Chorizo & Beef Taco Salad with Lime-Cilantro Dressing

Chorizo & Beef Taco Salad with Lime-Cilantro Dressing is a great recipe to shake up taco!  Spicy chorizo, beef, loads of toppings and a delicious dressing make for the ultimate fiesta.

Chorizo & Beef Taco Salad | Bottom Left of the Mitten

I have to admit that I have never imaged that I would one day say that a ‘taco salad’ was appealing to me. In a sense, isn’t a taco in general, a taco salad? It has all the elements it’s just assembled differently and adds a lot more lettuce—and is that a good thing? Up until I made this recipe I would say a definite, “No!”  My mind changed though when I decided to play around in the kitchen and created this chorizo and beef taco salad.

For this Cinco de Mayo inspired Mitten Movie Night, I remade and shot one of the very first posts I made.  Wow, has my photography came a long way.  Guess what though?  The recipe was just as delicious then as it is now.  Okay, enough patting myself on the back!

What beer pairs well with Chorizo & Beef Taco Salad?

The beer:  Modelo Especial.

We are drinking some Modelo Especial and catching up on Better Call Saul.  If you don’t follow me on social media you may not have heard that we recently moved into a new house :’)  So in between moving and everything we haven’t had time to catch up on the 2nd Season that just started. This show is in my Top 5 of shows, it’s awesome.

What TV shows go well with eating tacos and drinking beer?

If you are interested in 5 shows that I am in love with for future viewing here they are:

  1. 30 Rock.  Tina Fey is my idol. The question ‘Who would you want to have lunch with dead or alive.’ It would be her 100%.  A close 2nd would be Steve Martin. A 3rd would be any cast of any season of Saturday Night Live. Some great things have come out of that show.
  2. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.  So cute! And of course, let me refer to #1…Produced by Tina Fey.
  3. Shameless.  All of the actors in this series are spot on.
  4. A new one that just came out and surprised me was Santa Clarita Diet.  It reminded me a lot of Weeds.  Great show!
  5. And finally Better Call Saul.

Chorizo & Beef Taco Salad | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Now let’s get on to this taco salad recipe!  When I first made this I had the intention of making the taco bowls on my own using flour tortillas but then scratched that when I found these Fiesta Flats.  They worked out perfectly because we ate them like tacos with a little flair and then the 3 yr old could scoop his goodies by himself.

How to make Chorizo & Beef Taco Salad with Lime-Cilantro Dressing:

First, for the taco salad, let’s get our meat and beans cooking on the stove top. Add your chorizo and ground hamburger to a pan.

I was sad that when I had plans to make this I found a great recipe from Mexican Please on how to make your own Easy Homemade Chorizo but I wasn’t able to find chilies in our local grocery store so I did purchase the local fare.  If you have a chance though check out this recipe and make it for yourself!

Sprinkle the cumin and chili powder on top. Start sautéing everything together over medium/high heat until the sausage and meat are completely cooked through and no longer pink.

When cooked put the meat into a strainer to drain off the grease, chorizo has tons of it and you don’t want it making your taco shells soggy.  Drain, drain, drain!

Now the best part of this chorizo and beef taco salad, in my opinion, the lime-cilantro dressing. It’s amazing and well worth getting out and cleaning your food processor (can you tell I find this to be a chore?) Put all ingredients in the food processor-EXCEPT THE OIL.

Chorizo & Beef Taco Salad | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Ok, now we can get to the oil. Put the lid on your food processor and you will then pour the oil slowly into the top while it chops up the ingredients you’ve already put into the bowl.

When it gets to the consistency you like then stop adding. I put a ½ cup of oil as a general rule but you may like it a little chunkier (that’s how I prefer it) over runny. Trust me, once you make this you will make it again and again so adjust until you get it the way you like it.

 A bonus recipe for GREAT Mexican Rice:

I also recently perfected some rice that is amazing with anything that is spicy inspired that goes perfectly on this chorizo and beef taco salad.  This recipe is as simple as buying one of those pre-made packets. We live close to an amazing restaurant El Rodeo.  Everything they serve is pretty amazing and I wanted to recreate it at home and I think I nailed it!

