San Antonio Beef Puffy Tacos

Southern Living
San Antonio Beef Puffy TacosRecipe

Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Kay Clark

Original tacos were a little different than the U-shaped tortillas invented by entrepreneur Glen Bell of Taco Bell. The real deal begins with a ball of masa flattened into a thin round that's fried to a golden crispness. The masa puffs up a bit, which is how the moniker "puffy taco" came into play. Stuff with ground taco meat, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and shredded cheese.

Makes 8 to 9 servings

Ingredients

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2 pounds fresh masa (available at Mexican markets)*
Wax paper
Vegetable oil
Kosher salt
1 white onion, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound ground beef
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
4 teaspoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup Mexican beer
Toppings: shredded cheese, salsa, lettuce, sour cream, guacamole

Preparation

Hands-on: 1 Hour, 5 Minutes
Total: 1 Hour, 20 Minutes

1. Shape masa into 18 golf ball-size portions (about 2 Tbsp. each). Cut sides off a zip-top plastic freezer bag. Line top and bottom of a tortilla press with freezer bag. Place masa rounds in freezer bag, 1 at a time, and close tortilla press to form tortillas. (If you don't have a tortilla press, use a flat plate, skillet, or flat-bottomed bowl, and press masa balls between sheets of wax paper against countertop into flat rounds. To ensure even thickness, press dough rounds once, rotate 180°, and press again.) Gently stack tortillas between layers of wax paper.

2. Pour oil to a depth of 3 inches into a Dutch oven; heat to 375°.

3. Gently lower 1 uncooked tortilla into hot oil. Once tortilla rises to surface and begins to bubble, cook 10 seconds. Gently flip tortilla, and lightly press center of tortilla, using a metal spatula, to create a U-shape.Cook 30 seconds or until golden brown. Carefully remove from oil, sprinkle with desired amount of salt, and drain upside down on a paper towel-lined wire rack. Repeat procedure with remaining tortillas. Keep warm in a 200° oven.

4. Cook onion and next 2 ingredients in 2 Tbsp. hot oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 4 to 5 minutes or until softened. Add beef, and cook, stirring often, 8 minutes or until meat crumbles and is no longer pink; drain. Reduce heat to medium.

5. Return beef mixture to skillet; add tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, and 2 tsp. salt, and cook 4 minutes. Add beer, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Uncover and cook 3 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Serve mixture in tortillas with desired toppings.

*If you can't find fresh masa, you may substitute the following recipe: Whisk together 3 cups masa harina (corn flour), 1 1/2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder, and 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt. Whisk in 2 1/4 cups very hot water until dry ingredients are moistened. (Add more hot water if needed, 1 tsp. at a time.) Knead 3 or 4 times to make a smooth dough.

Created date

December 2015