People who know me are, by now, clued on to the fact that I’m am always looking out for interesting, seasonal and family friendly slow cooker dishes. There are any number of heavy winter casserole recipes, lots of different roast methods and ideas and endless soups (which actually have been among my favourite dishes to date), but finding variety and meals that work in the warmer weather is a bit more of a challenge. I have also found that a lot of recipes use tins of soup or packets of this or that which really isn’t my style of cooking. Then a good friend passed on this recipe she had photocopied for me when she spotted it in a magazine (don’t you just love when friends do the hard work for you!) and I was keen to try it. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before or not, but Miss Three has been a very dedicated lover of tacos, she asks for them EVERY day and it is the ONLY meal I am ever confident she will actually eat (note I still can’t guarantee that last part as she loves to keep me guessing). Sadly until now most of my taco dinners have come out of bright yellow boxes, except for these fajitas (which of course I call tacos) that are delicious. As a rule I don’t use packets, I dislike the whole concept, the salt, the additives, and the expense, but for whatever reason I have never really made tacos from scratch before. Thankfully this recipe was very easy, very tasty (even without much chilli) and a good warm weather slow-cooked meal.
1kg chuck steak
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon each of cumin, coriander and smoked paprika
1 cup beef stock
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 fresh long red chilli, sliced thinly (I left this out, but think it would be better with it)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Flour tortillas, warmed
Rub the beef with the spice mix and put it in the pot of the slow cooker. Pour over the combined stock, tomato paste, chilli and garlic. Put the lid on and cook on low for 6 hours.
Once cooked take the beef out and shred with two forks when cool enough to handle. Remove half the liquid (or even a bit more) and then return the meat to the remaining liquid. Season to taste.
To serve, top the warmed tortillas with some beef, guacomole, chopped tomato, shredded lettuce, grated cheese, sour cream and fresh coriander. Mr Good and I also had some hot sauce or tobasco for some added heat which was lacking in the meat mixture.
I used a bit more meat (nearly 1.5kgs) so had enough left over for another meal, perfect for when I go back to work next week. The meat was far superior to the mince with added packet spice mix that I usually dish up and thankfully Miss Three was equally as happy to eat them. Now it’s time to let you in on a secret, I love tacos too. Not just because they are fun and tasty, not just because Miss Three eats them, but because the preparation and eating is entertaining to children which makes my life so much easier. Miss Three does ‘her jobs’ – adding the cheese and sour cream to the bowls, tearing up the lettuce and putting it in the bowl, mashing the avocado and even chopping the tomato now that she’s a bit more co-ordinated. All this takes approximately the same time as it takes me do everything else I need to get done before we sit down to eat. A far cry better than the standard “I’m HUNGRY”, “She’s touching me”, “I want ABC kids” demands I generally get shouted in my direction during dinner preparation time. And then putting a taco together, wrapping it up and eating it with your hands just rounds out the whole experience. So tell me, is it wrong to have tacos every night?