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Tucson Tacos

  • Category: Beef, Main Dish
  • Submitted By: Isaac Owsley
  • Town/State: Sonora, CA
  • Serves: 10
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Cooking time: 1 hour

These are also known as Indian Fry-bread tacos, and are a childhood favorite of mine when some family friends of Apache descent would take us to their local Pow-wow, the beautiful costumes and elaborate dances were always a pleasure to watch, but what sticks in my mind most was the perennial fry-bread stand over in the food concession area. The air around would be filled with the scent of spicy ground beef and the smell of dough frying in sizzling hot oil, and when handed a paper plate with a heaping fry bread and a plastic knife and fork, that’s as close to heaven on earth as I can imagine. While admittedly a little more labor intensive than traditional tacos made with prepared corn shells, these tacos are a wonderful gourmet variation and worth every bit of the work involved. As the fry bread can also be used as a dessert item, served warm with honey and butter, drizzled with a warm fruit sauce, or sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar (or sugar substitute ) try this recipe and you may just have a new family favorite.

Amount Measure Ingredients
4 cups flour
2 tbsp salt
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp active dry yeast (about 2 packets)
3 1/2 cups cups lukewarm water (may take more or less)
    Oil for deep frying

Ingredients for Taco Filling

Amount Measure Ingredients
2 lbs lean ground beef (may substitute diced chicken breasts)
1 pkg prepared taco seasoning like Lawry’s or other store brand
1/3 cup Water
2 cups finely diced yellow onion
2 cups diced fresh tomatoes
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
4 cups refried beans
3 cups shredded lettuce
    Salsa and sour cream

To prepare:

Sift the flour, sugar, salt and yeast together in a large steel bowl. Slowly add in the water and knead together until stiff dough is formed. Rolling out onto a floured board, knead the dough until it is smooth and a satin sheen forms on the surface (about 15 minutes) Set aside in the bowl and place in a warm spot 30 minutes or until doubled in volume. Heat the oil in a large pan or deep fryer to about 370 degrees. Punch down the dough and section into 1 ½”rounds flatten out like pizza dough until very thin (nearly translucent). Place one at a time into the hot oil and fry 2 minutes on each side until well browned, drain on paper towels until all the fry bread is prepared. Place on an ovenproof platter and set aside in an oven kept on warm, To prepare the filling, brown the ground beef until crumbled and add the taco seasoning and water, stir in and simmer 5-7 minutes until most of the water is absorbed. To serve, spread refried beans on the fry bread then mound ground beef, cheese, onions , lettuce and tomatoes to taste on top, garnish with sour cream and salsa.