Thursday, October 22, 2015

Copycat Taco Bell *Bell Beefer *





From about the mid-1960's through the mid-1970's Taco Bell made a Sloppy Joe like sandwich called the "Bell-Beefer". It used the same flavored ground beef mixture as a crunchy taco, along with a sauce similar to Mild Border Sauce and shredded mild cheddar cheese. This was served on a hamburger bun that had been steamed slightly to soften and warm it.

Recipe is from an very old clipping from  The Long Island Press.

  Ingredients:

1 pound lean ground beef, uncooked
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp mild chili powder
1 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp dried minced onion flakes
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp onion powder
dash garlic powder
1/2 cup cold water
6 hamburger buns (steamed slightly to soften and warm them)
1/3 to 2/3 cup of Taco Bell Mild Border Sauce (recipe below)

3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Taco Bell Mild Border Sauce

3 cups cold water
2 tsp cornstarch
1 (6-oz) can tomato paste
3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
4 tsp chili powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper


For the border sauce, add cold water to a saucepan. Stir in the cornstarch until it is dissolved.

Stir in the tomato paste, vinegar, chili powder, salt and cayenne pepper.
Stir until well mixed and smooth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 
5-minutes to thicken.

Allow sauce to cool then store in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Makes about 3 cups of Mild Border Sauce

For The Sandwiches

Combine in a mixing bowl raw ground beef, flour, chili powder, salt, minced onion flakes, paprika, onion powder and garlic powder. Mix thoroughly like you would mix a meatloaf.

In a skillet on the stove top, add 1/2 cup of cold water and the seasoned ground meat mixture. Mix well. Cook over medium heat, mash and stir ground meat as it cooks, breaking it up. Cook until meat is no longer pink and slightly browned. The meat mixture should be loose, without any large pieces. Drain off any grease or liquid.

Steam the burger buns slightly to warm and soften them.

Build a "Bell Beefer" like this: 

Spread a tablespoon of Mild Border Sauce on the bottom bun.

Place several tablespoons of the meat mixture on the bottom bun like making a sloppy joe.

 Spread 2 Tbsp of Taco Bell Mild Border Sauce evenly over the meat on bun

Sprinkle 1 or 2 Tbsp of shredded mild cheddar cheese over meat mixture on bun. Add the top bun

Serve warm.

Makes 6 "Bell Beefers"

Featured -Tip Garden

45 comments:

  1. Gosh I haven't made anything like a Sloppy Joe in years.....Bob would like this....I'd be fine with the meat and no bun. :) It's always cool when you can make restaurant recipes at home.....saves money too and you know exactly what's in the pot.

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    1. You know Gabe- he really, really loved this one!

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  2. OMG, I used to work at Taco Bell when I was in high school and I remember these. Pre packaged meat flavoring. I like the fact that you can make them yourself and no preservatives and names of ingredients you can't pronounce! I haven't eaten at Taco Bell in Eons. Thanks Linda :)

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    1. and now you can make it in your own kitchen and share with Randall!

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  3. Yum.......love sloppy joes. These look great. I agree with you Cyndy.....making them with no preservatives makes me want them more. How funny you used to work there. I loved their cinnamon whatever they were. I am with Carol, on the meat and no bun.

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    1. Gabe loves anything with meat and cheese! The bread was a real bonus for him.

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  4. Oh, I think I need to go fix dinner. This is making me hungry! '-)

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  5. What a great copycat! Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great weekend!
    Come Back Soon,
    Miz Helen

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  6. We didn't get Taco Bell here in Alaska until the late 80s so I never even knew it existed! I KNOW my family will love these--thanks for linking up to Friday Frenzy

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    1. Hope you like it and thanks for stopping by!

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  7. This is interesting! I don't believe I've ever had such a thing!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

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    1. Hey Jess- Hubby loved it, beef, cheese and bread! Made to order for him :-)

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  8. I call this a taco burger! Yum! Thanks for sharing on My 2 favorite Things on Thursday - link Party! Hope to see you again this week! Pinned!

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    1. My hubby called it - make it again! LOL

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  9. Pinning this to my Man Food board for my husband and son. They are HUGE Taco Bell fans!

