I was in the mood for Beef Tacos but I did not have all the supplies for Tacos. I did not even have enough tortillas for everyone in the family. It was time to improvise. I am not a fan of Impossible Taco Pie or whatever it is. I just am not. I am just strange like that.
I do like the whole “bake” idea that make things quick and easy. Typically, to make this “quick” you need to have refrigerator biscuits, but I was even fresh out of these. Never fear. I have discovered, in my opinion, a dough that is fairly quick and easy dough that is fairly universal for these things.
Here is my Beef Taco Meat mixture simmering and smelling divine. Two of my children came into the kitchen and declared that it smelled like tacos. At least they were accurate in their declaration. I used the Penzeys Chicken Taco Seasoning which I absolutely have come to love more and more. I have decided that its name is deceptive. It is not just for chicken when your diet dictates otherwise.
The bake part does come in with a dough which of course requires some yeast to activate. I was not quite sure I got the water warm enough. Then I remembered I had forgotten to put a little bit of sugar in the water. I gave it a little bit and sure enough a couple of minutes later the yeast started to do something.
Here are the rest of the ingredients for the bread dough. I will confess to tinkering to the recipe this go around. The recipe is just fine the way it is, for the most part. I just wanted to see if it would be any better with a little tinkering and what a better way to do it in something where it would be hidden if messed up, right? I increased the eggs by one and increased the potato flakes by about a quarter cup. I think next time I will try decreasing the sugar by a quarter cup. What you have here is eggs, butter, potato flakes, dried milk powder, sugar, and salt.
I used very lean ground beef so I did not have to drain off the fat from the ground beef when I got started making my taco mixture. There was not enough fat to worry about, in my opinion. There was a bit of moisture/liquid from the taco mixture making process, however. I did not drain this off. My recommendation is to either drain it off or thicken it with a method of your choice. I will confess to making this in a rush. I was trying to get it in the oven and trying to still get boys out the door to karate on time.
I did not drain mine off but I did use a slotted spoon to scoop my taco mixture into my pan quickly (I was in a hurry). In spite of this, there was still a considerable amount of fluid in the pan with the dough. I was a little worried about it baking. If you have a lot of liquid, you will need to just let it bake longer which is what I did and it was fine. That would also be why my tops were a little browner than I would like. I will confess to turning up the heat a tad to get it to cook faster. I was in a hurry. Dinner needed to be done and I needed to be out the door.
The Beef Taco Bake dished out in a bowl. The boys loved it. I have to admit that it was quite tasty. It had a good flavor. The fact that it was safe for me to eat and still had good flavor is a total bonus.
Beef Taco Bake
Taco Meat Mixture
2 pounds lean ground beef
4 tbsp Penzeys Chicken Taco Seasoning
2 cans (4oz) green chilies
3 tsp active dry yeast
2 cups warm water
3/4 cup instant potato flakes
2/3 cup powdered milk
1/2 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 tsp sea salt
6-7 cups of flour
Shredded Cheddar Cheese or Mexican Blend Cheese
Preheat oven to 375˚F. Spray two 8″x8″ baking dishes with non-stick spray. Set aside.
Prepare dough. In mixer bowl dissolve 3 teaspoons of active dry yeast with 1 tablespoon of sugar and 2 cups of warm water. Add potato flakes, powdered milk, salt, eggs, and 3 cups of flour. Mix until smooth. Combine in enough of remaining flour to form a firm dough. Set aside.
Prepare taco meat mixture. Brown ground beef. Combine with taco seasoning per directions. Mix in green chilies. Simmer.
In 8″x8″ baking pans, layer bottom with torn off pieces of dough. Top layer with a sprinkling of drained taco meat mixture. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Repeat with another layers of torn off pieces of dough, taco meat, and cheese. Finish with a layer of torn off pieces of dough.
Bake at 375˚F for 20-25 minutes or until dough is baked.
Use a fork to gently lift a center piece of dough to check to see if it is done. You do not want your bread to be doughy. Cover if your dough is browning too much and you need to add additional time to cook the inner bread pieces.