Chef's Corner: Top Tier Tacos


Carne Asada tacos are most often made from hanger steak, skirt steak or flank steak. The meat is cut relatively thin (but not paper thin) and marinated, then quickly grilled, for a fast and amazing meal. It isn't called Alexander's PRIME meats for nothin'! Using prime meat for your tacos is an incredible treat. The beefy steak flavors melt in your mouth. Just remember not to overcook the meat! Here's how we like to prepare ours.

 

TOP TIER TACOS


Don't feel like you have to stick with the amounts of anything in this recipe!


Marinade

  • 2 TB cooking oil of your choice

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

  • 2 TB soy sauce

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled

  • 1 medium sized onion, yellow or white, peeled

  • 1/2 tsp Maggi Jugo seasoning (optional)

Tacos

  • Salt, we prefer Kosher

  • 3 nicely sized white onions, peeled, cut into 1/4" slices

  • 1 1/2 lbs carne asada style sliced flank, hanger or skirt steak (prime, of course)

  • Black pepper

  • 4-5 nicely sized poblano peppers

  • Guacamole

  • Fresh limes

  • Corn tortillas

Put all the marinade ingredients in a blender and puree. Place the steak in a non-reactive bowl and cover with marinade. Or, what we like to do is put the marinade and steak in a gallon sized zip lock bag. Seal except for a tiny air gap. Roll it up so the meat is totally covered. Finish sealing and place in a bowl (for safety).

Marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours.


Poblano peppers can be roasted on a grill, over an open flame, over a gas burner, or under a broiler. Roast until all the skin is just blackened. Then place in something so that they can steam. When doing a lot we use a salad spinner which is a handy colander with a top. When doing just a few we wrap the roasted peppers in a few paper towels then put in a leftover plastic bag from the grocery. Once they have cooled, remove the blackened skin. Often you can do this just with your fingers, or scrape lightly with a knife. Remove the stem end and seed pod. Slice open and scrape away any remaining seeds. Cut into strips. If the strips are quite long, cut them into halves or thirds.



Using a grill or a grill pan, grill the onions until lightly browned. While cooking sprinkle a little salt on them.


NOTE: We cook the onions on a grill pan which we line with heavy duty aluminum foil that is oiled with vegetable oil or oil spray.


Remove the meat from the marinade and pat totally dry with paper towels. Put the meat on a grill or very hot oiled grill pan (you might have to do it in batches). Sprinkle with a little salt and some black pepper. When brown, flip the meat and cook the other side. Thin meat cooks very quickly. You want to aim for seared sides and red in the middle, as it will keep cooking when taken off the heat. We think it is best when medium-rare when it gets to your mouth.




Slice the meat into strips against the grain. Cut the strips into smaller taco appropriate pieces.


Some people use two tortillas per taco. We don't. Top the tortillas with some meat, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, onions, peppers and guacamole.


Our recipe makes 8 tacos with lots of leftovers depending on how much you use.




NOTE: We do the onions and peppers earlier in the day. At dinner time, we nicely sear the meat, but leave plenty of red inside and put the meat (unsliced) in a covered pot while enjoying chips and salsa. The meat will keep cooking from residual heat (we aim for medium rare when it gets to our mouths) and you'll also get some nice juices you can pour over the meat when preparing the tacos.Cut the meat as directed above just before serving.


WINE SUGGESTION: Zinfandel is a go to, but we admit a margarita sounds good to us.

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