A few weeks ago, the Birthday Crew did the monthly lunch at work and in January it was Mexican! The “main” dish was the crowd favorite tacos. When we did this a few years ago and we were a lot smaller, I made up five pounds of taco filling and we ran out. So, this time I picked up two 10 pound tubes of industrial hamburger at a local restaurant food service place with a store front. I plunked a half-hotel pan down over two burners and got to cooking. I was able to cook about four pounds of hamburger at a time without it poaching in the “juice”.
Now, as I said, this was industrial hamburger, so I cooked the living Hell out of it. I didn’t think I could really screw it up by “overcooking” this stuff and besides, it was going to be mixed with all that taco seasoning. To get it the right size for tacos – finely ground - I found a potato masher worked well. So, there I was, mashing hamburger in a hotel pan. I never thought I would ever be doing something like that. Every pan got dumped into my 8 quart pressure cooker and another four pounds went in. On another burner, I dumped in 18 packets (they came in 3 packs) of taco seasoning and around 15 cups of water, I believe. Bring slowly to a simmer and into the pressure cooker. At this point, I realize I have a problem – this ain’t going to hold it all. So, down to the cellar and bring up the turkey roaster. Now I have something that will hold it all. When it was all in the roaster, I made room in one of the freezers and put the foil covered roaster bottom in to cool it as quickly as I could. Industrial cooking – it’s fun every once in a while.
So, we had Spanish rice, tacos, Chile con queso and salsa – lots of salsa. I bought some gallons of Pace and fearing it wouldn’t be enough, I made my own. A #10 can of diced tomatoes, a whole bunch of cilantro, 3 or 4 onions, 5 cans of chilies, a cup or two of diced jalapenos, red wine vinegar, olive oil, lime juice and salt.