Jack in the Box Beef Tacos (Copycat)

READY IN: 24hrs 15mins
Recipe by The Spice Guru

My reverse-engineered recipe for Jack in the Box Beef Tacos.

Top Review by Rinshinomori

Amazing!!!!! I've gone over to the Jack in the Box site for all the ingredient list and compared side by side to this recipe, and you nailed it!!! This really does taste like the original or the closest thing to it. Those that purport to be copycat tacos do not have the vegetable protein and soy grits included. I made this with regular grits since it's hard to find soy grits and it came out just as good. Also many add beans as already pointed out by another reviewer, but I suspect beans are added to make the beef texture smoother without adding vegetable protein - so in an effect it is taking the place of vegetable protein which beans are since vegetable protein is normally made with soy beans. Great taste too - thank you so much for posting this. I've always liked Jack in the Box tacos - never understood it, but now I do.

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. PLEASE NOTE: THESE ARE MAKE-AHEAD TACOS. YOU MUST FILL THEN FREEZE TACOS BEFORE FRYING FOR AUTHENTIC RESULTS. PREPARE MY "COPYCAT JACK IN THE BOX TACO SAUCE" RECIPE (RECIPE #423994) BEFORE ASSEMBLING DEEP-FRIED TACOS.
  2. POUR 3 cups cold water into a medium bowl; ADD the remaining SEASONING MIX ingredients (1 cup texturized soy protein, 2 tablespoons defatted soy grits (or soy flour), 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 4 teaspoons dried onion flakes, 1 tablespoon plain chili powder, 1 tablespoon masa corn flour, 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon Accent seasoning, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 dash ground black pepper, 1 dash cayenne pepper, 1 dash citric acid); WHISK mixture well until dry ingredients are thoroughly dissolved; SET aside.
  3. BROWN the ground TACO BEEF in a skillet over medium-high heat while stirring without overcooking (drain ground beef if necessary); POUR the blended SEASONING MIX into the 1 lb browned TACO BEEF in skillet; RAISE heat to high and BOIL mixture for one minute, stirring; REDUCE heat to medium and COOK mixture, stirring occasionally, until very little liquid remains and ground beef is moist yet not soggy.
  4. COVER beef mixture and reduce heat to low; SIMMER for 5-7 minutes to steam and tenderize meat, and for flavors to infuse fully (ADD more water to refresh consistency if needed); TRANSFER filling to a food processor and process until fairly fine in texture: RETURN to skillet on lowest heat to keep warm.
  5. DIVIDE enough needed American cheese slices diagonally; SHRED enough needed iceberg lettuce; HEAT 1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil in a skillet over low heat; TURN corn tortillas one at a time in a skillet on both sides until moistened and pliable (this helps tortillas from tearing); STACK prepared tortillas between paper towels to blot.
  6. SPOON about 1 tablespoon of warm beef filling mixture into each tortilla; FOLD tortilla in half so bottom is curled; PRESS bottom filled half carefully without tearing tortilla using a taco press or makeshift mold ); LEAVE taco tops open by about 1 inch; CAREFULLY arrange filled, formed tacos into Ziploc bags without crowding or touching; ARRANGE sealed tacos in a resealable plastic container, to protect them from breakage; FREEZE overnight or until ready to deep-fry.
  7. SLOWLY preheat deep-fryer with manufacturer's recommended amount of oil to 365°F .
  8. FRY tacos one at a time for 55 - 65 seconds at 365 °F while supporting each taco with a taco press or tongs; PLACE cooked tacos on absorbent paper to drain slightly (I recommend one person frying and one person assembling for better efficiency and fresh, hot tacos!).
  9. TO ASSEMBLE TACOS: OPEN each fried taco carefully; POUR 1 teaspoon prepared Jack in the Box Copycat Taco Sauce (Recipe #423994); PLACE one cut American cheese triangle into one side; GARNISH with 2 tablespoons shredded iceberg lettuce.
  10. ENJOY your Jack in the Box Tacos and say, "EAT YOUR HEART OUT, JACK!".

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