properly season your meat.
- Taco receptacle of your choosing. (Whatever you want to use in order to get the deliciousness from your plate to your face. Old El Paso has a metric-fuckton of kits in your local super market. Word to the wise? Kids are clumsy as fuck. Mine still have a hard time tilting their head in order to take a bit out of a taco shell. As such, I like to alternate between the stand and stuff tortillas and taco salads. With the salads, I just break up the taco shell and throw all of the fixings in a bowl).
- Ground meat. Want to use turkey? Knock yourself out!
- Mushrooms (aka THE SECRET FUCKING INGREDIENT).
- chili powder
- red pepper flakes
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- Taco fixings. (Whatever the hell you want: sour cheese, lettuce, taco cheese, salsa… It’s your damn fiesta: LET ‘ER RIP, NEPHEW!).
Before you do anything else, take another look at the picture at the top of this post and then come back. That white, plunger looking thing is CRUCIAL to the expansion of your precious taco meat. It’s made by Oxo and I have no idea what the proper name for it is.
In the event that it is discontinued or your retailer of your choosing doesn’t carry anything remotely like it, THERE ARE PLENTY OF OTHER WAYS TO BEEF UP YOUR TACO. You don’t need to use mushrooms. You could use peppers, onion, and more importantly MORE MEAT. If you are opting out of the mushrooms, skip ahead to the “Seasoning your meat” part of this recipe.
Deploy the mushrooms.
Once upon a time, I brought up my taco-quandary to my beloved and she hipped me to the idea that mushrooms, when prepared properly are nearly indistinguishable when they are cooked with ground meat. Got some fuckheaded kid in your house that won’t eat the vegetables or else won’t fuck with more mushrooms? THIS’LL FIX THEIR LITTLE RED WAGON!
What you see above are the pre-sliced mushrooms. Typically, these cost a little more. It should be noted that I am a cheap son of a bitch and if I have pre-sliced mushrooms in my fridge, I got them on sale. Don’t want to fork over the extra wapum for the sliced fungi? I don’t blame you.
Prior to the insertion of mushrooms into your chopper, THEY DO NEED TO BE SLICED. It just makes it easier. You can throw them in whole, what the fuck do I care? It’s your kitchen.
If you take off your glasses and squint really fucking hard, this totally looks like ground beef.
Seasoning your meat
Depending on your choice of meat (ground beef, turkey, small child) there is absolutely no reason for you to be compelled to “drain your meat”. However you are preparing it, that shit will cook off. Just leave your meat in the pan until it does.
Mushrooms have a lot of water in them. When you add them to your meat, you should expect to see that water brought out by the heat. Don’t freak: it will cook off.
When you cook the meat, it should go without saying that you need to break that shit up. However, people are stupid. So I have to say it: break up the meat when you throw it in your heated pan.
When it comes to cooking the ground meats, I don’t stick with one particular setting of flame.
If I have a lot of other things to do in the kitchen, I keep the flame to medium, or low. If I’m in a hurry, I leave that shit on high.
KEEP IN MIND if you are cooking on high heat, you can’t get distracted. If you do, your meal is fucked.
Right about now, your meat has had a minute to start sizzling in the pan. Here’s where your spidey-senses need to kick in. Once things are cooking, but not completely cooked, that’s when you add the mushrooms. After you throw those bad boys in there, stir them up with the meat to get everything nice and coagulated.
Season your shit once the mushrooms start putting off moisture.
As I am sure that I have mentioned before, I don’t measure seasonings. I just don’t have time for that shit. You want to measure your seasoning? Feel free. Nerd.
I season to taste. What this typically breaks down to in the realm of the taco is that I go down the line of seasonings and I shake that shit on the taco meat as it cooks in the pan. What you want to do is not dump a stupid amount of whatever in there. Just add enough to change the color of the meat. Then mix that shit up and give it a minute.
After you give the taco goodies an appropriate amount of time to take on the seasonings that you added to it, get a spoon and help yourself to a sample. Taste ok to you? Fuck it: you’re done. Taste a little light on a certain seasoning? Fix it up how you want it.
This is what you should get when you’re all done. No, I’m not showing you what a taco looks like jam-packed with all of this goodness. What you see here will last my family a week.
Want yours to last longer? Add more of whatever you want. More meat? Why the fuck not? Can’t get enough of the ‘shrooms? Add some more.
You’re the one doing all of the work: Add whatever-the-fuck you want.