The recipe I want to share this week wasn’t “invented” by a family member nor handed down from ancestor to ancestor. It is however one of the first recipes I considered special when I was growing up. There are many ingredients and though easy to prepare, it takes a bit of time. For that reason, it wasn’t served regularly so when mom decided to make Chili Tacos it was an event. At least for me.

Chili Tacos

1973, the McCall Publishing Co.

2 lb ground chuck
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped green pepper
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cuminseed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 bay leaf, crumbled
2 cans (1-lb size) tomatoes, undrained
1 can (6oz) tomato paste
1 can (10 1/2 oz) condensed beef broth, undiluted
2 beef bouillon cubes
4 pkg (9 oz size) frozen tortillas
Salad oil for frying
2 cans (4 oz size) pimientos, drained and chopped
3 qt shredded lettuce
3 cups coarsely grated Cheddar cheese

1. In 5-quart Dutch oven, sauté beef until it loses pink color, stirring to break into small pieces as it browns. With slotted spoon, transfer browned beef to bowl. Discard fat.
2. In hot butter in same Dutch oven, sauté onion, green pepper, and garlic over medium heat and stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes, or until onion is golden.
3 Stir in chili power, cumin, salt, pepper, paprika and bay leaf; simmer, stirring several minutes.
4. Add browned beef, tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth and bouillon cubes. Stir, breaking up tomatoes, Bring to boiling; reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 1/2 hour.
5. Meanwhile, thaw tortillas as package directs. In 1/2 inch of hot oil in skillet, heat tortillas, as package directs for tacos.
6. To serve: heat chili mixture to boiling. Stir in pimientos. Place about 1/4 cup shredded lettuce in bottom of each taco. Spoon 1/4 cup chili over lettuce. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon grated cheese. Serve at once. Makes 48.

We substituted ready made taco shells for the tortillas. It’s spicy but not overly so and filling.

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