Add rice, water, tomato & chicken bouillons, spices then frozen veggies as you like-I use corn & peas.  Now if only I can remake their Enchilada Sauce….I could eat that stuff in a bowl with a spoon it’s so good.

Chorizo & Beef Taco Salad | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Layer the chorizo and beef taco salad as you see fit.  I prefer lettuce, meat, cheese, tomatoes, green onion then the Lime-Cilantro Dressing.

Heat up some refried beans and plate the rice.  Add some avocado and sour cream on top if desired.

And here you are….

Chorizo & Beef Taco Salad | Bottom Left of the Mitten

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

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*Affiliate links are included in this post. Please read my Discloser Policy.

Chorizo & Beef Taco Salad | Bottom Left of the Mitten #tacosalad #cincodemayo #chorizo
Print Recipe
Chorizo & Beef Taco Salad with Lime-Cilantro Dressing
This Chorizo and Beef Taco Salad is tucked into crispy taco flats then topped with some delicious lime-cilantro dressing.
Chorizo & Beef Taco Salad | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Chorizo & Beef Taco Salad
Lime-Cilantro Dressing
Mexican Rice
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Chorizo & Beef Taco Salad
Lime-Cilantro Dressing
Mexican Rice
Chorizo & Beef Taco Salad | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
Chorizo & Beef Taco Salad
  1. Add your chorizo and ground hamburger. Sprinkle the cumin and chili powder on top. Start sautéing everything together until the sausage and meat are completely cooked through and no longer pink. When cooked put the meat into a strainer to drain off.
Lime-Cilantro Dressing
  1. Add all ingredients but the oil. Put the top on the food processor. Add oil into the top funnel and blend until the consistency you prefer.
Mexican Rice
  1. Just add rice, water, tomato & chicken bouillons, spices then frozen veggies as you like-I use corn & peas.
  2. Layer as you see fit. I prefer lettuce, meat, cheese, tomatoes, green onion then the Lime-Cilantro Dressing. Heat up some refried beans and plate the rice. Add some avocado and sour cream on top if desired. Enjoy!

Under the Troll Bridge Pasties

This Michigan favorite, the pastie, has a flaky homemade crust stuffed with a simple filling of beef, potatoes, onions, carrots, and turnips. Serve these Under the Troll Bridge Pasties with brown gravy. The perfect handheld meal!

Under the Troll Bridge Pasties with brown gravy drizzled over them and cut open.

In an effort to include a little more Michigan into the blog, I decided to search out some authentic ‘Michigan’ loved food.  I came across a great article from Only In Your State called 10 Iconic Foods Made in Michigan and #3 on this list was the pastie.  So like when I wanted to make the Michigan Hot Dog (which isn’t even from Michigan!) I put in the work and set off to find out how to make one.

When looking around to get a basic idea of how to make these I found the blog Foodie with Family and her recipe for Yooper Pasties.  In the post, she defined residents of the Lower Peninsula as ‘Trolls’.  I also found out that while the pastie is generally served plain or with ketchup ‘Trolls’ usually prefer them with gravy.  So what better name to call these than ‘Under the Troll Bridge Pasties’.

What beer pairs well with pasties with brown gravy?

The beer: Arcadia Ale’s Hopmouth.

For tonight’s Mitten Movie Night we are drinking this delicious double IPA.  Arcadia is one of the first breweries we visited-seems like a long time ago but really less than 5 years ago.  Since then so many great breweries, delicious meals and of course awesome beer.

Are Double IPA’s hard to pair with food?

Many say that it’s nearly impossible to pair a Double IPA with any recipe because they are heavier and full-bodied and are hard to balance with the flavors in a lot of dishes.  While these pasties aren’t bland, they do have a mild flavor so it can’t easily overpower the notes in the beer.  The flaky, buttery crust also goes well with the caramel flavors in this beer.

