Recipe contribution: London Tacos

I have this strong feeling that we win more games if there is s recipe posted that not. So I am doing my duty as a fan to post a recipe. This is for a guy-friendly meal that could be eaten during game time. We call it London Tacos, for a specific reason.

A bit over 30 years ago, I moved with my wife & two school age kids to London on a job assignment. At first, the kids were not happy about it and complained about whatever they could find that made London not as good as Mpls. One of those things: no tacos. Later the kids adapted & and loved life there, but at 1st it was a bit of a challenge.

At that time, to find taco shells in London was a major trip, and a packet of taco seasoning was pretty much non-existant. But there were all these cool shops in neighborhoods where Greek or Turkish families sold sandwiches -- typically sausages or gyro meat or shishkabobs in pita bread. Delicious. They looked close enough to a taco to me, so we started calling them London tacos, and we made them at home with ground beef cooked up sorta like taco meat. Here's how:

1 lb ground beef (or ground pork, turkey...)

Packet of pita bread

1 large onion chopped

Chopped tomato

Chopped lettuce

handful of raisins (a London innovation inspired by middle eastern cooking)

Spices: Salt, pepper, cumin, chile powder, cinnamon, oregano, maybe some red pepper flakes

Grated cheese

Maybe some chopped jalapeno

Yogurt or sour cream or salsa


Start by putting chopped onion in a frying pan in some oil that is already heated - olive oil with a pat of butter works great.

I always like to cook the onion down until it is gently browned, this takes awhile.

After the onion turns transparent, start spicing the onion: Salt & pepper, tablespoon or two of cumin & chile powder, a couple of pinches of oregano, and let the onion start absorbing the flavors of the cpices.

At this point, toss in a handful of raisins, this cuts the hotness a tad, adds a bit of sweetness to the savory flavors. 

Continue cooking the onions for 5-10 minutes. Add another round of spices as above. Then push the onions aside and put in the ground meat.

Brown the ground meat in the center of the pan, sorta chopping it up to get more meat exposed to the heat at the bottom. Spice the meat with Salt & pepper, cumin, oregano, chile powder a bit more cinnamon.

Keep on browning the meat for awhile. You may need to add more oil to the pan. If things start sticking to the bottom of the pan, add some beer & scrape the flavorful bits up while it simmers. WIne works too.

Meanwhile, cut the pitas into half & toast the halves. 

When the meat looks done, put some grated cheese in the bottom of the pita half, then scoop some meat mixture on top of it. Then top with a glop of yogurt & add chopped tomato & lettuce, and maybe some jalapenos.

Eat -- and be careful of the juice running down your forearms and dripping off your elbows if your girlfriend or wife is around.

Goes great with beer or wine, or whatever.


Go Timberwolves!

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