Embrace the Tradition of the Taco

It’s the 4th of October, so it is National Taco Day and who doesn’t love tacos? For this holiday, you’re allowed to pull out all the stops. This recipe, courtesy of www.thenibble.com, takes advantage of all the wonderful, zesty flavors from south of the border. It’s a spicy fiesta for your mouth. With the chile peppers and chocolate, you get a nice mixture of hot and sweet. This meal is sure to be a favorite for those who aren’t afraid of the kick!

beef tacosIngredients

  • 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 lb. boneless beef chuck, well trimmed, cut into 3/4-in. cubes
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. ancho chile pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. chipotle chile pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Mexican oregano leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate, broken in half
  • 12 corn tortillas (6-in.)


  • Mexican crema, crème fraîche or sour cream
  • Mexican queso fresco, queso añejo (Cotija) or feta cheese, crumbled
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Toasted slivered almonds


Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in 5-quart Dutch oven or saucepot on medium-high heat. Add 1/2 of the beef; brown on all sides. Repeat with remaining beef. Remove beef; set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in same pot on medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 3 minutes. Add water; stir to loosen browned bits in bottom of pan. Add beef, beef broth, tomato paste, and seasonings; mix well. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in chocolate. Simmer, uncovered, 1 hour or until beef is tender and sauce has thickened, stirring occasionally.

Brush both sides of tortillas lightly with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Cook each tortilla in nonstick skillet on medium heat 1 minute per side or until tortilla is slightly crisp but still pliable. Drain on paper towels. Spoon about 1/4 cup beef mixture into center of each tortilla. Top with desired garnishes. Fold and serve.

Adapted from The Nibble

Derek Hodges
Derek Hodges

Derek Hodges is a proud North Carolinian who moved to Tennessee in 2006 to preach the gospel of Cheerwine and mix some Tar Heel blue in with all the orange. He has made wonderful friends who tolerate occasional remarks like those above. He and his wife Amanda enjoy spending weekends at Dollywood and trying to convince their dog Shiloh to get over his fear of swimming.

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