If you love Double IPA’s check out my pairing with Hawaiian Pizza.

What show pairs well with Under the Troll Bridge pasties and craft beer?

I really don’t have anything on deck to watch since we are in the middle of about 3 series: Sneaky Pete (Giovanni Ribisi is awesome in this), Santa Clarita Diet (who doesn’t love Drew Barrymore?) and Bates Motel (c-r-e-e-p-y) so we might just binge watch one of those to finish up the seasons we’re in the middle of.

Under the Troll Bridge Pasties with brown gravy off to the side.

For this, I used the same pastry dough that I made my Strawberry & Sesame Hand Pies with but doubled the recipe and substituted garlic powder for the sugar.  It ended up being so flaky and buttery I almost had to pat myself on the back for this creation.

How to make Under the Troll Bridge Pasties with brown gravy:

Add all the ingredients into a mixer and let it come together in a ball.  Place the ball onto some plastic wrap that has been lightly floured and put into the refrigerate for 1 hour.

What else can you stuff savory pastry dough with?

  • Pizza pockets: salami, pepperoni, cheese, and marinara sauce.
  • Ham and cheese hand pies: Black forest ham and cheddar cheese.
  • Mashed potatoes and chives: Use leftover mashed potatoes, triple cheddar cheese, and chives.
  • Grilled cheese: Just add cheese and bake. Perfect for kids!

Ingredients and directions for making Under the Troll Bridhe Pasties with brown gravy.

There was not a one rutabaga to be found at my local grocery store so I substituted a turnip. Felt I was okay since the recipes that I looked at had meat, potatoes, and root vegetables. Forgive me if I am playing fast and loose with the rule of the pastie, please know I had good intentions.

While the dough is chilling clean, peel and chops all your veggies.  Sautee them in 1 Tbs butter to soften them then put them into a bowl.

Cook and drain the beef then add it to the vegetables.

Add salt and pepper to taste then let the vegetables and beef cool.

Ingredients and directions for making Under the Troll Bridhe Pasties with brown gravy.

A serious shout out to Checkered Chef for the awesome stainless steel rolling pin, I love it!

Roll and cut the dough out into large circles.

Add filling to one side then sprinkle with shredded cheese.  After stuffing these full pinch the dough to crimp the edges so the filling doesn’t fall out.

Beat an egg and brush over the top of pasty.

Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for 25 minutes.

Prepare the gravy according to the package directions if you’re a troll like me.

Tips for Under the Troll Bridge Pasties:

  • For cutting the circles, I used a cereal bowl and it worked out great to make 6 pasties. 
  • Make sure as noted above, let the vegetables and beef cool before stuffing the pasties. As I found out the hard way, if it’s too hot it will make the dough too sticky to work with once you start assembling the pasties.

And here you are…..

Under the Troll Bridge Pasties with brown gravy drizzled over them.

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

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*Affiliate links are included in this post. Please read my Discloser Policy.

Under The Troll Bridge Pasties | Bottom Left of the Mitten #pasties #michigan #beef
Print Recipe
Under the Troll Bridge Pasties
Flaky crust filled with beef, potatoes, onions, carrots, and turnips. Serve these Under the Troll Bridge Pasties with brown gravy.
Under The Troll Bridge Pasties | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings
pasties
Ingredients
Dough
Filling
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings
pasties
Ingredients
Dough
Filling
Under The Troll Bridge Pasties | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
Dough
  1. Add all the ingredients into a mixer and let it come together in a ball. Place the ball then onto some plastic wrap that has been lightly floured and put into the refrigerate for 1 hour.
Filling
  1. While the dough is chilling clean, peel and chop all your veggies.
  2. Sautee them in 1 Tbs butter to soften them then put them into a bowl.
  3. Cook and drain the beef then add it to the vegetables. Add salt and pepper to taste then let the vegetables and beef cool.
  4. Roll and cut the dough out into large circles.
  5. Add filling to one side then sprinkle with shredded cheese.
  6. After stuffing these full pinch the dough to crimp the edges.
  7. Beat an egg and brush over the top of pasty. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 25 minutes.
  8. Prepare gravy mix to package directions. Serve on the side. Enjoy!

