Taco Beef

America's Test Kitchen

Makes about 8 tacos

Forget those boring taco seasoning packets. This doesn't have any unusual ingredients, but it's way better.


  • 2 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped fine (about ⅔ c)
  • 3 medium garlic cloves minced
  • 2 Tbs chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • salt
  • 1 lb 90% lean ground beef or leaner
  • ½ c tomato sauce
  • ½ c low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vinegar (cider vinegar is best)
  • pepper

Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium until hot and shimmering, but not smoking, about 2 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until soften, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, spices and ½ tsp salt and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, scraping pan bottom to prevent scorching, until beef is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce, chicken broth, brown sugar, and vinegar and bring everything to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently and breaking up the meat so no chunks remain, until liquid has reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper and then serve with your favorite taco fixings.

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