The first time I had beef & potato in many dishes was in northern Mexico on a work project trip with our church. An amazing piece of this trip....the ladies from the church we were working with cooked all of our meals. There's a flavor that was burned into my brain & this is a flavor I LOVE. They put potatoes in everything. Fast forward 8 years, still savoring & remembering the flavor, I fell in love with a little family owned mexican restaurant right by campus in college who made the same filling. It was a small, hole in the way place that was immaculate, serving everyone on mismatched dishes & the family got to know me. We would talk & I would listen to them singing worship music in spanish as they cooked. It wasn't just the flavors. I liked being there & something about it brought back memories of that trip to Mexico. I loved all of those things, but I think it also just came down to that Beef & Potato taco....
1 lb ground beef
1/2 onion, finely chopped
3-4 small potatoes. Idaho or Yukon Gold or 1-2 large. In 1/2 inch dices
10 shakes of cumin
5 shakes of chili powder
salt & pepper to taste
12 fresh, white corn tortillas
Brown the beef & onion until fully cooked
Meanwhile, add the diced potato to cool, salted water & bring to a boil
After the potatoes have cooked for a few minutes, add them directly to the beef
The potatoes should not be fully cooked. They'll finish cooking with the beef.
Gently fold the potatoes into the beef, so that they don't break apart
Add about 4 serving-spoon-fulls of water to the beef & potato
(Somewhere between a 1/3-1/2 C)
Cover & turn heat way down low to just let the water simmer & steam the potatoes
Now, moving on to the taco shells...
Heat canola or vegetable oil to 350º in a shallow pan
Using tongs, start frying the first side of the corn tortilla
Use the tongs to begin shaping the tortilla into the shape of a crispy taco shell
Carefully turn to fly the other side, while maintaining the shape with the tongs
Use the end of a wooden spoon to gently help continue shaping the shell. You can also use it to hold as it fries in the oil
Remove to a paper towel lined sheet pan
Before you plate your food....take the lid off of the filling & mash the beef/potato mixture a bit. Check the seasoning in case it needs more salt & pepper....
PLATE your dinner!
Gently, fill your taco shell with the filling
If it breaks, don't worry, just stand it on some beans. A nice, wonderful glue...