After a break of a few weeks to regain some sanity, the trusty team of Mannie Barling, Ashley F. Brooks and yours truly Simon Barrett were back on the air exploring all of the news completely unfit to print.

We were joined by a special guest, Mark Scease, or as he is better known Mongolian Mark. In an earlier life Mark was a Merchant Seaman. Through a series of events that even boggle my mind he found himself living in Ulan Batar, Mongolia. At that time Mongolia was a Spam Free zone (Spam as in canned animal bits, not offers to increase your manhood). I heard about Marks plight through a mutual friend who lives in Saipan, to protect the guilty, lets just call him Bruce Bateman. I cannot claim to be an expert in the import export world, but it seemed like there were some great opportunities. Mongolia needed Spam, and I was convinced that in return we could import Canned Stewed Mutton. Yum Yum. Of course the pathway to international trade is a tough one, and fraught with speed bumps along the way.

A more up to date story on the program concerned the law suit filed against Taco Bell. Where’s the beef the suit asks? Court papers allege that only 30% of the beef in a beef taco is actually beef. The rest is just ‘stuff’. But what is the stuff? A quick trip to the Taco Bell web site, and a little perseverance, a modicum of luck, and some bloody mindedness, you can find the well hidden page listing ingredients in the various dishes.

http://www.tacobell.com/nutrition/ingredientstatement

Seasoned Ground Beef actually doesn’t score so bad. When you consider that the FDA mandates that ingredients be listed by amount used, Ground beef is indeed at the head of the list! After that the list sort of heads downhill:

Water, Seasoning [Isolated Oat Product, Salt, Chili Pepper, Onion Powder, Tomato Powder, Oats (Wheat), Soy Lecithin, Sugar, Spices, Maltodextrin, Soybean Oil (Anti-dusting Agent), Garlic Powder, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Citric Acid, Caramel Color, Cocoa Powder (Processed With Alkali), Silicon Dioxide, Natural Flavors, Yeast, Modified Corn Starch, Natural Smoke Flavor], Salt, Sodium Phosphates. CONTAINS SOYBEAN, WHEAT

Could 70% of the beef in that beef taco be this stuff? The exact recipe is proprietary, but I think it would be possible to approximate for the home cook. Take a pound of ground beef, and boil it in two cups of water, add a cup of Quaker Oats, a healthy dose of salt, a pinch of cayenne pepper, a can of Durkey Fried and dried onion (oh scrap that, its too expensive), onion salt, Tomato salt, another cup of Quaker Oats, a half cup of Dr Wiels Soy nuts, a cup of yummy High Fructose Corn Syrup (I am sure that the Corn Refiners Association can organize a free sample, just ask for Audrae Erickson and tell them I sent you), half a cup of MSG (this one might be harder to find, it is everywhere, but for some reason the supermarkets hide it (The internet is the best source). A spoon of hot chocolate mix, a dose more of salt, and you are almost there.

The next step is somewhat more involved. It should only be attempted when not under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Take a metal garbage bin (plastic does not work well) and crumple up two copies of the New York Times Sunday edition (you can substitute a local paper, but check for volume). Place the garbage bin close to the stove and set the paper alight. This will impart the natural smoke flavor to the beef. Of course it is personal preference but I prefer to do this step while wearing a fire retardant suit, breathing apparatus, and have a fire extinguisher handy.

Voila… another bucket of salt and you have the makings for Beef Taco’s, you will be the talk of the neighborhood. The envy of everyone on your block.

Ok we didn’t exactly get into the Beef Taco recipe on the program, I just threw it in as an extra. If you missed out broadcast you can find the recording here.

Simon Barrett

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