Bon Appetit just never ceases to amaze me. They do high brow and low brow so well together on the same pages, and sometimes you really, really need that. I love to cook, and I love busting out the duck recipes as much as the next person. But sometimes you just really need to make and eat something called Sloppy Tacos. Sloppy joes, but in a taco. It’s just…so wrong. But everything about it is so right. Sloppy tacos are where it’s at.

So much so that apparently I never took any photos of the assembled tacos. Too busy eating, apparently. So I’ve just got photos of meat.

It took a lot of convincing to get Adam on board with this recipe from the September 2013 issue. He is not, I discovered the day I made this, a fan of ground meat. He loves burgers, which seem to be an exception to almost every rule anyway. Almost a decade together, and I’d never really noticed that his avoidance of meatballs and meatloaf wasn’t just because of the consistency of those specific foods. My homemade meat sauce, which I’ve been making and perfecting since college, is full of the ground stuff. And, apparently, much of the larger chunks are left behind in Adam’s bowl when we eat it. How had I never noticed this before?

So he was, frankly, cringing when I told him what I was making for dinner. He agreed to try it, but also made me promise not to be offended if he made himself a sandwich instead. Turns out he really liked this dish, which I considered a huge win. It is not the fastest dish to make, so it’s always a shame to put tons of time into something that just doesn’t fly with the family. This was not one of those times, and I’ll definitely be making it again. I kind of want to eat some right now.

Sloppy Tacos (from the September 2013 Bon Appetit)

Lime sour cream
1 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp. finely grated lime zest
¼ cup fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
Kosher salt

Filling and Assembly
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 lb. ground beef chuck
1 small yellow onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 14-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
1 12-oz. bottle tomato-based chili sauce (such as Heinz)
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
3 Tbsp. ancho chile powder or chili powder
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
12 crisp taco shells, warmed
Shredded Wisconsin cheddar, lettuce, pico de gallo, cilantro, and lime wedges (for serving)

Lime sour cream

Mix sour cream, lime zest, lime juice, cilantro, and vinegar in a medium bowl; season with salt. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.

Filling and assembly

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook beef, breaking up with a spoon, until cooked through, about 5 minutes.


Transfer to a large bowl. Reduce heat to medium. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in skillet. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°. Add tomatoes to skillet; cook, breaking up with a spoon, until thickened, 8–10 minutes.



Add beef; chili and Worcestershire sauces; chile, garlic, and onion powders; sugar; and cumin.



Cook, stirring, until flavors meld, 10–12 minutes.


Spread in a 13x9x2” baking dish; bake until a crust forms, 30–40 minutes. Serve filling in shells with toppings.