Has Oct. 4 rolled around again so soon? The day, in case you were unaware, is National Taco Day. And according to the National Taco Day website, today is also National Vodka Day. Pretty magnanimous of them to share the stage, and if you want to do it up right, celebrate with a meal of tacos and vodka shooters.

Before getting down to cases, a few fun factoids from the NTD website:

  • Last year Americans ate over 4.5 billion tacos!
  • That’s 490,000 miles of tacos, which could take you to the moon and back.
  • At 775 million pounds, that quantity of tacos is equal to the weight of two Empire State Buildings.

But we come here to eat tacos, not to trivialize them. Without further ado, Bite for Byte’s recipe for the all-American hard-shelled taco. (You read right: This recipe is Americanized.)


2 Tbsp. oil
1 large onion, chopped and divided
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 lb. ground sirloin
1 tsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. garlic powder
1 cup of canned whole tomatoes with juice
Salt and pepper to taste
8 taco shells
2 cups (approx.) shredded jack cheese
1 head lettuce, shredded
2 fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
Chopped cilantro (optional)
Sour cream (optional)


  1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until it shimmers. Add half the chopped onion (reserving the other half for presentation later) and the green pepper. Cook until wilted and softened.
  2. Raise the heat to high and add the ground beef. Break up with the back of a wooden spoon. Cook until brown.
  3. Lower the heat again slightly and add the tomato paste, stirring. Cook for about 1 minute.
  4. Add the chili powder, garlic powder, and tomatoes. Crush the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes.
  6. As the filling cooks, arrange the taco shells, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and (if desired) cilantro and sour cream on a serving platter.
  7. Transfer the filling to a serving bowl and serve.

Yield: 4 servings