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Tomato Sauce Is The Key To Moist Beef Taco Filling

A close-up of ground beef tacos
A close-up of ground beef tacos - Slawomir Fajer/Shutterstock

Crafting the perfect taco is all about attention to detail and ensuring the ingredients complement each other perfectly. This is especially crucial when it comes to the filling, which is arguably the main draw of any taco. With beef tacos, in particular, finding the right accompaniments for the rich, savory meat is key. While the choices may seem overwhelmingly endless, there's one you can always count on for foolproof results: tomato sauce.

Deeply tangy and acidic yet also pleasantly sweet and balanced, tomato sauce can enhance the beef's richness while giving it extra depth. Often laced with herbs and spices, this sauce also offers flavor nuances that infuse the overall taste with an exquisite umami undertone.

More than just a flavor boost, tomato sauce is also wonderful for adding moisture to the beef. If your taco is too dry, the fillings can start falling out and the overall enjoyment is lessened. So, as the meat simmers in the sauce, the natural acidity breaks down any tough fibers, tenderizing the meat to a melt-in-your-mouth softness. Each morsel is juicy while infused with a gorgeous plethora of satisfying flavors. While our walking taco recipe suggests swapping the tortilla for a bag of corn chips, the delicious tomato sauce and beef recipe can be served in the conventional way, on a plate with hard or soft tortillas.

Read more: Tips You Need When Cooking With Ground Beef

It's More Than Just A Simple Sauce

ground beef and beans in tomato sauce
ground beef and beans in tomato sauce - Tatiana Volgutova/Shutterstock

Although it's as simple as a 5-minute simmer in the pan, there are a few ways to have fun with the beef and tomato sauce filling. Reach into your spice arsenal to diversify the flavor profile and tailor the taste to fit your personal preference. Taco seasoning is the obvious choice, but other Mexican food staples such as chili powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, and chipotle seasoning are just as marvelous. They bring a fiery kick to the tangy richness as well as hints of both sweet and savory depth. How about some dried herbs and spices for an aromatic flair as well? Just a pinch of cumin, clove, thyme, or oregano can make a subtle yet impactful difference.

Not only that, you can get creative with the tomato sauce itself if you're home-making it instead of using the canned variety. Opt for fire-roasted tomatoes instead of regular ones for a slightly smoky, BBQ-reminiscent undertone. Keeping in theme with Mexican food, a fire-roasted tomato-based salsa isn't a bad idea either, especially for those who adore the cuisine's signature bold spiciness. On the other hand, an Italian fusion with marinara or even meaty ragu might be fantastic if you're in the mood to mix things up a little.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.