How you doin’? You may not have thought a whole lot about it, but tacos are a cool food. Now, I’m not talking about the Taco Bell style although I still go back to the “Bell” on occasion. I’m talking about marinated charred steak tacos folded up in homemade-style warm corn tortillas with a Mexican-style, homemade charred salsa.
I decided to use Chef Roy Choi’s signature carne asada marinade, which makes the meat impressively flavorful and aromatic. It is a combination of spices and herbs—garlic, scallions, ancho chile powder, jalapeños, fresh cilantro, beer, kiwifruit, mirin and plenty of citrus flavors.
It’s not a hot marinade, but it is full flavored and smoky—you can barely taste the heat. The steak tastes bright, fresh, tangy and is perfect for tacos. Making the marinade is no big deal, just take all the ingredients and buzz them together in your blender.
The marinated steak chars up beautifully on the grill, and you can smell all the different ingredients of the marinade as it cooks. I like to take the steak and wrap a nice piece in a toasted corn tortilla with pickled onions, radishes, cilantro, lime, my Charred Salsa, hot sauce and maybe a little queso fresco—any favorite taco toppings will work, especially with a frosty cerveza on the side.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Marinade time: 1 hour minimum
Cook time: 10 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
6 to 8 large, peeled garlic cloves
1/4 large peeled yellow onion, chopped
3 thick scallions trimmed and roughly chopped into 2” pieces
1/4 cup ancho chile powder
2 jalapeño peppers, stem removed
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
3/4 cup lager beer
1 orange—juice and grated zest
2 limes—juice and grated zest
1 kiwifruit, peeled
1/4 cup mirin Asian rice wine
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 pounds skirt steak
Olive oil, for brushing grill
Your favorite taco toppings, for serving
Salsa (see recipe below)
Charred Tomato Salsa
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Cool time: 30 minutes
Yield: roughly 3 cups
4 medium (about 1 pound) plum tomatoes
2 jalapeño peppers, stems, seeds and seams removed
2 garlic cloves
1/2 white onion, cut into 4 wedges
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon tequila
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Taco and tortilla chips, for serving
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