Introduction: 20 Minute Homeade Taco or Burrito Filling

About: I do extensive LED lighting as a hobby and side business, and love Burning Man. I'm also a chemical manufacturing entrepreneur, in the nanotech space.

This is a recipe for homeade taco filling that I've developed over the last ten years. It is at least as good as any storebought spice mix, plus no MSG! Extremely easy, delicious, and healthier.

Step 1: Step 1 - Brown 1-2 Pounds of Ground Beef

First, brown 1-2 pounds of ground beef in a skillet. Make sure the sides of the pan are high enough to complete contain the cooked meat. After cooking, drain some of the fat, but not all of it -- the seasonings will be absorbed by the fat, and after cooking the meat will be more tender.

Step 2: Step 2 - Add Seasonings

As with my recipe for 15-minute chili, add the spices to the meat. The critical ones are chili powder, garlic, cumin, and salt. Additional good ones are paprika, red pepper, black pepper, cilantro, and raw onions if you like them.

In the video below, from 15-minute chili, you can see how to cook the meat. However, stop once the video gets to where the meat is done -- you won't be transferring it to the chili pot!

Step 3: Step 3 - Add Water, Flour, and Simmer.

Next, to get the sauce for the burrito/taco meat, add about a cup of water and a thickening agent. If you want gluten free tacos, you can use something like xanthum gum or corn starch, alternatively flour will work fine. Roughly 1tbsp of flour is about right, although you need quite a bit less xanthum gum (1tsp) or corn starch (2tsp) for the same effect.

After the liquid and thickening agent are in the meat, stir it up and bring to a light boil. Allow the meat to simmer down until it is the thickness you like -- personally, I like it just slightly more liquid than a paste.

Step 4: Fill Burrito Shell and Enjoy!

Take a tortilla shell and microwave for about 10 seconds to get it warm. Add about 1/4 cup of seasoned meat, along with whatever toppings you enjoy. In this photo I've gone simple and just used cheese and sour cream. Raw onion, diced tomato, and lettuce are also very popular!