Thursday, May 19, 2016

66. Ground Beef Tacos with Tangelo Adobo Sauce, Pico de Gallo, and Avocado

Ground Beef Tacos with Tangelo Adobo Sauce, Pico de Gallo, and Avocado Collage

Note:  This post contains affiliate links to support my blogging addiction!

The inspiration for this taco creation came from a delicious Lamb Adobo recipe from one of my favorite restaurant cookbooks!  Actually, I was going to use ground LAMB for this, but our local grocery store didn't have any.  I was surprised.  Lamb isn't super popular around here, but they usually have some.  Oh, well.  I switched to beef!  I'm sure it would be delicious with either.

The restaurant is called Elote and is located up in Sedona.  It's one of those places that is really popular and doesn't take reservations.  It's a great opportunity for them to keep pouring you margaritas while you wait for a table, right?  :)  It can be a fun time with the right company!  Anyway, here's a link to the cookbook.  It's great - it has a lot of unexpected basics that have made it onto my go-to list.  For example - spicy cabbage (p.49) dressed in Cholula, cider vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt, and pepper.  Who knew?  It's great stuff!  If you're a cookbook junkie like me, I would highly recommend adding this to your collection:

Anyway, the recipe in the cookbook is quite different - it involves braised lamb shanks!  I wanted to see if I could present some of the flavors (chile, citrus, spices) in a taco form with an easier (and shorter preparation).

I used a tangelo instead of an orange because I can never choose the simplest and most obvious option, but either would work.

During the last few weeks of school, I had to take a hiatus from my taco project!  There were just too many rehearsals and concerts - and too much stuff to grade.  I couldn't do it all.  This recipe is me getting back in gear!  I made it about a week ago and am just now finishing the post.  I also made tacos last night and will posting that recipe shortly.  Now that I'm on summer vacation, we can have tacos EVERY DAY!  Steve will be so pleased.  Ha ha.

34 more recipes to go - August 2nd is my projected completion date.  I'll be picking up the pace!

Here's the recipe!  :)

Ground Beef Tacos with Tangelo Adobo Sauce, Pico de Gallo, and Avocado

Serves 4 (about 8 very generous and filling tacos)


For the ground beef and adobo sauce mixture:

2 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
1/4 cup soaking water (from the chiles)
1/4 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup fresh tangelo juice
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. dried Mexican oregano
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
A pinch of ground cloves
1 lb. ground beef

Organic Ground Beef for Tacos

1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tbsp. cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. finely grated tangelo rind

For the tangelo pico de gallo:

4 small plum tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 or 2 serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp. finely grated tangelo rind
1/2 to 3/4 tsp. kosher salt, to taste
1 tbsp. fresh tangelo juice
1 tbsp. cider vinegar

Ingredients for Citrus Pico de Gallo

8 to 16 corn tortillas, depending on whether you want to double them up

A few ounces grated cheese of your choice (I used the same smoked Provolone that I used in recipe 65.)

Smoked Provolone Cheese for Tacos

Shredded iceberg lettuce

One or two avocados, sliced

Sliced Avocado for Tacos


1.  Soak the chiles for the ground beef filling:  Place the chiles in a glass liquid measuring cup.  Cover the chiles with about 1 1/2 cups boiling water.  Allow them to soak until softened, about 20 to 30 minutes.

2.  While the chiles are soaking, make the pico de gallo.  Place all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and toss to combine.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Cover and set aside.

Citrus Pico de Gallo for Ground Beef Tacos with Tangelo Adobo Sauce

3.  Remove the chiles from the water.  Reserve the soaking liquid.  Place the chiles back in the glass measuring cup and add the 1/4 of the soaking liquid (reserve the rest in case you need it later), the wine, and the tangelo juice.  Blend with an immersion blender until smooth.  (Alternately, you can use a regular blender.)  Set aside.

Chile Puree for Tangelo Adobo Sauce

4.  Make the ground beef mixture:  Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion, lower the heat a bit, and cook until soft and slightly browned, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Add the garlic, bay leaf, oregano, cumin, cinnamon, and cloves and cook for an additional minute or until fragrant.

Onions and Spices for Tangelo Adobo Sauce - Ground Beef Tacos

Increase the heat to medium and add the ground beef.  Cook and stir until slightly browned and cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Season with the salt and pepper.

Ground Beef for Tacos with Tangelo Adobo Sauce

Add the chile mixture.  Stir and bring to a simmer.  Reduce the heat to low and cook until the liquid has reduced to a thick sauce, about 15 minutes.  (If it gets too thick, you can add a bit more of the soaking liquid.  Or more wine - your choice.)  Add the vinegar and tangelo rind.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Keep warm.

Ground Beef in Tangelo Adobo Sauce for Tacos

5.  While the beef is cooking, (or after, if you don't want to multi-task,) prepare the tortillas:  Heat the tortillas in a dry skillet over medium-high heat, one by one, until browned but still soft, about 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side.  As the tortillas are done, stack them on a sheet of foil.  When they are all finished, wrap them in the foil.  You can keep them warm in a 250 degree oven if you wish.

Corn Tortilla in a Cast Iron Skillet for Tacos

6.  When all the components are ready, assemble the tacos:  For each taco, place a tortilla on a plate.  (If your tortillas are thin, as mine were, double them up!)  Top with some of the beef mixture.  Sprinkle with some grated cheese.  Add a small amount of lettuce and a couple of avocado slices.  Finish with a healthy dose of the pico de gallo.  Enjoy!

Ground Beef Tacos with Tangelo Adobo Sauce, Pico de Gallo, and Avocado

These were delicious!  I do think ground lamb would have been even better.  Next time I make these, I'll use lamb.  I just love the way the flavor of lamb combines with the other ingredients!  Don't get me wrong, though - this beef version is not too shabby!  :)

If you're looking for spicy (hot) tacos, you may want to add more heat.  These were flavorful, but mild.  I haven't had much luck getting spicy serrano peppers these days.  You could always add a pinch of two of cayenne pepper if this doesn't do it for you!

Ground Beef Tacos with Tangelo Adobo Sauce, Pico de Gallo, and Avocado (2)

These were very filling and satisfying.  We ate two tacos each and were slightly stuffed.  With chile-citrus goodness.  I'm not complaining!  Ha ha.

Sometimes I recycle the taco leftovers and make them into something else.  Anything to avoid eating MORE tacos.  Whose idea was this project, anyway???


Well.  I ate these for lunch the next day.  As tacos.  And I liked it.

Feel free to comment on this recipe!  Did you try the tacos?  What did you think?  Stay tuned for smoked mushroom tacos tomorrow . . ..

Thanks for reading!

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