What a pleasure to be here at the Yankee-Belle today with Missy and Ruthy. They’ve done a great job of bringing together two of my favorite things—food and fun. And since they opened their kitchen, I’ve added some fantastic new recipes and ideas to my repertoire.
Ah, but you didn’t stop by to hear me run on. You’re here for a simple Saturday recipe, so let’s get to it.
Now that the weather has turned cooler—which in Texas means we’ve dropped below 80—I like to cook up some hearty meals that are sure to fill the bellies, not to mention the hollow legs, of my teen and tween-age boys. Since acquiring this taco soup recipe from my sister-in-law over a decade ago, I’ve seen many different taco soup recipes. Yet there is one ingredient in this particular recipe that, I think, makes it stand out from the rest.
So grab your can openers and let’s get started.
You will need:
2 lbs. ground beef (I used ground venison in this batch. You could also use ground turkey or bison)
1 onion, chopped
2 – 4 oz. cans diced green chilies (I cheat and use 1 – 7 oz. can)
3 – 15 oz. cans pinto beans (my personal preference is Ranch Style Beans, but if you can’t find them where you live, plain pintos are fine. If you like variety, add two cans of pintos and one of kidney beans)
2 – 14 ½ oz. cans golden hominy
3 – 14 ½ oz. cans stewed tomatoes (Since my boys don’t like big chunks of tomato I use the petite-cut diced tomatoes, usually one 29 oz. can plus one 14 ½ oz.)
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 packet Ranch dressing powder mix (If you buy this in the bulk containers like I do, add two tablespoons)
1 ½ cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Lots of ingredients, I know. But as Ruthy would say, it’s easy-peasy.
Brown ground meat and onion in a large Dutch oven or stock pot and drain off fat.
Add remaining ingredients. No draining, just open and dump.
Stir well. Let simmer for one hour.
While you’re waiting, you may want to whip up a batch of cornbread to go with it. Here’s Great-mom’s recipe for good, old-fashioned cornbread.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a pan or cast iron skillet. When I’m making a big batch, I use a large cast iron skillet, but for everyday purposes I use a small rectangular pan. This one has been blackened by years of use.
Place pan in oven while preheating.
In a bowl, mix 1 cup of yellow corn meal, ¾ cup of flour, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon baking soda, and 2 teaspoons of baking powder. Add 1 egg and 2 cups buttermilk. Stir well. You can use regular milk and the bread will be just as tasty. Simply start with 1½ cups and add more, if needed, until mixture is just a little thinner than cake batter.
Remove heated pan from preheated oven and IMMEDIATELY pour in batter. This will “fry” the bottom, giving it a nice crispy texture. (the corner pieces are my favorite!) Return pan to oven and bake at 450 for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. I like to flip mine over in the pan as soon as it comes out so the bottom will retain that crispiness I worked so hard to achieve.
Other than the ease of preparation, one of the best things about this recipe is how much it makes. Great for feeding a crowd. I have a friend who likes to take it on camping trips. She just browns the ground beef ahead of time, seals it in a Ziploc bag, and then mixes everything together at the campsite. Oh, and taco soup tastes even better the next day!
Ruthy and Missy, thank you for having me today. Hope y’all enjoy this family favorite as much as we do.