Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Beef Taco Bake

Whatcha Making Wednesday: Beef Taco Bake

I love making tacos with ground beef!  Using an affordable cut of beef to make something tasty and quick is pretty close to success in my book!  This recipe came from Cook's Country magazine originally but I have included a few adaptations below.  Feel free to get your creativity going because tacos are so easy to change up based on what you like.

2 10-ounce cans of Ro-Tel tomatoes (drain and reserve 1/2 cup juice)
1 16-ounce can refried beans
1 T hot sauce (we like Cholula)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend (I never actually measure cheese, I just kind of throw it on until it looks good!)
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 package taco seasoning mix
10 taco shells
3 scallions or green onions, sliced thin

1. Heat oven to 475 degrees. Combine half of tomatoes, beans, hot sauce and cilantro in bowl. Spread evenly in 13 by 9 baking dish.  Sprinkle with 1 cup cheese.  (Katy's note: This tends to make your tacos soggy so I prefer to just spread the beans in half the dish so they can still be heated up in the oven but not result in soggy bottomed tacos.

2. Cook beef over medium-high heat until no longer ink.  Pour off fat (reduce the fat!!) then stir in taco seasoning, remaining tomatoes, and reserved tomato juice. Simmer over medium-low heat until thickened and nearly dry, about 5 minutes.

3. Spoon beef mixture and cheese into each taco shell.  Arrange tacos upright next to bean mixture, cover with foil and bake until bubbling, about 10 minutes.  Remove foil, top with remaining cheese and bake until cheese is melted, about another 4 minutes.  Sprinkle with extra cilantro and green onions and serve!

Note: covering the tacos with foil in the last step helps keep them from burning since the oven is at such a high heat.  It is also important to note that you sometimes burn the tacos when your almost 1-year old son stands up without holding onto something and walks across the kitchen and then you forget about dinner in the oven while you celebrate with him and shower him with kisses.  I made this note in my head for next time so hubby and I don't have to eat black tacos:)

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