Beef taco rice traybake with spicy avocado dressing

Beef taco rice with creamy, spicy avo dressing (top left).
Beef taco rice with creamy, spicy avo dressing (top left). Photo: Katrina Meynink
Dietary
Kid-friendly

Get yourself a baking tray. Dump it all on. Shove it in the oven. Let the cheese do its thing. Remove. Eat piping hot so you burn the roof of your mouth then cool it down with a glug of beer. It's the only way. (See my taco night rules below.)

Ingredients

2 cups cooked basmati rice

½ cup coriander leaves, roughly chopped

500g beef mince

1 brown onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp chipotle powder

1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp mustard powder

1 tbsp oyster sauce

200g tinned black beans, rinsed thoroughly

140g tomato paste (1 small tub)

½ cup beef stock

Spicy avo dressing

1 large avocado, peeled and pitted

½ cup Greek yoghurt

¼ cup finely chopped fresh herbs (I used parsley and coriander)

pinch dried chilli flakes (or to taste)

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 tsp sweet smoked paprika

1 tsp brown sugar

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp apple cider vinegar (or any pale coloured vinegar will do)

All the other bits

200g tortilla chips

kernels from 1 cob of corn

½ cup each mozzarella, cheddar and feta

250g tub of cherry tomatoes, quartered

1 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves

juice of 1 lime

zest of 1 lemon

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180C.

2. Combine the rice and coriander and set aside.

3. Place a frypan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and once hot, add the onion and cook until fragrant and translucent (about 1 minute). Add the spices and cook, stirring constantly to prevent catching and until the onion is coated in the spice mixture.

4. Add the mince in one lump (like a giant patty) and cook for 5 minutes, then flip it and cook for another minute before breaking up with a wooden spoon – this ensures the beef gets all those lovely crispy bits.

5. Add the oyster sauce and stir until incorporated then add the black beans, tomato paste and the stock. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

6. Combine all the avocado dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk with a fork until smooth. Place in the fridge covered until ready to serve.

7. Line the base of a large roasting tray with baking paper and spread out the tortilla chips. Make a hole in the middle and add the mince mixture. Dollop the rice in two areas on top of the tortilla chips. Top with corn and all the cheese. Pop in the oven for 10 minutes or until rice and corn are warmed through and the cheese has melted.

8. While this is cooking, combine the tomatoes, coriander and lime juice in a bowl.

9. Remove roasting tray from the oven. Top with the tomato mixture, add a final sprinkling of lemon zest and serve with the avocado dressing to the side.

Tips:

Taco night at my place is a serious thing and we have a few hard and fast rules which I encourage you to try for yourself.

1. Never limit yourself to one cheese. The combo of mozzarella, cheddar and feta levitates.

2. No Old El Paso but yes to a dollop of oyster sauce. Completely untraditional and completely delicious.

3. Chuck as much as you can in one big roasting dish then top with the fresh bits. It's a win-win. It also limits the cutlery yet maximises the taco crunch to filling ratio in every bite.

4. A roasting tray with its base covered in tortilla chips brings a special kind of joy, one not to be missed.