how to brown beef for tacos

Let the meat brown without touching for about five minutes. This gives the meat more contact with the pan, and thus, a better sear. Sprinkle salt and any other spices (like taco seasoning). Continue to let the meat brown, stirring once after every minute, until all the moisture has evaporated.

This is our favorite taco meat recipe, the only taco filling you’ll need for taco night. So simple to prepare and seasoned just right. This will quickly become a new favorite weeknight recipe.

1) Dry the raw meat on paper towels and let it come up to room temperature. This prevents it from steaming in the pan and moving from cool to hot too quickly. It basically ensures that it cooks more evenly.

Now its time to actually use the technique. Ground meat is extremely versatile, shining in salads, tacos, lettuce wraps, casseroles, and just about everything else. Well, maybe not smoothies. Here are a few dishes that benefit from perfectly browned ground meat:

This Thai inspired salad highlights the crispy fatty pork with clean cucumbers and lettuce. Basically, its a way to tell youre body that eating all of this ground meat is actually healthy. Maybe.

2) Add the meat to a hot, lightly oiled cast-iron pan and smash it into an even layer—then don’t touch it. You dont want to break up your ground meat before it has time to gain some texture.

For the record, when you brown ground meat in a pan, it should be, well, brown and crispy. If its gray and mealy like mom’s taco meat used to be, youre not really browning your meat. Those are just the facts. Learning how to brown meat the right way will leave you with a crispier, juicier, more interesting protein. Heres how to show that ground beef, pork, or lamb the respect it deserves.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

This is a great recipe to make in advance because taco meat reheats well. Just let your taco filling come to room temperature, then store it in the fridge in an airtight container. It will keep for 4-5 days. When you’re ready to eat, simply reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop. For the microwave, I recommend covering a microwave-safe bowl with a plate to avoid splattering.

how to brown beef for tacos

Easy Taco Meat Recipe

When it comes to tacos, you need a simple taco meat recipe that has just the right seasonings without being too seasoned for all of your toppings.

how to brown beef for tacos

  • extra virgin olive oil– You’ll use the olive oil to saute the onion and garlic. extra virgin is preferred.
  • white onion– I prefer white onion, but any variety will work just fine. Finely chop the onion, this will be sauteed and bring a nice layer of flavor to the taco meat.
  • minced garlic– You can use fresh garlic that you mince yourself or use the prepared minced garlic in a glass jar that can be found in the produce section.
  • lean ground beef– Look for at least 80% lean ground beef. Still a little fat, but not too much.
  • kosher salt– Kosher salt is more coarse, I use it in all of my cooking and baking.
  • freshly ground black pepper– For best flavor used freshly ground black pepper.
  • garlic salt– If you can find Lawry’s Garlic Salt, this is the brand I recommend.
  • prepared salsa verde– Use a mild salsa verde salsa. Herdez and Trader Joe’s have good options.
  • ground cumin– Find ground cumin in the spices section of the grocery store. Brings a smoky flavor to Mexican dishes.
  • hot sauce– Cholula works great here.
  • fresh lime juice– The fresh lime juice adds a great freshness to the taco meat.

Let the meat brown without touching for about five minutes. This gives the meat more contact with the pan, and thus, a better sear. Sprinkle salt and any other spices (like taco seasoning). Continue to let the meat brown, stirring once after every minute, until all the moisture has evaporated.

FAQ

How long does it take to brown beef for tacos?

Allow one side to brown for 3 to 5 minutes without touching it (you can stir around the onions during this process so they don’t burn). Flip the meat and allow the other side to brown 3 to 5 minutes. Use a spatula to break the meat into smaller chunks. Sprinkle all of the taco seasoning over the meat.

Do you brown ground beef with oil or butter?

So, if you’re looking to get a nice brown color on a steak, butter in the pan will help. If the ground beef is very lean then adding a small amount of cooking oil to the pan is necessary. Otherwise, ultra-lean ground beef will burn and stick to the pan before the center of your burger is even done.

Do you brown taco meat before seasoning?

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir ground beef in the hot skillet until browned and crumbly, 7 to 10 minutes. Drain and discard any excess grease. Pour water and seasoning mix over beef; stir to combine.

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