Saturday, January 14, 2017

Dinner Tonight - Southwest Ground Beef

This recipe can be utilized in a number of ways, from burritos to tacos to sloppy-joes.

Southwest Beef:

Dice up one red pepper, one green pepper, and one large onion.

Get about 3 maybe 3 and a half pounds of ground beef frying in a deep skillet or one of those electric frying pans.

Once it starts to brown up a bit, toss in the diced veggies along with a heaping tablespoon full or two of crushed garlic. (Some people may prefer fresh garlic but I just keep a huge jar of crushed in the fridge for convenience.)

Now we are going to season generously with garlic powder and onion powder, yes, even though we added fresh garlic and onion already. This helps to concentrate flavor, and does change the flavor profile as well.

Lightly add crushed red pepper, black pepper, but do not add any salt.

Now squirt the hell out of it with Heinz ketchup. This is essentially the sauce that will bind all your ingredients. (You can always add more, so don't go too crazy.) Let that simmer for a bit, so the ketchup can sort of caramelize  around the seasoned beef. I do also recommend the Heinz brand for this recipe.

Pooled oils can be taken and reserved as a flavoring for other dishes or tossed, but if you used 85% or higher, you should not have very much pooled fats in your simmer.

Finally it will get that really hearty, shimmering sloppy joe look to it. Add some parsley, and maybe a bit of oregano or Mexican oregano. Give that another 5 minutes or so to settle in.

Now you can use it just like this, but to stretch the dollar and take it up another notch. I always add a can of beans. I prefer dark red kidney beans, have used pinto beans, but you may have a different preference of bean. To stretch the dollar further, you might consider adding a can of white shoepeg corn, which will make it a little sweeter.

And there you have your skillet of Southwest Beef.


As I said before you can use this for sloppy-joes, as your main taco filling, wrapped in a burrito, but tonight I am making beefy quesadillas.

The Quesadilla:

Typically, a quesadilla is just cheese in a folded tortilla. Tonight we take it up a notch by adding this beefy mix.

Lay open standard-sized tortillas. Cover with cheese like you would a pizza. I am using the shredded Mexican cheese blend tonight, but you can use jack, cheddar, whatever you like.

Next, lay in some of the beefy mix over one half, then fold over. Depending on the size of your pan, you might be able to do two or more at one time.I usually make two at a time with my frying pan.

This next part can be a little tricky. You need a pan with some hot oil going on it. (I prefer canola oil.) It needs to be hot enough to sizzle when you lay in, but not too hot that it burns.

Lay in the quesadilla until crispy golden brown, and flip, fry, then plate

If  you can fit two on one round pan, plate on one round plate, then cut into six wedges with a pizza wheel.

Serve with sour cream and/or salsa on the side.

A nice green salad makes it a full meal.

Other ideas:

This meat mix can be used as a filling for tacos, rather than plain old ground beef, with some fresh lettuce and tomato. It can also be used as a sloppy-joe meat on the bun, as a burrito filling, or whatever else you might think of. When I have some leftover on the fridge, I just boil up some plain white rice and use the meat mix to top it along with a bit of cheese or sour cream perhaps, for a hearty lunch.