Thursday, December 30, 2010

Taco Stoup made with Leftovers

Do you ever clean out the fridge to find a tower of Tupperware containing bits of dinners past? My mother in law made a fantastic taco salad bar last weekend for the family and used ingredients you would expect to see (tomatoes, lettuce, beans, black olives) and some we were surprised we liked on our salad (pecans, shredded coconut, Frito's and nopalitos, which is cactus.) Jim and I luckily ended up with a good portion of the leftover pulled beef and the ground beef with onions, tomatoes and pinto beans.

I made quesadillas for Jim and I one night with the leftovers, and nachos as a snack later in the week. What I needed now was one really good recipe to repurpose all our leftovers and create one last fantastic meal. Enter Taco Stoup from stage left. That is not a typo, "stoup" is a cross between soup and stew. He's spicy, he's meaty, he's not quite a soup but not quite chile. You can eat this Taco Stoup in a bowl with a spoon, or scooped up with a tortilla, or spooned over tortilla chips, fritos or salad greens. This is a play on my original Taco Soup recipe, but I used what I had in the kitchen...and in this case, it just happened to be some fantastic mexican leftovers.

Ground Beef with Tomatoes, Onion and Pinto Beans
4 lbs ground beef
3 large onions, chopped
2 14 1/2 oz cans peeled tomatoes
2 15 oz cans tomato sauce
2 12 oz cans tomato puree
4 T chili powder
2 t cumin
1 t garlic powder
6 t salt
2 23 oz cans Ranch Style Beans (My mother in law used pinto beans.)

Brown beef and onions, drain fat. Add remaining ingredients except beans and simmer for 1 to 1.5 hours. Add beans and heat through.

Pulled Beef
2-3 lb beef chuck, fat trimmed
3 T red wine vinegar
1 1/2 c beef broth
2 T chili powder
1 t ground cumin

Cut roast into 3-4 chunks and place in slow cooker. Combine ingredients and pour over roast. Cook 7-8 hours. Final hour: remove beef and shred. Return to pan with juice, cover and cook another hour.
Serves 8-12

HWM Leftover Taco Stoup
Into a crock pot I scoop the leftover ground beef and the leftover pulled beef.

If you have fresh jalapenos, use them. Mine were moldy (gross) so I used leftover canned jalapenos from our tacos salad bar. This is about 1/2 cup.

The can goods I added were Stewed Tomatoes (the mexican flavored variety), Trappey's Pinto Beans (bacon flavored), a can of Kernell Corn and a can of Rotel.

I had a few fresh ingredients (that were not moldy yet,) I shredded a carrot into a saute pan over medium heat.

Next I added three celery stalks that I sliced and added 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Because I didn't plan on cooking this Taco Stoup in the crock pot all day I wanted to give these fresh veggies a head start by sauteing them for about 4 minutes before adding them to the rest of the ingredients in the crock pot.

Following my original recipe, I add one package of Taco Seasoning and one package of Ranch Salad Dressing.

I stirred all my ingredients together and added two cans of water. Set the crock pot to high and let it cook, stirring every so often for as long as you can stand it. If you have all day, then set to low and let it cook for 8 hours. I'm probably going to eat this in one to two hours. All my ingredients are cooked, I just want to heat through and let the ingredients marry and fall in love.

In place of two cans of water, use chicken broth or beef broth if you have it. And that is how I made Taco Soup using leftover ingredients. Be bold and brave in the kitchen, you just might surprise yourself!


  1. I love re-purposinfosing of any kind. This stoup looks right up my alley! Have a great 2011!

  2. P.S. Forgive my illiteracy. Apparently I can't type today...


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