Thursday, 22 August 2013

Steak Arrachera

On today's episode of Learning By Doing, I'm going to teach you a little bit about how to make a tough steak into a melt in your mouth taco. Now, if you're a real cook who doesn't get their basic food prep instructions from the Food Network you might already know this. But for the rest of us, I've got a few tips to keep in mind when you want to prepare a cut of beef like the flank steak. 

Now, this recipe is pretty basic. It's just a classic technique for preparing a flank or skirt steak for maximum taco enjoyment - I've seen it called Tacos Nortenos (Northern Tacos) but it seems to be more commonly know as Arrachera. 

The key here is to not Charlie Chaplin it and end up eating shoe leather. It's super important to a) tenderize the steak, b) marinate it in something acidic and c) keep it nice and medium rare. Once it's all cooked and chopped, you can serve it with basically anything you want - salsa, cheese, guacamole, a marathon of Breaking Bad. The sky's the limit!

Steak Arrachera Recipe

Serves: 15 tacos                 Prep Time: 4+ hours              Cook Time: 10 min

2 lbs flank steak
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp coriander
1 tbsp salt 
1 can of Mexican beer (tallboy)
3 tbsp adobo sauce
1/2 lime
Pepper to taste

White onion

Prep the Steak

Remove any large hunks of fat from the steak (don't go nuts, we want some flavour). Cover the steak with wax paper and give it a few smacks with a rolling pin. Make sure you hit every inch of the steak, then flip it over and do it again on the other side. 

Score one side of the steak with criss-cross cuts, about 1 cm deep. 

Mix the dry spices together in a bowl. Rub the spices over both sides of the steak, making sure to leave enough extra spice for another coating before cooking. 

Combine the beer, adobo sauce and juice of half a lime in a bowl. Place the steak in a ziplock freezer bag and pour the wet mixture in. Seal and refrigerate for up to 24 hours (but no less than 4 hours). 

Cook the Steak

Preheat your grill to high heat and remove the steak from the marinade. Rub the steak first with pepper, and then with the remaining spice mixture. Place the steak on the grill, cover and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side. Remove from the grill, tent the meat with tinfoil and let sit for 10 minutes. Cube the steak into delicious bite sized morsels for serving. 

Serve the Steak

Spoon a few pieces of steak into a warm corn tortilla and top with Salsa Verde, onions, cilantro and crema. Enjoy!

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