Loaded Cheese Fries

It has been a long week for a Michigander!  We’ve had 3, yes I said 3, snow days this week.   So to reminisce on the days of Summer for this Mitten Movie Night we fired up the smoker, a thing we do often when it’s warmer, to slow cook a bottom round roast.  It was the perfect addition to put on top of some Loaded Cheese Fries!

Loaded Cheese Fries with Smoked Bottom Round Roast | Bottom Left of the Mitten
For the beer we’re enjoying some Devil Dancer from Founders.  The movie, Lights Out.  I had wanted to see this in the theaters so bad because I LOVE scary movies but alas we just didn’t have time to go.  This is precisely why I love Mitten Movie Night because it gives me a chance to make great meals like a Pepper Steak Pizza or even special treats for the kids like these Peanut Butter Candy Bar Blossoms and catch up on a movie we’ve been waiting to see. Thank you Netflix! So now on to the recipe.

Loaded Cheese Fries | Bottom Left of the Mitten

A key that I’ve found to smoking meat is ‘prior preparation’.  The night before take the meat and put it into a great brine and make sure to give it at least 8 hours in the refrigerator.  We use a brine of Coca-Cola, garlic & onion powders, kosher salt, molasses and apple cider vinegar.  Before putting the meat into the smoker pat it dry then generously cover with a dry rub like this Bayou Black from Legion of Spice.  I also used their Jerk seasoning to make these amazing Jerk Chicken Sandwiches which has been my most popular recipe on the blog to date.  Follow your smokers user directions for cooking time but it generally is 1 Hour per 1 Pound of meat.  This roast took an 2-1/2 hours.  Turn off heat.  Take out the roast and cover with tinfoil and return to smoker to rest for 20 minutes.

Loaded Cheese Fries with Smoked Bottom Round Roast | Bottom Left of the Mitten

About a half hour before the meat is done prepare the bagged fries according to package directions.  I grabbed a bag of Alexia Organics Fries from the grocery store.  Now let me tell you-I’ve used other types of frozen fries before and never liked the way they came out.  Usually soggy and never crispy.  These however were phenomenal and not to mention easier than making my own.  For the toppings chop up some tomatoes and jalapenos. Sautee an onion in some butter.  Get some parsley for added flair.  Whip up a quick cheese sauce by creating a roux with butter and milk then add cheese.

Loaded Cheese Fries with Smoked Bottom Round Roast | Bottom Left of the Mitten

The smoked roast came out perfect.  Juicy and moist with a slight crust on it from the rub.  It came out medium/rare with the cooking method I mentioned above but as always with meat cook to your preference and follow food safety guidelines.  Now time to assemble!

Loaded Cheese Fries with Smoked Bottom Round Roast | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Start with a french fry base, add sweet onions, tomatoes and jalapenos, the meat that has been cut into strips then finally smother in cheese sauce.  Garnish with parsley and here you are…..

Loaded Cheese Fries with Smoked Bottom Round Roast | Bottom Left of the Mitten

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

*Affiliate links are included in this post. Please read my Discloser Policy.

Loaded Cheese Fries with Smoked Bottom Round Roast | Bottom Left of the Mitten #loadedfries #smokedmeat

