Beef Tacos

Weeknight dinner made better—fresh tacos without mixes, all in one pan for easy cleanup.
TIME 45 minutes
MAKES 4 servings
½ cup vegetable oil, or more as needed
12 small (about 5-inch) corn tortillas
1 pound ground beef sirloin or chuck
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 fresh hot chile (like jalapeño), seeded and minced, optional
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup roughly chopped radishes for garnish
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
2 limes, quartered, for serving

1 Pour about ½ inch of oil into a large skillet and set over medium high heat. When it’s hot, put a tortilla in the pan and let it cook until it starts blistering but is still soft, less than 15 seconds. Flip it with tongs, then fold it over and hold it for a few seconds. Once the tortilla is crisp enough to hold its shape, cook it, turning it every few seconds, until it’s crisp all over, 15 to 30 seconds more. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, adjusting the heat and adding more oil as necessary.

2 Carefully pour all but 2 tablespoons of the oil out of the pan and lower the heat to medium. Add the ground beef, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking it up until it starts to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it softens and begins to color and the meat is getting crisp in places, 5 to 10 minutes more.

3 Add the garlic and the chile if you’re using it and cook until the vegetables soften, 1 to 3 minutes. Add the cumin and tomato paste and cook and stir until the mixture is fragrant, about 1 minute. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

4 Divide the meat among the taco shells and top with the radishes and cilantro. Serve with a squeeze of lime.

  • More Taco Fillings: You can use any ground meat you like in this recipe, from chicken to pork. Or make seafood tacos, using Grilled or Broiled Fish or Shrimp Scampi.
  • 5 Different Garnishes

1 Guacamole and chopped tomatoes
2 Shredded cabbage and chopped scallions
3 Drained black beans and red or green salsa
4 Shredded iceberg or romaine lettuce and crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese
5 Chopped avocado and red bell pepper

  • You can fry flour tortillas the exact same way.

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