Taco shacos. If you know, you know.
Halal tacos are not easy to find. Halal Mexican food in general is not easy to find. This might be because a lot of Mexican food contains lard which comes from pork. Because I can’t find halal tacos or halal Mexican restaurants easily, I opt to cook at home. If you haven’t noticed already, this is a recurring theme in my kitchen-life:
Can’t find halal-something outside? Cook it yourself (CIY)!
I am kind of obsessed with Taco Bell because they allow you to easily substitute the meat in their items for beans which are not fried in lard! But I will admit that often times I see their photos of tacos with ground beef and begin to salivate. Really casually drooling over here. So I thought to myself, why not just make simple crunchy tacos with halal meat at home?
The main ingredient in tacos that requires cooking is the protein which was ground beef in this instance. You can absolutely take the time to prepare and cook the tortillas as well, but I did not have the time, so I used good ol’ crunchy taco shells by Old El Paso.
Let’s get to “the meat” of the matter.
Ground beef. Finely chopped onions. Taco seasoning (for which I have so kindly linked a recipe of my own).
You may notice that cumin powder and chili powder are the primary spices used in Mexican cooking unlike Pakistani or Indian foods which use roughly equal amounts of cumin, coriander (dried cilantro seeds), and cayenne.
Start with some oil in a skillet. Although I eyeball it, I use about 2 tbsp of oil for 1 pound of ground beef.
Once the skillet and oil are evenly heated (an angular swirl of the pan will reveal shimmery oil), throw in the finely chopped onions and stir every now and then until they have browned/caramelized a little.
Next, add the taco seasoning and some minced garlic. Mix, mix, mix. Let the spices bloom a bit in the oil before adding the ground beef (or whatever protein you are using).
When you do add the ground meat, you’ll want to break it apart to spread it all around your skillet. Cover with a lid and let it simmer/cook for 15 minutes on medium-low heat.
After the 15 minutes, you should see little to no pink in the meat. Whatever small parts are not yet cooked through will cook through while you continue to break up the meat into crumbles.
During those 15 minutes, the lid/cover was keeping all the moisture in, so there will likely be some unwanted liquid in the skillet. No one wants soggy tacos. Get rid of the extra liquid by increasing the heat on your stove, stirring the meat to prevent it from burning or drying out. Once it looks like there is barely any liquid left, shut the stove off.
Andddd you’re done! That’s all there is to it. Well, the meat of it anyway.
Pun intended, always.
At first, I was trying to make Taco Bell’s cheesy gordita crunch but that didn’t work out so well (as you will see in the video below). I was very happy with the crunchy tacos, though.