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Patty’s Tacos

November 7, 2009

~ Patty ~



Remember the taco eating contest? Twenty-something each for Kevin and JP.  On taco nights we used to cook pounds of ground beef, grate pounds of cheese and chop up heads of lettuce!

Fred used to say he liked Katy’s taco meat better than mine and asked what she did. She said, “I followed Mom’s recipe!”


Of course, I never did follow my own recipe!  Tonight’s tacos got rave reviews. Fred said, “This stuff is really good! That’s high praise from Fred!



It’s really hard to pin down a recipe as I improvise every time depending on what I have on hand. The only thing that’s really important is the cocoa and the herbs, they give it an authentic flavor and color.


When the kids went away to college, this was one of the recipes they made for themselves regularly. It keeps wonderfully in the fridge…..just gets better every day!


I really like the addition of the ancho peppers. They give it more depth without adding much heat.



Tacos Recipe from Kate’s Kitchen….St Catherine’s church cookbook, published 1977… recipe



Tacos Then…..


     3 to 4 lbs hamburger

     1 lg onion

     2 cloves garlic

Saute. Skim off grease. Add:

     2 tsp salt

     2 Tbsp HOT chili powder

     1 tsp cumin

     2 c tomato sauce

     1 tsp cocoa (dry powder)

     2 Tbsp flour

     1 c water

     1 or 2 hot chilis (jalapeno)

Let simmer 30 min.

30 – 40 taco shells, heated 5-10 min. in 350 oven. Serve hot shells filled to 1/3 with meat sauce. Pass shredded lettuce, grated cheese, chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, sour cream, salsa.



Tacos Now…….. 


There’s jalapenos in this version….  I used an ancho pepper as well as the green pepper and the jalapeno….including seeds. I salted and peppered the hamburger as it cooked. I used a full 28 oz can of diced tomatoes and 2 Tbsp tomato paste instead of the tomato sauce.


     2 lbs lean ground beef

     2 medium onions

     4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced

     1 green bell pepper, chopped

     2 jalapenos, chopped (seeded to make it milder, or add seeds to make it hotter)

Saute in olive oil….start with vegetables, move them over and add meat.  Add:

     2 c tomato sauce….more or less depending on consistency desired

     1 tsp cumin

     1 tsp coriander

     1/2 tsp oregano

     1 Tbsp cocoa powder (mixed with 1 tsp sugar)

Simmer 30 minutes. Use for tacos or burritos.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. November 8, 2009 9:00 am

    Your food always looks so inviting…

  2. November 8, 2009 1:19 pm

    Great pic, Mom!

    The Great Taco Eating Contest lasted into the following morning. The previous night’s record was held by Kevin at 20 or 21. The following morning, JP ate 21 or 22 COLD tacos for breakfast (no microwaves back then). They were slightly competitive.

    This makes me want to have tacos, and I’m going over to Winkerville today, so maybe there are leftovers…

  3. November 8, 2009 10:11 pm

    Tacos are great! I prefer chicken tacos, spicy and soft. My DH is a beef man so most of the time beef it is. Love the photo as always.

  4. November 8, 2009 10:23 pm

    It is very interesting that you use cocoa powder. Sounds like a great combination with spicy beef. What a great idea. Thanks for the recipes!

  5. November 9, 2009 2:13 am

    I LOVE tacos. I had no idea that cocoa powder was an ingredient. I’m curious; is that a traditional ingredient, or is that Patty’s touch?

    • foododelmundo permalink*
      November 9, 2009 10:27 am

      A lot of Mexican sauces have cocoa powder in them – Mole`s especially.

  6. November 9, 2009 8:47 am

    hmm I need to try the cocoa powder! I love tacos, we often eat it at least twice a month lol

  7. November 9, 2009 9:54 am

    I think I need to make tacos again now! I’ll try to remember the cocoa to cook with the meat as I have yet to try it in something not sweet, but I’ve been meaning to. This gives me a good reason 😀

  8. November 9, 2009 3:10 pm

    I could eat tacos every day of my life and never get sick of them!

    Thanks for your ground beef recipe – I prefer your “now” version!

  9. November 10, 2009 11:28 am

    Interesting use of cocoa powder. Cool. Both recipes look great to me (I’d replace the beef w/ Veggie Crumbles).

  10. Shelly Huang permalink
    November 10, 2009 11:57 am

    I love using Anchos too! Bobby Flay turned me on to it and I can’t stop using it. They’re so nice and smokey!

  11. martica permalink
    November 11, 2009 5:17 pm

    Cocoa powder huh? definitely worth a try..looks super yummy!

  12. November 13, 2009 7:28 am

    I love tacos and so does my girls! This looks great.

  13. January 15, 2021 8:42 pm

    I just made these in advance for Sam’s birthday. He requested them. Of course, we had them for dinner tonight just to make sure they’re ok.

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