The sun has made its 2015 debut in wintery, blustery Michigan! I can just picture myself sitting out on the front porch, bare feet up on the rail, glass of iced tea in hand with the sun warming my face. That is until I actually step outside and it’s so cold it hurts. Brrr. To keep that warm fuzzy daydream going I made these summery, south-of-the-border Flank Steak Tacos with Cilantro Lime Guacamole.
Tacos are pretty much my favorite, and our trip to Mexico last fall was food heaven with all the avocado, lime, queso, crispy corn tortillas, cilantro, fresh veggies, and avocado (did I say avocado already??) that a girl could ask for. Our go-to spot for tacos was this little hole in the wall place across from a gas station called Pepes, where we may have eaten four times that week. The most incredible tacos I’ve ever tasted, made with the simplest, freshest, most humble ingredients.
And after one bite of these flank steak tacos, K and I felt like we were right back in Mexico, not a care in the world, with salsa and lime juice dripping down our fingers. Side note — I really wish I had some pictures to share with you! We completely forgot to pack our camera and my phone just couldn’t handle all the awesome that is vacation time in Puerto Vallarta.
Our camera is my A-number-one top priority when packing for our next trip — our honeymoon in….Paris!! We just booked our flights and apartment rental, and it feels so surreal. I can’t hardly wait for all the cheese and bread and wine and croissant and…. Much more to come on that later.
For now, back to these delicious tacos!
K and I don’t eat red meat very often, so when we do we want it to be really really good. And flank steak is pretty amazing, on many levels.
- Totally affordable, each serving comes in under $2.
- Versatile, perfect in a variety of Latin American and Asian cuisines.
- So flavorful, it takes on the flavor of any marinade beautifully.
- Perfect for grilling, broiling, braising or pan-frying like I do in this recipe.
- Tender, melt-in-your-mouth when cut against the grain.
- Easy to prepare. I’m a red meat novice, so if I can make this anyone can!
Red meat has gotten a really bad rap over the last few years, decades really, as the national health conversation encouraged us to reduce fat intake and subsequently increase carb intake to prevent heart disease. For as long as I can remember, low fat has been the way to go, popping up in commercials and on food labels for pretty much every packaged, processed item on the market. Yet contrary to what we would think, the reduction in our overall fat intake has been paralleled by a marked increase in the occurrence of not only heart disease but high blood pressure, diabetes, food addictions, and worse. We’ve been blaming foods that we’ve eaten for centuries for health issues that are only now becoming widespread, when what we’ve been adding to our diet in place of fat is the true culprit. Sugar. (Really! Check out more information here, here, and here.)
I’m a huge believer in enjoying everything in moderation. Focus on whole foods, as close to their natural state as possible — yes, even red meat! These flank steak tacos are a celebration of real, fresh ingredients, all wrapped up in a corn tortilla. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
- 1 blood orange, juiced
- 2 limes, juiced
- ½ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1½ lbs flank or skirt steak
- 1 avocado, pitted and diced
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 Tbsp torn cilantro
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Corn tortillas
- Shredded cabbage
- Crumbled goat cheese
- Hot sauce or salsa of choice
- Extra torn cilantro
- Extra lime wedges
- Prepare the marinade for the meat -- add all of the ingredients except for the flank steak into a large bowl and stir to combine. Cut the steak into three equal pieces, cutting with the grain. Submerge the steak in the marinade, coating all sides. You can throw the squeezed blood orange and limes on top too for extra flavor if you'd like. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking, to allow the steak to warm up a bit.
- Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. When the oil is glistening and you start to see little wafts of smoke rising up, remove the steak from the marinade and arrange in a single layer in the hot pan. The steak should make a searing noise as soon as it hits the pan, but be careful of splattering oil -- turn the heat back a bit if it does. Sear the meat on one side for 4-5 minutes, until a good crust forms, and then flip to repeat on the other side. If using a cast iron skillet, turn the heat off and let the steak sit for 10 minutes to continue cooking. If not using a cast iron skillet, turn the heat to low and let sit for 10 minutes. To check for doneness, use a sharp knife to cut a little slit into the thickest part of one one of the steak pieces -- I always go for a blushing pink color for medium to medium-rare. Remove from the skillet to a cutting board and cover with tin foil to rest for 10 minutes.
- While the steak rests, add the avocado, juice of 1 lime and 2 Tbsp torn cilantro to a small food processor and blend until combined and smooth. If needed, add a bit of water a teaspoon at a time to reach the desired consistency.
- Heat a small skillet over medium-low heat and cook the tortillas one by one, until each side is slightly golden brown -- about a minute per side.
- Slice the steak against the grain -- this is so important, otherwise it will be very tough to chew -- in thin slices.
- Top each corn tortilla with the cilantro lime guacamole, some shredded cabbage, a few slices of steak, crumbled goat cheese, a few pieces of cilantro, and a squeeze of lime and a dash of hot sauce if desired.