Skirt Steak Tacos
The humble taco is a culinary giant. Sometimes regarded as the food of celebrations and parties, and other times as a humble lunch. An embodiment of Mexican tradition, the taco now is a canvas for all kinds of flavors – from korean bbq, to southern fried chicken, to lamb meatballs. The taco is now, much more than just a taco. It’s a food we all love, and yet an avenue through which we can sample and taste so much of what the world has to offer. For that, I love the taco.
Here is my take on some great tacos – the key to which is using a few great ingredients to help elevate the entire dish to something special. The classic Mexican choice for taco meat is skirt steak – a beautiful and affordable cut of meat that has a great flavor to it. I keep the toppings in the Mexican theme by making a tomato chipotle salsa, and then garnishing with some roasted peppers (rajas), diced red onion, lime, and cilantro. This stuff is great for a party – put all of your toppings and ingredients into separate bowls. Give people a bunch of tortillas and let them go wild! Grab a margarita and this will be a party in your mouth!
Skirt Steak Tacos
(recipe courtesy of Vivek Surti)
2 lbs skirt steak
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine the olive oil, garlic, lime juice, and cilantro in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add the marinade to the skirt steak and let sit for about 2-3 hours until all the flavors have melded together.
Get out your heaviest pan (cast iron is good), or fire up the grill over really high heat. Remove the steaks from the marinade, and pat them with paper towels to remove all the moisture. Season the steaks lightly with salt and pepper in order to get a good crust. Add some oil to your pot and when it is almost smoking, lay the steak in the pan. Cook for about 2-3 minutes per side for medium rare. Take the steaks out of the pan and let rest for about 10 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 chipotle chiles, chopped
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Add some oil to a fry pan and coat to cover the bottom. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and let cook until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and chipotle chiles and cook for a minute until fragrant. Add the oregano and tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper again. Let cook for about 20 minutes on simmer. You can puree the sauce in a blender or just leave it chunky (but use a potato masher to break up the tomatoes). Then add the lime juice and cilantro at the end. Keep the sauce on simmer until ready to serve.
2 poblano peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, and cut into long strips
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
tomato chipotle salsa
flour or corn tortillas
Get your tortillas and warm them up on the stove so they are pliable, but not crispy. Slice the steak into thin pieces on the bias. Add some salsa, peppers, onion, and cilantro. And then squeeze some fresh lime juice right over the top. It’s taco time.