Quick & Dirty Taco Meat

Or: Yes, I know what that looks like, but seriously, it’s delicious (and really a lot of taco meat looks like poo)

Seriously, IT'S DELICIOUS
Seriously, IT’S DELICIOUS

Food Stuff:
Ground Turkey (1/2- 1 lb)
1 Can Fat-Free Refried Beans
Taco Seasoning*
1 tsp of your favorite greaser (I’m partial to bacon fat, especially when cooking with turkey)
Cheddar cheese powder
Beer
Tortillas
Lettuce, tomato, onion, whatever toppings you like

*I make my own taco seasoning by putting a mix of the following in a sealed container: season salt, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne. You can also use a couple packets of your favorite Taco Bell sauce in place of or in addition to the taco seasoning. I’m not judging.

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Tools needed:
Skillet
Fork
Spoon

Make It:
Grease your pan and turn the heat on. After a minute, add the turkey and mash it with the fork to break it up. Cook on medium heat until most of the turkey is lightly browned.

Ground turkey is not a thing you want to undercook
Ground turkey is not a thing you want to undercook

Add the beans and seasoning, stir, and let cook for another minute or two. Add just enough beer to deglaze the pan and keep the beans and meat from sticking to the pan. Add the cheese powder and mix well. Give it all a taste and add more seasoning, beer, or cheese if you like.
Prep your plate with tortillas (or taco shells or chips or whatever) and whatever toppings you want. Spoon out the meat/bean mixture, wrap up or fork your foods and scarf it down.

Things I Learned:

  • I make this frequently and I always forget how easy it is. The end result looks a bit odd, but it tastes great.
  • In using the cheese powder you don’t have to use any cheese after, which is great if, like me, you love cheese but hate shredded cheese falling all over the place or dripping on your clothes when melty.
  • Again, looks aren’t everything. It’s the taste that matters.

 

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The Story:
It wasn’t that long ago that I shunned any form of legume that wasn’t peanuts. Beans just didn’t do it for me. Refried beans? Why would you ruin perfectly good meat and cheese on tacos, burritos and the like with such a taint?

Then, my palette changed a bit AND I frequently found myself on the poor end of ‘working class’ single gal. It was then a former supervisor told me about the magic of mixing refried beans with your taco meat to stretch the meat without sacrificing protein. And with several brands making delicious fat-free beans, you’re not substituting flavor with the fatty grease that often comes with these beans. Of course, I had to solve issues like not-fatty meat and beans sticking to the pan (hello a dollop of bacon grease and beer) and the always annoying case of Shredded Cheese Everywhere that happens whenever I make tacos and the like.

Problems easily solved, this has become a staple for me when I’m broke and need a good amount of food for a few days that isn’t terrible for me. You can obviously top them with whatever you like, though honestly it’s pretty damn good just one its own, so don’t be ashamed for just slapping some on some chips or a tortilla and calling it good. You can have a salad later.

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Put it on a tray and nosh in bed while catching up on crap CW shows. I’m not judging.
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