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    1. Thanks for the pin! Hope you like it.

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  10. This looks so yummy!
    Thanks for sharing this at Cooking and Crafting with J & J.

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  11. I'm always in for anything Taco related...great recipe! Thanks for sharing with us at The Mommy Monday Blog Hop...

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  12. Thank you so much for sharing your post with us at the #AnythingGoes Link Party! The new party goes live today at 6 PM ET.

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    1. Thanks for hosting Sandy, Sue and Marilyn

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  13. They had Bell Beefers until at least the mid-80's. I miss them so much. Thanks for the recipe.

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    1. Hope you enjoy the recipe. Come back and check out other ones that are on the blog!

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  14. I remember having raw onion and shredded lettuce with diced tomatoes on them...am I wrong?

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    1. In my area those were considered "extra"

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    2. That's how I liked it back in the 70's in San Fernando Valley California. Still make it that way at home

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    3. I know they had shredded lettuce on them. Not sure about the onions and tomatoes, but sounds great to me!

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  15. My husband is still mourning the loss of Bell Beefers! If he saw this recipe, I'd be in the kitchen slaving over a hot stove. However, I have just begun a "wheat free" way of eating and so the poor guy will never see a Bell Beefer in front of him. I know I'm mean. Well, maybe for his birthday.....

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    1. LOL!!! Well birthdays are suppose to be special right?

      Thanks so much for stopping by and hope you check out the other recipes on my blog.

      Linda

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  16. Bell Beefer was round one and Bellburger was round two. Bellburger had lettuce, cheese and diced tomato. We do "taco night" and have buns, tortillas, and taco shells. Try a homemade burger taco...I like meat, cheese, lettuce, salsa, hot sauce (use taco bell's Hot sauce) and pickle relish (yes it's weird but good). You can also add sour cream, avocado, rice, beans, cilantro, etc. Make it a GOOD taco burger. Oh and TB still needs to bring back the Bell Burger. (also hail to the person from San Fernando Valley.....I went to the one on Devonshire in Chatsworth)

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    1. Thanks so much Brian for stopping by and hope you check out my other recipes.

      Linda

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  17. In the 60's and early 70's , when I could afford it , I would get 6 to 8 of em and eat them all . There was not much to them but they were oh so good .

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by!

      Hope you share the recipe on your facebook page.

      Linda

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  18. That was my fav in the day...Hope they bring it back!

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    1. You know what Gordon? That seems to happen all the time! When you really like something, next thing it's gone!

      I hope you share the recipe on your facebook page.

      Many thanks for stopping by.

      Linda

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  19. I don't know how you did it, but this is an EXACT clone of the original and I want to thank you soo much! After 35 years, I finally got to enjoy these again. The meat mixture is right, the sauce is right to the original vinegar-based in the small plastic tubs with the foil on top you had to peal. If you follow this to a "T" and proportion, lean sirlion meat, it will be PERFECT! Like stated in the recipe, heat the buns ( I did 20 seconds with Kaiser in the microwave), add the tablespoon of sauce, add the meat and 2T of sauce on top. I then added, as I remember it with the cheese (not sure if mild or sharp, but i used mild), diced roma tomatoes, shredded lettuce with bun on top. BAM, absolutely perfect and amazing! I've been eating them all week!! Thank you, thank you for sharing! :)

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    1. You REALLY made my day! Thank you so much for the comment.

      I hope you follow my blog and find other recipes to enjoy.

      Linda

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  20. Oh my goodness! I have to try this! I don't remember ir, but sounds delish! Thanks for linking up on our national hamburger day round-up!

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    1. Hi Jan- this is one of my top recipes. It's gotten tons of hits. It's good and something different.

      Hugs,
      Linda

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  21. Linda, I just had to make you my first stop after Jan's linkup - I remember bell beefers from when I was a kid!

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    1. Morning Jean,

      I hope it's as good as you remember! Come back and let me know how you liked it.

      Have a great weekend.
      Hugs,
      Linda

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  22. The bell beefer was still made long past the 70s. my first job was in the 80s as a kid and we still made them in our store.

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