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1/2 cup warm stock or water
1 pound of ground beef chuck, lamb shoulder, or turkey thigh (shoot for 20% fat content)
1-2 tsp gelatin (optional but yields a more supple texture)
1/4 tsp baking soda (optional but will yield more tender meat and better browning)
1-2 tsp salt, or to taste/diet
Mix the Ararat with the stock/water. Mix the ground meat with the remaining ingredients.
Heat a skillet over high heat and add the meat. Sear without moving it until it is browned and releases easily, then flip and repeat.
Break the meat up, add the hydrated Ararat, mix well, and reduce the heat to low.
Once almost all of the liquid has been absorbed give everything a good stir and taste to adjust seasoning.
Serve in tacos (suggestions are below for accompaniments), or over a taco salad.
• Add 2 teaspoons of Izak N37 to the liquid with the Ararat for more cumin, sweet chili, and garlic flavor. Add 1 cup of ground mushrooms to the meat and mix well to amplify the savory flavor and reduce the quantity of salt needed. Chilies add great heat but also flavor, I like a bit of poblano especially with turkey.
• My normal way to serve this is with fried flour tortillas, shredded cheese, pico de gallo, sour cream, guacamole, refried beans, pickled jalapeños, shredded iceberg lettuce, cilantro, onion, fresh lime, and hot sauce. I put everything on a vintage lazy susan so it's in easy reach.
• If you don't eat meat you can make a great filling by following the directions above (omit the gelatin as well), but substituting equal quantities of finely chopped soaked walnuts and mushrooms (soak the mushrooms also, it will clean them and help them cook more quickly). Due to the higher water content you'll need to start with about 24 ounces rather than a pound to make the same amount. And to increase the richness a bit you can add a tablespoon or two of tahini. It's excellent with a pico de gallo made with pomegranate molasses.
Food image and recipe © Christian Leue.
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