Tacos are a terrific midweek meal because they cook up fast and don't require a lot of preparation, other than some chopping and dicing of ingredients. This super-easy steak taco recipe hits all the right notes with its flavorful chili-lime marinade and array of colorful toppings, many of them in bountiful supply at local farmers markets and roadside farm stands.
I'm a big fan of flank steak because it's relatively lean and cooks up tender (and isn't super expensive), but you also could use skirt or flat-iron steaks. Grilled red pepper adds a smoky, sweet touch and you'll want to pile on some salty queso fresco -- a soft, slightly tangy cheese that is easily crumbled. Your favorite salsa, chopped onion and sliced avocado are other traditional toppings and don't forget a good squeeze of fresh lime juice (The dash of acid complements the richer flavors inside the tortilla).
I used flour tortillas for a softer bite, but tacos are nothing if not customizable. For a chewier, gluten-free dish, substitute tamari for the soy sauce and construct the tacos on corn tortillas.
GRILLED STEAK TACOS
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Juice of 1 fresh lime (about 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 pounds flank steak
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thirds
12 flour tortillas
1/2 small red onion, diced
Handful chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 avocado, pitted and sliced
1/2 cup queso fresco, crumbled
Red or green salsa, for serving
3 limes, cut into wedges
In a medium bowl, combine soy sauce, lime juice, 1 tablespoon canola oil, garlic, chili powder, cumin and oregano.
In a large bowl or 1-gallon Ziploc bag, combine soy sauce mixture and steak. Marinate for at least 1 hour or as long as overnight, turning the bag occasionally to redistribute the marinade.
When ready to cook, preheat grill to high heat. Using a pair of tongs, rub a paper towel coated with some of the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over the grill rack.
Drain marinade, place meat directly on the grill and cook for 5-6 minutes on each side (It should register 120-125 degrees on an instant-read thermometer for rare, 130-140 degrees for medium rare, and 145 degrees for medium). Remove from grill and let the steak rest on a cutting board, covered with foil, for 10 minutes.
While steak is resting, brush red pepper with remaining oil and grill until soft and charred, then cut into slices.
Warm tortillas on the grill (they will puff up and get crispy) or in the microwave and place in a basket for serving.
Cut the steak across the grain into strips. Place steak strips in the tortillas and top with red onion, avocado, cilantro, queso fresco and salsa. Squeeze a little lime juice on top, if desired. Serve warm.
-- Gretchen McKay, Post-Gazette