Monday, March 7, 2011

Food My Grandmother Made: Meat and Potato Tacos

We haven't cooked in a while around here, have we?  I thought I'd share another recipe from my Grandma today.  We had a very thoughtful weekend.  Big decisions were discussed, mulled over, chewed on and finalized.

It's always a little exhausting making big decisions isn't it?  You are left feeling relieved, but also a bit drained.  You keep your hands busy with simple tasks like making bows for your little girl, so that you can focus on the stewing going on in your brain, say the prayers for strength and courage that need to be said.  You go for walks with your family and pick up your husband's skateboard for the first time in 10 years and impress your kids with your riding skills.  You curl your hair and put on some makeup.  Yes, simple tasks, but tasks nonetheless. 

So by Sunday night you want a nice home cooked meal with friends, but want it to be a meal that you know like the back of your hand, no recipe card needed.  A meal that reminds you of a woman you loved and cherished, a meal that reminds you of friends and family, and a meal that is both mouth-watering and heart-warming.  For me that meal will always be my Grandma's tacos.  And as is the case with all of my Grandma's recipes, they're not all sexy and complicated.  There is no braising, basting or flambeeing, although there is a little sauteeing. ;) 

I didn't take a lot of pictures of this recipe because these tacos are so simple to make and call for very few ingredients.  If you look back at this recipe, will see a pattern here with the meat and potatoes.  I can only assume my grandmother's generation must have used potatoes so much as a cost-saving tool.  It's a perfect meat filler, is hearty and satisfying, and is about 1/10th the cost of some ground meat.

My only other regret about the lack of pictures is that I didn't get a single one of our friend's enjoying this type of taco for the first time.  Truth be told by the time I sat down the guys had all but devoured their own tacos and were ready to go back up for seconds.  That always makes me so happy, watching people go back for seconds and thirds.  So how abut the recipe?

Grandma Tita's Tacos with Homemade Taco Shells:
2 lbs ground beef
5-6 large russet potatoes
1/2 onion
Salt & Pepper for seasoning
1 dozen corn tortillas
Shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes and shredded cheese for tacos garnish

Sautee the potatoes and onion in a bit of vegetable oil for about 5 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper.  Add the ground beef and cook all the way through, about 10 - 15 minutes, occasionally turning meat and potatoes.
 In a separate frying pan, heat at least 3 tbsp of vegetable oil on high heat.  Add 1 corn tortilla at a time, cooking for about 30 seconds on one side, then 30 seconds on the other until the tortilla starts to firm up but is still soft enough to fold in half.  Fold in half and cook on one side for about 1 minute, or until tortilla starts to get a bit crispy.  Turn over and repeat.  Place on a paper towel lined plate to drain off excess oil before serving.
Scoop meat and potatoes into taco shell and garnish with lettuce, tomatoes and cheese, and salsa of course!  Beans and Grandma Tita's Spanish Rice are also the perfect side dish.  Look at how pretty those taco shells look! 
And of course if you'd like to offset the calorie consumption of this dish, you can always make some Skinny Girl Margaritas on the side ;)



  1. My mom always fries her own taco shells and they are one of my favorite indulgences.
    And my dear friend, whose family is from mexico, always adds potatoes to her tacos, taquitos and even tamales.
    They are soooo good.
    Love from,

  2. thank you for solving my "what's for dinner???" crisis!

  3. I always try to figure out what's for dinner when I get up in the morning so tonights dinner is going to be these tacos! I would love to buy a new skateboard but Im not sure if there is an age limit to that kind of stuff now,hmmm just Googled Tony Hawk's age and he's 43. He's retired but still skating, maybe I still have a couple of years before I embarass my kids. After all I can still pop wheelies on my mountain bike!

  4. I'm pro ANYTHING with potatoes. And dude, how are those SkinnyGirl margaritas??? I've been wondering for ages! : )

  5. those look wonderfuL!!!
    and I want to try the skinny girl margaritas also!
    love your site

  6. Yum! Gorgeous pics of the tacos! Just lovely! Here's to strength for following through with whatever decision has been made.

  7. these look super yummy!
    thanks for sharing!

  8. So did anyone try them?!? Let me know how you liked them please!

  9. Um hello.
    This looks like my husbands idea of Heaven on a plate.
    Must make tonight!
    Thanks for sharing =)

  10. I made them last night for dinner and I have to admit I did add a couple TBSP of tomato sauce to the meat and potatoes (sorry Grandma!) I usually always end up tweaking a recipe out of habit..anyway they were really good and the part which made it for me was the fried shell! Nice and crispy stuffed with the meat went down real good, even Miranda asked for seconds!

    Thanks for sharing...

  11. Yeah so excited for this post! My Abuela's sister use to make these for us and I loooooved them! Definitely on the next grocery run!

  12. Those taco shells are so pretty! What a filling meal--looks perfect for those cool Fall nights. :) Thanks so much for joining my Family Friendly Food Week party. :)


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