This last Saturday we had a sneak peak of Spring and it seemed like the whole of New York had come out from hibernation. Sidewalk cafés were packed and the streets and parks were filled with the buzz of hope that the long winter was over.
But as quickly as the sun came, it was gone again and replaced by freezing temperatures. My thoughts once again returned to my blissful holiday in Mexico and I was reminded that I had promised a few people the steak taco recipe that the twin chefs in Tulum kindly shared with me.
As chefs often do, they were very approximate with the method so I’ve played around with the recipe and my friend Andrew has been a willing taster of a few versions. I couldn’t quite believe the simplicity of their version of just frying up some steak and onions with a little salt and pepper. Ben and I had become slightly obsessed with the sauce that came with steak tacos and were shocked when they explained it was purely mayonnaise mixed with chili sauce. Mayonnaise with tacos? Seems odd, I know, but I’m a total convert from the sour cream based sauces.
Instead of flank steak, I substituted skirt steak which I think is the most underappreciated cut of meat. It's reasonably priced and always tender which makes it my go-to for a quick meal. I have also been wanting to try Gustus Vitae’s Taste of the Southwest and it ended up being the perfect addition to this recipe adding just the right amount of smokiness and heat.
Skirt Steak Tacos
1 lb of skirt steak
2 teaspoons of Taste of the Southwest rub
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion (halved and thinly sliced)
1 lime, halved
6 small corn tortillas
1 radish, sliced paper thin (I use a potato peeler)
2 Haas avocados
1 lime, juiced
1 small jalapeño (finely diced)
1/3 cup cilantro (coarsely chopped)
Favorite hot sauce, to taste
Salt to taste
1 can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
1. Cover the skirt steak with plastic wrap and gently pound with the flat side of a meat mallet until it's a 1/4" thick.
2. Discard plastic wrap and season both sides of the steak with salt and pepper.
3. In a small bowl, mix the Taste of Southwest rub with a teaspoon of olive oil until you have a paste and then rub the paste all over one side of the steak.
4. Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of the olive oil and fry the onions in a pan until soft and golden on a low heat (about 8-10 minutes).
5. Heat the remaining oil in a large pan and add the steak, uncoated side down (you may need to cut in half or thirds to make it fit).
6. Cook for 3 minutes on each side (for rare) and then transfer to a cutting board, squeeze the juice of half a lime on top and tent with some tin foil. Let rest for at least 3 minutes.
7. When ready to serve, slice in ¼ “ thick slices.
8. Heat the tortillas in a dry pan on a low heat and keep warm in a low oven.
1. Scoop out the flesh of the avocados into a large bowl.
2. Add lime juice, jalapeño, cilantro, salt and a dash or two of your favorite hot sauce.
3. Mash everything together and season to taste.
1. In a small bowl, mix 1 teaspoon of adobo sauce (from the can of chipotle peppers) with the mayonnaise.
2. Set to the side and serve alongside tacos.
1. Add a spoonful of guacamole to the center of each tortilla.
2. Next, layer a spoonful of fried onions on top.
3. Top with a few slices of skirt steak.
4. Garnish with some cilantro leaves, radish, a squeeze of lime and a dollop of chipotle mayonnaise.