When I first moved to Ireland, I found the lack of Mexican food ingredients really depressing; I had to make do with what was available and the one thing I could find with no problem was hard taco shells. They weren't precisely very Mexican, more of a Tex-Mex thing, but in time, I learned to like them and they became a regular super at home. Since we finally sourced good quality corn taco shells for the shop, I made these for dinner today to see how they hold up to the ones in the yellow packets found in the supermarket; I'm happy to report, they tasted really good and we polished them all as an alternative menu to our Paddy's Day meal. This corn crunchy tacos are stuffed with a lovely beef dish which is a cross between a picadillo and a chili con carne; they have plenty of veggies and a scrumptious seasoning sauce; topped with shredded iceberg lettuce and my home made red salsa. I must say, they were wonderful and provided a bit of sun shine to a rather dull, snowy and cold day. Go on, give them a try!
Start by making a cooking sauce. Put the chipotle chili in a bowl and crush it with a fork until it's all minced. Add the ketchup, HP Sauce, mustard and Worcestershire sauce and mix everything into a thick dark yellowy sauce. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a deep non-stick pan at medium heat and add the mince beef making sure to break the lumps with a wooden spoon. Add the garlic, onion and fresh chili and mix well.
As soon a the meat starts releasing its juices, add the potatoes and the carrots. Mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook this at medium to low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly to avoid things sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Add the sauce you made in step 1 and mix everything really well so meat and veggies are coated in the sauce. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan to cook everything for further 2 minutes stirring regularly.
Add the tinned beans and mix well. Cook for further 5 minutes or until the meat and vegetables are fully cooked and the beans have heated through. Make sure you stir occasionally to avoid sticking at the bottom of the pan as the sauce can caramelise quickly and make the meat stick to the pan.
While the picadillo cooks, get your taco shells ready by following the instructions in the pack. If you are using ours, heat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius, stand the tacos upside down (open side down) on a baking tray and heat them for 3 minutes, this will make them warm and very crunchy and by laying them upside down you'll get rid of most of the oil.
Set your tacos, the beef picadillo, some shredded lettuce, a good salsa and plenty of servilletes in the middle of the table and invite everybody to join the feats! Put a spoonful of the picadillo inside a taco shell, top it up with some shredded lettuce and crown it with some salsa: your Crunchy Beef Tacos are ready to enjoy!