Sunday, June 20, 2010

Steak Tacos


There's this very authentic Mexican restaurant nearby our house, called Los Molcajetes. My Dh & I have been eyeballing it for months. But, I was hesitant to go, because it was so authentic & I thought the Bozos wouldn't eat a thing there.
Well, we finally decided to go a few weeks ago & it was so good. The kids got steak tacos. They both love tacos, but are used to the typical American ground beef Ortega taco. So, I was surprised that they liked steak tacos so much.
Ever since then, we have had steak tacos on the brain. So, I decided to make some at home. I have added some pickled red onions to this recipe, as they are fantastic with steak. I recommend taking the extra effort & making the onions...and, to serve the tacos simply, with some homemade, or store bought salsa fresca & a drizzle of sour cream.

Begin by making the onions. You can do these a day, or two ahead of time, if you'd like. Combine 3/4 cups distilled white vinegar, 3 tablespoons sugar, a pinch of salt, 1 bay leaf & 5 whole cloves in a medium saucepan.

Bring to a boil & add 1 whole {halved & thinly sliced} red onion. Give it a stir & cook for about a minute. Remove from the heat & let the mixture cool to room temperature. Transfer to a container & chill until cold.

Next, make the marinade for the steak. You will need a 1/2 cup cilantro, 3 cloves of garlic {coarsely chopped}, 3 scallions {coarsely chopped}, 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice & 1 jalapeno {stemmed & coarsely chopped}.

Add all these ingredients, along with a 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin, to the bowl of a food processor. Give it a few pulses, to finely chop.

Add a 1/4 cup of canola oil & process until the mixture is smooth & has the texture of pesto.

Take a 1 1/2 pound flank steak & slice it into 4 long, skinny pieces, with the grain of the steak {lengthwise}. Poke the steak slices all over with a fork & transfer to a storage container. Rub all but 2 tablespoons of the marinade over the surface of the steak. Reserve the extra marinade for later. Marinate for 1 hour.
Remove the steak from the refrigerator & sprinkle evenly with the salt, sugar & black pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil in a skillet, over medium-high heat & cook the steak for about 2-3 minutes a side, or until it reaches 125-130 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Transfer the steak to a cutting board & let it rest for 5 minutes.

You will need 12-6" corn tortillas. To prepare the tortillas, warm a dry skillet over medium heat. Heat the tortillas for about 30 seconds per side & transfer to a damp towel. Keep the warmed tortillas in the towel, as you heat the rest. Wrap the towel in aluminum foil & place it in a warm oven until ready to serve the tacos.

Slice the steak across the grain, into thin slices & put them in a bowl. Toss with the reserved 2 tablespoons of marinade.

Serve the steak with the warmed tortillas, the pickled onions, some salsa fresca & sour cream.

Steak Tacos

Steak Tacos adapted from Cooks Illustrated, September 2008
Pickled Onions from David Lebovitz
Serves 6

pickled onions:
3/4 cups distilled white vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
1 bay leaf
5 whole cloves
1 large red onion, halved & thinly sliced

steak marinade:
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3 scallions, roughly chopped
1 jalapeno chile, stemmed & roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup canola oil

tacos:
1-1 1/2 pound flank steak
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
12-6" corn tortillas

Begin by making the pickled onions. Heat the vinegar, sugar, salt, bay leaf & cloves in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil & add the sliced red onions. Give it a stir & cook for about a minute. Remove from the heat & let the mixture cool to room temperature. Transfer to a container & chill until cold.
Next, make the marinade for the steak. Place the cilantro, garlic, scallions, jalapeno, cumin & lime juice in the bowl of a food processor. Give it a few pulses, to finely chop. Add the oil & process until the mixture is smooth & has the texture of pesto.
Take the flank steak & slice it into 4 long, skinny pieces, with the grain of the steak {lengthwise}. Poke the steak slices all over with a fork & transfer to a storage container. Rub all but 2 tablespoons of the marinade over the surface of the steak. Reserve the extra marinade for later. Marinate for 1 hour.
To prepare the tortillas, warm a dry skillet over medium heat. Heat the tortillas for about 30 seconds per side & transfer to a damp towel. Keep the warmed tortillas in the towel, as you heat the rest. Wrap the towel in aluminum foil & place it in a warm oven until ready to serve the tacos.
When ready to make the tacos, remove the steak from the refrigerator & sprinkle evenly with the salt, sugar & black pepper. Heat the oil in a skillet, over medium-high heat & cook the steak for about 2-3 minutes a side, or until it reaches 125-130 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Transfer the steak to a cutting board & let it rest for 5 minutes.
Slice the steak across the grain, into thin slices & put them in a bowl. Toss with the reserved 2 tablespoons of marinade.
Serve the steak with the warmed tortillas, the pickled onions, some store bought {or homemade} salsa fresca & sour cream.

Click here for the printable recipe.

6 comments:

Joanne said...

From the pickled onions to the cilantro marinade, there is nothing not to love about these tacos! Definitely a step up from plain old beef!

Johanna said...

This looks delicious! I will try it out, thanks!

Juan said...

Great looking and nutritious Tacos. Nothing better in life than a meal you hold in your hand.

Juan

Karen said...

Mmm, these look really good. I think I'd like the pickled onions on these tacos. I miss good Mexican food!

dishinanddishes said...

That looks so yummy. I just had a whole grain flatbread pizza here last night that had pickled red onions on it and I want to give them a try! Great recipe!

Cathy Dunham said...

You have the most gorgeous photos added here. Since I design corporate web sites, I know gorgeous when I see it. And your tacos sound divine. I will try your recipe soon. Thanks for sharing and enhancing our tastebuds and visions.

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