So although this is a long-overdue get together for a quest post, I am extremely pleased to introduce my good friend and his delicious taco sauce recipe! Andrew is one of my best friends, and has been a good pal to me ever since year seven, where we first met. I haven’t always been the most sensible, or even the calmest and most manageable person, but Andrew was always good to me, always willing to laugh at my jokes (even when they weren’t that funny). Although he’s a big cheek in his post, (mister Andrew that’s aimed at you! You did teach me to cook some mains, but I was cooking desserts and other naughty treats already, silly monkey! Although in saying that I’m not sure if I ever brought them around to share…), he’s been a big brother to me for a long time, so it’s very exciting for me to be able to bring him into this part of my world, and to share this recipe of his with you. I’m doubly excited, however, to announce that not only will Andrew be featured in my blog, but his wonderful girlfriend Katie will also be making an appearance with an extremely special guest post, the subject of which is bound to amaze you like it amazed me! I hope you all enjoy reading this recipe and post from Andrew, and look forward to reading the post from Katie as well! And so, onto Andrew’s post!
“Firstly, a disclaimer. This is not meant to be Mexican. I don’t think I’ve ever even had a proper Mexican taco. Think of this as more as ‘meat-bean sauce that could be had upon a tortilla with other things’.
With that out of the way, Hi. I’m Andrew. Nell claims sometimes that I taught her to cook. This is completely untrue. What actually happened was that I showed her how to make a couple of meals at one point during High School. They just happened to be among the first times she ever cooked. I am a budding Engineer/Physicist, and perhaps it shows somewhat in my cooking. Physicists have an annoying habit of rounding numbers to make them more even if accuracy isn’t absolutely required, and likewise I find myself adding herbs and spices in a rather haphazard and ‘this looks good enough’ manner. Engineers are known for calculating *exactly* how much force a given structure could hold, and then multiplying everything by 3 to provide a safety factor (just in case people suddenly decide to take a life-size statue of an elephant made of solid lead up those stairs. It might happen. And you wouldn’t want the stairs to collapse when it did, now would you?). Perhaps because of this, I find myself unable to cook for just 2 people. I will worry that everyone might be really hungry, or that I’ll misjudge the amount needed, and so even when cooking by myself I will end up with enough to feed a family of 6. With leftovers.
With this meal, however, I started with intent to feed an extended family of 10, plus or minus some. Tacos are perfect for this. All you need is enough taco shells or tortilla wraps, a huge saucepan of the mince sauce, and then you can just shred lettuce, chop tomato, grate carrot, spoon salsa, chop avocado, or whatever else you fancy until you have enough. Making more is easy – if you run out of cheese, grate some more. If you run out of avocado, then tough – it’s not essential. It’s perfect for feeding large groups, particularly if the group involves kids, because every person can just customise their own dinner. Best of all, it’s actually really healthy. Beans, beans, good for your heart – the more you eat, the more you [censored]. Seriously though, the sauce is mostly vegetable, and with the right choices of toppings, this meal can be low on fat and high on fibre and vitamins.
This meal is quite simple to cook, tasty, and a good way to feed a large number of people, and I recommend you try it sometime. Better yet, try your own version. The spices and flavours and veggies I have used are all my own personal choices – Try it with more chilli for a more Mexican feel, or with whole beans rather than refried bean paste. Many people also seem to prefer a higher meat content, and that can be added in any amount without changing the sauce much. Experiment – that’s how new dishes are created!”
Serves: 6-8, Prep: 15 mins, Cook: 45 mins
- 3 onions, diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 500g beef mince
- 2 zucchinis, grated
- 2 carrots, grated
- 1.6kg of crushed tomatoes
- 1 generous splash of red wine
- 1 generous splash of Worcestershire sauce, (a gluten-free version is even available at ALDI)
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 pinch of ground chilli, or to taste
- 1 vegetable stock cube (e.g massel’s gluten-free stock cubes)
- 800g re-fried bean paste
- 1 packet of gluten-free tortillas/wraps/taco shells
- Brown the onion and the mince in the olive oil, then add in the grated vegetables and cook until soft.
- Toss in all the other ingredients and stir to combine. Bring up the heat to high and stir, for fifteen minutes, then reduce the heat and simmer for a further fifteen.
- Serve hot, in the tortillas/wraps, topped with your preferred toppings.
NOT provided, due to unspecified ingredient amounts