Monday, September 3, 2012

tacos al carbon.

Considering I started discussing summer on this blog with taco recipes it seems only fitting that the unofficial end of summer closes with a taco recipe as well (I do love when things go full circle).  Tacos al carbon is essentially a fancy name for grilled meat – in this case it’s skirt steak marinated in citrus and spices and some jalapeno for heat.  The marinade penetrates the meat which acts as both a tenderizer and a flavor enhancer.  The steak gets cooked on an extremely hot cast iron skillet in under 10 minutes and what emerges from the pan is one of the best steaks I’ve ever had.  The steak is smoky and tender and you can taste hints of citrus and spice in every bite.  I love it loaded up on warm corn tortillas with a little bit avocado (or this salsa!) and nothing else (simplicity at its best).  The best part is that since it doesn’t need to be made on a grill, you can have tacos and the tastes of summer year round which will make the cold days of winter that much better.

Tacos al Carbon
Recipie adapted from Homesick Texan by Lisa Fain

Serves 6 (if not 8 depending of what you’re serving it with, this can also be halved!)

½ cup lime juice
4 cloves garlic
Juice of 1 orange
¼ cup cilantro
1 jalapeno, stems and seeds removed and chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 pounds skirt steak       
Green onions (optional)
Tortillas, avocado for serving

To make the marinade, in a blender mix the lime juice, garlic, orange juice, cilantro, jalapeno, cumin, salt, and pepper.  Pour the marinade over the skirt steak and let it marinate for 2 to 8 hours in the refrigerator.  Before cooking rinse of the marinade and let the steak come to room temperature. 

Heat on high for 5 minutes a large ovenproof skillet, preferably cast iron.  Also, turn the broiler on in the oven.  When the skillet is hot (to test drop some water onto the skillet, it should immediately evaporate), add the steak.  Cook on one side for 2 minutes and then turn and cook on the other side for 2 minutes. 

After its cooked on both sides, place the green onions, if using, in the skillet with the steak, and place the skillet under the broiler for 2 minutes.  Remove the steak from the skillet and let it rest for 10 minutes.  After the meat has rested, slice against the grain and serve in warmed tortillas.  

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