One last “south-of-the-border” recipe for now! This one is a very simple recipe that I learned from a wonderful man named “Xavier”. He was born in Mexico, then became a U.S. citizen and moved to the midwest. He taught me early on, that, true steak tacos aren’t pre-rubbed with tons of spices and herbs, hidden amongst a silly amount of unwanted peppers and onions, or drowning in unneeded sauces and marinades. To truly appreciate the steak, let it shine all on it’s own!
All a good cut of beef really needs is a little salt and pepper, and a little fresh-squeezed lime juice in this case, and you’ll have the best steak tacos you’ve ever had! You can cook the pieces on the grill or in a screaming hot cast iron skillet, and the results are better than any fancy restaurant you’ve ever paid too much to dine in.
You must start with a prime cut of meat, though. I prefer to use beef tenderloin. Don’t freak out. I can hear you now. “Beef tenderloin for tacos?” Yes. Though it’s a bit more expensive, it goes a LONG way. And who wants to try to bite into a steak taco and not be able to bite through the meat because it’s tough and chewy? Yuck. Not to mention horrifically embarrassing when having company and people are trying to pull pieces of tough meat out of their tacos with their teeth and fingers. I’m sure you’ve been there at least once!
Tacos take so little meat that it’s just silly not to just get a better cut of meat and spend the same amount, or less, as you would on any other dish. Then the condiments you choose to add are completely up to you. I do highly recommend a crumbly Mexican cheese if nothing else, though. It pairs with steak tacos like nothing else! Queso blanco, queso fresco and chihuahua are very good choices!
So I hope you enjoy these this summer or keep these in mind for celebrations such as Cinco de Mayo! They’re easy, very authentic, and extremely delicious! Enjoy all! 😀
AUTHENTIC MEXICAN GRILLED STEAK TACOS
1 lb. beef tenderloin
2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. coarse ground pepper
8 soft flour tortillas
2 cups shredded lettuce
1 cup crumbled white Mexican cheese, (such as queso blanco, queso freso, cotija, chihuahua, panela, etc.)
2 cups fresh homemade “Pico de Gallo”, *please see my own recipe under “Appetizers”
sour cream, guacamole and refried beans if desired
*Make homemade Pico de Gallo and chill. (They don’t have to have it, but it sure would be a shame without it.) Please see my easy recipe under the category above, “Appetizers”.
Shred lettuce and crumble cheese ahead of time for quick assembly.
Heat grill (or cast iron pan with 2 tablespoons of oil if doing indoors), to VERY hot! Screamin’ smokin’ hot! While grill or pan is heating, slice beef into small chunks or thick strips. 1/2 – 3/4″ thick. *Make sure if you are grilling out, that your grill grates are not so far apart that the pieces of meat will fall through. You can use your broiling pan from your oven or a mesh grilling pan if you’re sure you will have trouble. If using your broiling pan, set it on your grill prior to heating so it can get hot. Brush it liberally with oil before placing meat on it to prevent sticking.)
Whether you are doing this indoors or out, you’ll want to cook the meat at very high heat for just a few minutes on each side for a nice sear on the outside, and medium-rare on the inside. As soon as you add the meat to the grill or pan, start sprinkling with coarse salt and pepper and freshly squeeze lime juice over all a little at a time turning the meat. Total cooking time is only about 1-2 minutes per side. 2-3 minutes total really, depending on doneness desired. It happens very quickly. Remove to platter to rest. Warm tortillas on grill for 15-30 seconds per side. Watch so that they don’t burn. (A few black marks and bubbles are wonderful, though!!) You can serve the pieces whole as is, or slice against the grain if you’ve cut them a bit larger than desired. Either way is just fine. Place shredded lettuce onto warmed tortilla, top with steak, then condiments of choice.
Serve with homemade Spanish rice with sweet baby peas, tortilla chips for any extra pico de gallo and/or refried beans, and Key Lime Pie for dessert! Frozen Margaritas or beers with lime go VERY well with this also.