Jun 2, 2011

Steak tacos w/ sweet & spicy pickled onions

steak tacos

I was browsing through my newest favorite cookbook – and was looking for something to grill.  After a really loooong winter in Buffalo – springtime is so welcome and grilling is one of my favorite ways to enjoy the warmer weather.   I don’t typically make pickled foods – and I’m not sure why I don’t – they are so delicious.  I made the pickled onions several days before we had this for dinner – and they were super easy to mix up.   I also made some of my favorite guacamole to serve with this.  

One of the items on my Amazon wish list was this slicing knife.  I guess I didn’t realize that a 12-inch knife is literally 12 inches long – this thing is humongous.  We all got a good laugh when I got it as a gift this past Christmas.  But I have to say it works amazingly for cutting meat really thin.  The steak on these tacos melted in your mouth – and a lot of that had to do with how thin I was able to get it cut.  The main problem you may have is finding a place to store a 12-inch knife – and that is one of the reasons I installed a magnetic knife strip on the wall next to my stove.  After way to many cuts on my fingers from reaching into the kitchen drawer where I used to store my knifes – it has been a lifesaver.  


For the sweet and spicy pickled onions:

  • 1 red onion, halved and sliced thin
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 jalapeno chiles, stemmed and cut into rings
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

For the steak tacos:

  • 3/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 pounds flank steak, trimmed of fat and cut lengthwise
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 12 (6-in.) corn or flour tortillas
  • lime wedges


1. For the pickled onions: Place the onions in a medium heat-resistant bowl.  Bring the vinegar, sugar, jalapenos and salt to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves.

2. Pour the vinegar mixture over the onions, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let cool to room temperature (about 30 minutes).  Once cool, drain the liquid and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

1. For the steak tacos: Pulse 1/2 cup of cilantro, scallions, garlic, jalapeno, cumin and 4 tsp. of oil in a food processor until a paste forms, about 10-12 pulses.   Transfer 2 Tbsp. of the paste to a small bowl, whisk in the lime juice and set aside. 

2. Using a fork, poke about 10-12 holes in the steak.  Pat dry with paper towels and season with salt.  Coat steak with remaining herb paste, cover and refrigerate 30 minutes to 1 hour.

3. Scrape herb paste off steak.  Sprinkle all sides of the steak with the sugar and season with pepper.

4. Preheat grill on high or heat remaining 2 tsp. oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.   Cook meat until the center registers 125 – 135 degrees F (depending on desired doneness).  Transfer to a carving board and rest for 5 minutes. 

5. Slice steak thinly across the grain and transfer to a bowl.  Toss with reserved herb paste/lime juice mixture and season with salt and pepper.   Serve with warm tortillas, pickled onions, remaining 1/4 cup cilantro and lime wedges. 

Source: America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

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1 comment:

  1. Yum. I love quick-pickled onions like that and steak tacos are always delicious.