Mexican-style Ground Beef

Perfect for tacos, burritos, and enchiladas.

Mexican-style Ground Beef

Cook Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican


  • 1 cooking pot or Dutch Oven
  • 1 wooden spatula
  • 1 steel (or temp-resistant plastic) strainer
  • 1 wide brim bowl to strain the grease out


  • 3 lbs 85/15 or 80/20 ground beef
  • 3 packets McCormick taco seasoning
  • 3 cans original recipe Rotel-style tomatoes & green chilies
  • 1 can Hatch green chilies
  • 1/2 to 1 lb tater tots or french fries (optional)
  • 1 tsp beef Better than Bouillion (optional)
  • 1 tsp vegetable Better than Bouillion (optional)
  • 1 tbsp Masa Harina (optional)


  • Put the cooking pot on the burner on high until it is starting to smoke.
  • Let it sear for a minute or two so that the bottom starts to crust.
  • Break it up with the wooden spatula and distribute throughout the pot.
  • Use the spatula to keep chopping the beef so that it breaks apart into crumbles.
  • Each time you turn, stir, or chop with the spatula, let it sit in place undisturbed so that it can sear a crust.
  • Once the beef is cooked through, use the strainer & wide brimmed bowl to strain most (but not all) of the grease out.
  • Some people leave more of the grease in, that's fine, but may make the meat greasy depending on how much you leave and if it's 85/15 or 80/20.
  • If you use a lean mix like 90/10 or 95/5, don't strain it, it's already dry enough as it is.
  • While the beef is straining, empty the Rotel and green chilie tins into the pot.
  • Turn the heat down to 6.
  • Let them cook off the juices and the veggies start to break down while softening the fond (hardened meat crust) at the bottom of the pan from searing the beef.
  • If using BTB, add it now.
  • Add the beef back into the partially cooked Rotel and chilies.
  • Depending on how well you drained it, add a tsp or two of grease back in.
  • Add the McCormicks' taco seasoning packets and mix well.
  • Let the beef, tomatoes, chilies, and seasonings simmer for 5-10 mins.
  • If the mix is too wet, either cook it down further, or add in masa to thicken.
  • Alternatively, cook the fries or tots separately (preferably in an air fryer), then add them into the beef mix. The potatoes will absorb the extra juices & disintegrate into the meat, you won't even notice they're in there later.


I’m usually not an “add a packet” kind of cook, but taco seasoning is kind of like garam masala – yes, you can make your own, but there are perfectly fine mixes that are readily available, so why bother. 
You don’t have to use McCormicks’ seasoning, it’s really just: 
  • Ground cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Paprika
  • Oregano
  • Salt
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Red pepper
  • Cornstarch
You can easily make a taco mix at home, or use a different brand. But McCormicks is a solid choice with a good flavor profile.