Taco Potion #19

April 15, 2013

Taco night, anyone?  Tacos are both a crowd-pleaser and such a comfort food in my eyes.  Customizable toppings, easy to prepare, and being able to eat with your hands?  What could be better than the good ole’ all-American beef taco.  This is a win-win situation that’s perfect for any weeknight or weekend fiesta.  Give me a margarita and it’ll be followed by a brief siesta.  Okay, I’ll quit trying to rhyme…  Let’s get to the bottom of this “Taco Potion”.

Two words, one human:  Alton Brown.  Thank you for always explaining why cooking techniques should be done a certain way and making me chuckle at corny humor, outdated sound effects, and random hands helping you cook.  I only wish you’d bring back Good Eats.  You’ve left me deprived of new food knowledge and mouth-watering recipes.  A girl can dream of season 15, right?

That horrendous confession of appreciation should only be followed by an excellent recipe from Mr. Brown himself- “Taco Potion # 19” and the “All-American Beef Taco”.  Tacos are so simple already, so for heaven sakes, take the time to make this killer seasoning.  You’ll never go back to those ready-made little packets again.  Bleh.  I promise you.

I mean… look at those colors.  I feel like I’m looking at a palette of dried pigments that are just waiting to be mixed and brushed onto a canvas.  Do you want to know the best part?  You can eat these colors.  AND they provide a few health benefits.  Vitamins and minerals?  Yes please, I’ll have more of those.

Taco Potion No. 19 from Simplified Feast 2

I’m taking you to the spice islands… or mountains, rather.  Look at that evening sun shine streaming through my kitchen window.

Taco Potion No. 19 from Simplified Feast 3

There, doesn’t that look familiar?  Combine (shake!) ingredients in a jar with lid; 2 tbs. chili powder, 1 tbs. ground cumin, 2 tsp. cornstarch, 2 tsp. kosher salt, 1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika, 1 tsp. ground coriander, and 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper.

Now that the seasoning is done, we’ll move on to the taco-making portion.  Unfortunately, there are no pictures.  I’ll just assume you know what browning ground beef and taco-assembly looks like.  If not… shame, shame.


1 package (12 shells) ready-made tortilla shells

2 tbs. olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

16 oz. ground sirloin

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 recipe Taco Potion #19

2/3 c. low-sodium beef broth or water

Optional taco toppings; Panela cheese, pickled jalapeno slices, shredded iceberg lettuce, sour cream, tomato (seeded and chopped), fresh cilantro leaves


Preheat oven according to taco shell package directions.  Bake shells accordingly while beef mixture is cooking.

Heat 2 tbs. olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Once the oil shimmers, add the chopped onion and cook until softened and lightly browned around the edges, about 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the ground meat and garlic.  Cook until browned, about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, to break up the meat.  Add Taco Potion and beef broth (or water).  Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until sauce is slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.

Assemble each taco with meat mixture, panela, jalapeno slices, lettuce, tomatoes, and cilantro.  Serve immediately.

Recipe slightly adapted from Alton Brown.  For the full recipe, click here:  Taco Potion No. 19 and the All-American Beef Taco from Simplified Feast


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