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Print Recipe
Loaded Cheese Fries
Crisp french fries loaded with all the goodies like tomatoes, jalapenos, smoked beef and a smooth and creamy cheese sauce. Perfect for sharing...if you want!
Loaded Cheese Fries| Bottom Left of the Mitten
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Beef
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Brine/Rub
Cheese Sauce
French Fries & Topping
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Beef
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Brine/Rub
Cheese Sauce
French Fries & Topping
Loaded Cheese Fries| Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
Brine/Rub
  1. On the stove top heat up all the ingredients in a small pan. Let come to a boil then remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. Once cooled put in a baking dish with the meat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
  3. Before putting the meat into the smoker pat it dry then generously cover with a dry rub. Follow your smokers user directions for cooking time but it generally is 1 Hour per 1 Pound of meat. This roast took an 2-1/2 hours. Turn off the smoker. Take out and cover with tinfoil and return to smoker to rest another 20 minutes.
Cheese Sauce
  1. Melt butter in a small pan. Gradually add flour. Then gradually add milk. Once it's all combined add cheese to mixture. Stir until melted. Use to top the french fries.
French Fries & Topping
  1. Prepare bagged fries to package directions.
  2. For the toppings chop up some tomatoes and jalapenos. Sautee an onion in some butter.
  3. Assemble by starting with a french fry base, add sweet onions, tomatoes and jalapenos, the meat that has been cut into strips then finally smother in cheese sauce. Garnish with parsley. Enjoy!

Four B’s Tostadas

Four B’s Tostadas has crunchy tortillas getting the 4 B’s treatment: beef, beans, blue cheese & buffalo sauce then cooling it down a little with some creamy ranch dressing.  A bold combination packed with tons of flavor.

Four B's Tostadas from Bottom Left of the Mitten

Tonight for Mitten Movie Night we’re getting spicy.

What beer pairs well with spicy tostadas?

The beer: Sam Adam’s Octoberfest.

When researching what pairs well with Octoberfest I came across a great article from Serious Eats Beer Pairings: What to Eat with Oktoberfest BeersIt says that going ‘South of the Border’ is totally acceptable.

What movie pairs well with Four B’s Tostadas and Octoberfest?

For the movie, we are watching The Nice Guys. Ryan Gosling?  Yes please!

4 B's Tostadas |Bottom Left of the Mitten

How to make Four B’s Tostadas:

On the stove add ground beef, garlic powder, chili powder, seasoning salt and cumin.  Cook beef all the way through.

Add your refried beans to a microwave safe dish and heat for 3 minutes to warm them up.  Once your beef and beans are cooked it’s time to make the tostadas.

In a small pan add oil for frying.  Heat the oil up for 2-3 minutes.  When oil is heated use tongs to add tortillas into the pan.

Fry one tortilla at a time for 2 minutes each side. Set up a plate with paper towels next to the pan to put the tostadas on once they are cooked.

Four B's Tostadas from Bottom Left of the Mitten

When the tortillas are all cooked it’s as simple as setting up an assembly line.  Take the crispy (oh so good!) tostadas top with beans, seasoned beef, blue cheese and then drizzle with buffalo sauce and ranch to cool it off just a touch.

You could always take this fiesta up a few notches and use my Double Batch Smashed Beans or homemade rice for this meal.

Serve with tomatoes, green olives, lettuce, sour cream and a rice dish on the side.

And here you are…..

Four B's Tostadas from Bottom Left of the Mitten

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

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Originally published in September of 2016. Updated post in March of 2019. 

*Affiliate links are included in this post. Please read my Discloser Policy.

Four B's Tostadas-beef, beans, blue cheese & buffalo sauce from Bottom Left of the Mitten
Print Recipe
Four B's Tostadas
Beef, beans, blue cheese & buffalo sauce on top of crunchy tortillas make this Four B's Tostadas a bold combination packed with tons of flavor.
Four B's Tostadas | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Four B's Tostadas | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
  1. On the stove add ground beef, garlic powder, chili powder, seasoning salt and cumin. Cook beef all the way through.
  2. Add your refried beans to a microwave safe dish and heat for 3 minutes to warm them up.
  3. In a small pan add oil for frying. Heat the oil up for 2-3 minutes. When oil is heated use tongs to add tortillas into the pan. Fry one tortilla at a time for 2 minutes each side. Set up a plate with paper towels next to the pan to put the tostadas on once they are cook.
  4. Assemble the tostadas with beans, seasoned beef, blue cheese and then drizzle with buffalo sauce and ranch.
  5. Serve with tomatoes, green olives, lettuce, sour cream and a rice dish on the side

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