22 Sep // Taco taco

When we were kids, we had a few staple meals in our house. Rotating dinners included vegetable soup on Sundays in Winter, a rotisserie chicken with pita breads, cucumber, tomato and mayonnaise instead of takeaways, Dad’s spaghetti bolognaise, and tacos. 

The tacos of my childhood were not the kind you see on menus today: there were no soft tortillas, there was no fresh fish, there was no hot sauce, and there most certainly was not fresh coriander. No. Mum would arrange a large ‘90s ceramic platter with hard taco shells, iceberg lettuce, chopped tomato, and grated cheese, there would be a pot of beans, sometimes with mince, and there would be a jar of supermarket salsa and a pottle of sour cream. It was one of those dinners that didn’t get me super excited, and sometimes I imagine we probably moaned, but I remember always ending up enjoying them, me mostly using mine as a vessel to eat as much sour cream as possible.

When I was tasked with coming up with a mince recipe for Countdown, but modernising it slightly, tacos were a no brainer. Countdown got in touch because they’ve made all their meat packaging recyclable, and the mince is now at a set price for 500g or 1kg packs. With tacos as the idea, but wanting to make it into more of a meal, the taco bowl was born. With a few corn chips instead of the easily-breakable and thus slightly-sloppy taco shells, this becomes a modernised version of an absolute childhood classic. You can modernise it slightly like I have with a fancy salsa and a bit of coriander, just don’t forget the sour cream. 

Taco bowls

Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil

1 brown onion

500g Countdown Angus Mince

1 tbsp harissa spice mix or 1 tbsp harissa paste

1 tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp ground cumin

Pinch ground coriander

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 x 330g can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 x 330g can crushed tomatoes

In a large frying pan, gently heat the olive oil and saute the onion. Cook for about 5 minutes until soft, then add the mince. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, separate the mince and mix well. Cook for a few minutes until browned a little, then add the spices and garlic.

Increase the heat slightly and continue cooking and stirring. Add the kidney beans and the tomatoes, and mix together well. Gently simmer for another ten minutes, then leave on a gentle heat until ready to serve.

To assemble:

Handful of corn chips per person

1 iceberg lettuce, either chopped or whole leaves (to line the bowl)

2 x ripe tomatoes, chopped

Handful of grated cheese

Sour cream

Hot sauce

Coriander (optional)

Salsa of your choice

Assemble the taco bowls as you wish, with corn chips, and lettuce first, and then the mince. Cover in the toppings as you wish. Enjoy!


To celebrate Countdown's new meat packaging and set sizes I have a $50 Countdown gift card to giveaway. Head over to my facebook page to see it.