Monday, February 14, 2011

Crock Pot Cooking: Tacos

Our church has a covered dish meal the first Sunday of each month. On the other Sundays, families are still encouraged to stay and spend some time in fellowship, you just bring lunch for your own family. This is one of the meals we take on those Sundays. It can also be set up and ready to eat once you get home if you don't have fellowship meals at your church. Or you can put it together at lunch time and it will be ready for a quick supper.

Taco Filling

ground beef
taco seasoning mix

Brown your ground beef. This is 6 lbs I cooked Friday night in preparation for a birthday party we had on Saturday.
When your meat is nearly done, add your onion. I like to grate mine when adding to taco meat.

I usually do this part the night before I'll be having the tacos because we're usually eating them for lunch. I also go ahead and chop the lettuce (with a plastic knife) and tomato as well. To make it easy, I usually buy pre-shredded cheese for these.
The next morning I put the ground beef and onion mix in the crock pot, add the taco seasoning and water and turn the pot on high. I use McCormick because it doesn't have MSG, and I like to use equal parts of the regular and low sodium. I don't usually add a whole pack per pound of meat as the instructions indicate. I add a little less and then taste it shortly before serving to see if it needs more. In the past the kids have complained it was too spicy if I used the whole amount. They're getting older though, and more of them like spicy food now. Homemade taco seasoning mix is on my list of things to try and make, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.
There you go. If you prepared the other fillings while your meat was cooking your tacos will be ready to eat as soon as you heat the tortillas or taco shells. When we take this to church we don't bother with taco shells. We take small, flour tortillas to make soft tacos with, wrapping them in foil and laying them on the lid so they can warm while the filling cooks. I usually run in the kitchen between singing and the sermon (during our meet and greet) and flip the package over so both sides get warmed. You can keep the warmth on them by covering them with a small, folded towel after you flip them over.

I've occasionally used a small cookie sheet in place of the lid for the crock pot (sometimes by necessity if the lid was broken) and this makes a great surface for warming rolls or other bread during the last part of the cooking. I've put the bread on during the meet and greet, and everythings ready to eat by the time the service is over.
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