I’m going to be quite frank with you here. I was pretty sure that Chris would hate this dinner.
Not that there is anything wrong with these tacos, there sure isn’t, but Chris has very specific requirements for his tacos.
I started toiling away in the kitchen while Chris made a run into town for
beer flank steak. By the time he got home, I was mashing and smashing pinto beans like nobody’s business.
FYI: If you do not own a potato masher, your meat tenderizer will work wonders for smashing pinto beans.
I just realized that I don’t even know what a potato masher looks like and that the above comment may not make sense at all. ::Off to Google.::
I’m sure that I am not alone in being somewhat culinarily challenged (ok, maybe I am). The device on the left is a potato masher. The device on the right is a meat tenderizer, also works as a potato masher in a pinch.
In my defense, I always thought potato mashers looked like this:
Ok, so it turns out that those two tools should not be billed as interchangeable. (Trust me, they totally are.) No wonder Chris looked at me so quizzically when he saw what I was doing.
Anyway, when Chris walked into the kitchen, in typical Chris form, he tasted the “refried” beans. “Did you make beans with lard in them? They’re so creamy!”
I immediately knew that at the very least the beans were a home run! And no, I did not use any lard.
I have always said that refried beans with no lard are no good. Why bother eating them? And that refried beans made with lard are supremely unhealthy. Won’t eat those either.
It turns out, that lard-free “refried” beans can be amazing! Thanks Elly!
The big test was to see if our house taco expert would give this creation a thumbs up. Win! They even won the ultimate Duke’s House accolade “Good enough to serve to other people.”
Inspired by Elly Says Opa!
- 1 small onion, diced
- olive oil spray
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2/3 cup chicken broth (I used 99% fat-free.)
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp coriander
- 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 green bell pepper, sliced thinly
- 6 oz beef, flank or skirt steak would work well
- 1 tbsp steak seasoning (Just use your favorite kind.)
- 8 corn tortillas
- 2 oz Manchego cheese, shredded or grated
- 3 scallions, sliced
- Saute onion in a heavy skillet until tender.
- Stir in the garlic until fragrant, and then the chicken broth, cumin, beans, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring the mixture to a light boil and continue to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Begin to sauté peppers in a second skillet.
- As the bean mixture is cooking, cook the beef in a third skillet (or grill pan if you have one), seasoning somewhat aggressively with steak seasoning.
- Set your oven to 275 degrees and place the corn tortillas inside to warm them slightly.
- Use a potato masher to press down on the beans, and mash to your desired consistency. If necessary add more broth, or simmer longer to remove moisture.
- When the beef has finished cooking, remove it from the skillet and chop it very finely.
- Remove tortillas from the oven, fill with beef, refried beans, sautéd peppers and onions, and top with the Manchego cheese and sliced scallions.
Servings ~ 4 (two tacos per serving)
Calories (per serving) ~ 387, Fat ~ 21 g, Carbohydrates ~ 38 g, Protein ~ 20 g
Calories (per taco) ~ 194, Fat ~ 11 g, Carbohydrates ~ 19 g, Protein ~ 10 g