Grilling. Grills. Are you a grill person? Do you and your significant other come up with cool marinades and sauces? Experiment with various cuts of meat and add things like wood chips and cedar planks? That’s nice for you. We don’t do so much grilling in my house. My husband, bless his heart, hasn’t quite gotten bit by the grilling bug. I for some reason think that grilling is a man’s job, so I haven’t looked into it too much either. Our grill sits neglected most of the time. Tear.
Well some friends were coming over and I was fixated on making this big hunk of flank steak. Husband and I Googled separately and combined our knowledge to set up a game plan. Turns out the old adage rings true when it comes to grilling – there’s nothing to fear but fear itself. While I absolutely loved the combo of flavors you will see in the recipe, I think my favorite part is the marinade for the meat. I’ll definitely re-use this marinade on a night when I don’t have all of the taco ingredients. My friend Jenna called it “meat candy”.
Onto the taco itself. This is sort of a fancy, entertaining type taco. No cheese, no taco seasoning packet. The creamy guac, spicy sauce, tender beef and crunchy cabbage combined to make a very fresh, vibrant (and healthy!) meal. No taco bar – you’re friends aren’t allowed to pick and choose which fillings they want. Plate it for them and they won’t complain – I promise; not a bite leftover at the table for this meal.
Though the meat should be grilled and the tacos need to assembled close to eating time, the rest of the meal (meat marinade, green sauce, cabbage, onions) can be made up to 24 hours ahead. I find that any prep I’ve done ahead is much appreciated once my buddies are in the kitchen with me. Oh, lastly, if you buy the 16 oz. cans of Guinness then you can take several (4 oz. worth) swigs before pouring it over the meat, as it only needs 12 ounces. Mmm beer milkshake you’re so tasty.
Flank Steak Tacos
2 3/4 lb. flank steak
1 tbsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 c. sliced scallions
12 oz. Guinness or other dark beer
1/2 c. Worcestershire sauce
4 seeded jalapeno peppers
2 green onions
1/2 c. chopped sweet onion
1/4 c. cilantro leaves
Juice of 1 lime
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 -2 tbsp. water or olive oil
4 c. chopped green or red cabbage
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 red onions, peeled and sliced
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 sheets heavy duty foil
16-20 small flour tortillas
3/4 c. prepared guacamole
1. Flank steak can be prepped 24 hours (or at least 3 hours) ahead. Score meat by cutting 1/2 inch thick slices into the top at 2 inch intervals. Transfer meat from cutting board to 9×13 baking dish.
2. Combine oregano, cumin and salt in a small bowl and rub into meat. Drizzle olive oil over top and rub over the surface of the meat.
3. Add scallions, beer and Worcestershire to dish and turn meat several times to coat. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
4. Green sauce can be made up to 24 hours ahead. Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Refrigerate in a sealed container.
5. Cabbage should be made several hours ahead (or up to 24). Just mix cabbage with vinegar and oil and refrigerate in a sealed container.
6. When 45 minutes out from serving, heat grill to medium high and brush grill grates with olive oil.
7. Mix onions, oil, and salt in a large mixing bowl and divide mixture between two sheets of foil. Wrap well to seal. As soon as grill is preheated, add onion packets to the upper grill rack. Onions should be on grill at least 25 minutes.
8. Next, add flank steak and cook, five minutes per side for medium-rare. Remove from grill and rest five minutes.
9. Meanwhile, toast tortillas on open gas flame, stove-top (medium heat). Flip with hands or tongs to toast second side.
10. Slice meat AGAINST the grain. The muscles (meat) is striated very clearly on flank steak. Instead of cutting with the lines, cut against them.
11. Divide prepared tortillas onto plates (at least two on each).
12. Spread guacamole down the center of each tortilla. Top guac with meat. Top meat with green sauce. Top green sauce with onions. Top onions with cabbage. Roll and serve.