Sloppy José Tacos

Makes 24 tacos.

Note: To roast peppers, heat broiler to high. Place peppers on a baking sheet and brush them lightly with vegetable oil. Broil, turning occasionally, until the skins are blistered and blackened. Transfer peppers to a paper bag and close to allow the peppers to steam. When cool enough to handle, peel away the blackened skins. From “Turnip Greens & Tortillas,” by Eddie Hernandez and Susan Puckett.

• 1 tbsp. vegetable oil

• 1/2 c. finely chopped onion

• 1 tbsp. chopped garlic

• 2 1/2 lb. ground chuck

• 1/4 c. paprika

• 2 tbsp. sugar

• 1 tbsp. granulated onion

• 1 tbsp. granulated garlic

• 1 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

• 2 tsp. salt

• 1 tsp. ground chile de árbol or cayenne pepper

• 1 c. tomato paste

• 1 c. roasted, peeled, seeded and finely chopped green Anaheim or New Mexico chiles (see Note)

• 24 (6-in.) flour tortillas

• Garnishes: crushed Fritos, grated sharp Cheddar cheese and sliced fresh jalapeños


Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the beef and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned and cooked through.

Stir in paprika, sugar, granulated onion, granulated garlic, black pepper, salt and chile de árbol. Add tomato paste, 1 cup water, and roasted chiles and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding more water if the mixture gets too thick. Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired.

Set a dry skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tortilla and heat on both sides for a minute or two, until a few dark spots appear. Remove to a plate and place 3 to 4 tablespoons of the beef mixture in the center of the tortilla; garnish with Fritos, cheese and jalapeños; and fold. Repeat with remaining tortillas.