I hear the question in your mind all the way from here (in Atlanta). "Aren't all tacos Mexican, so why call this recipe Mexican Steak Tacos, instead of just Steak Tacos?" Well, that's because we Americans have made tacos our own in a variety of over-stuffed ways. Traditional Mexican Steak Tacos are a typical street food offering and don't come with all the different garnishes that you get here.
The taco lets the carne asada take the spotlight, with some taqueria style red salsa and chopped cilantro. But honestly, if you marinate your steak just right, all you need is a crisp corn taco to call it a night.
Katherine and I have probably eaten more tacos than either of us care to admit. I think the last time, we went two full days eating nothing but. We'd pass by dozens of food stalls and carts with towering stacks of golden yellow tortillas waiting for their turn on a hot grill.
The tortilla is the quiet sibling to the loud and boisterous ingredients on the inside. Perfectly charred, not too delicate and robust enough to hold everything, even drops of ancho chili-infused steak drippings.
If you're feeling adventurous, try making fresh tortillas at home. It's an experience.
As for the steak, it holds the flavor, and by chopping it, you'll make a whole lot of people happy they can avoid "empty taco" syndrome. That's when you take a bite of a taco and instead of biting it apart, you pull everything out. Yeah, you know it's happened to you, too.
Flank is the most common cut used, but you could get away with a skirt steak, and even a flat iron will do.
How To Choose the Best Flank Steak for Mexican Steak Tacos
- If you have a local butcher, pay them a visit. Nothing beats in person expertise.
- Your flank steak should have a bright burgundy color and some fat marbleization.
- If you go the supermarket route, check the grain and make sure you don't have tough, fatty bits on the ends.
You should be able to find corn tortillas and cilantro at your regular market. And the recipe for the taqueria salsa is as simple as tossing some ingredients in the blender. If you make extra, it'll hold for a few days, but no longer. ¡Buen provecho!
Falls in love with three squeezes of a lime
Stir memories of steamy sidewalks, yards away from the Sea of Cortez
In the spice chest, ancho chile, garlic, cumin, black pepper, Kosher salt
Suggestions and Alternatives
- The longer you allow your flank steak to marinate the more flavor you will get. I suggest overnight.
- Try to time your plating. This is a street taco, meant to be eaten as soon as it comes off the pan.
- If you like jalapenos, you can swap out the red salsa for this tomato jalapeño salsa.
- To keep the authenticity going, serve a side of tortillas with our authentic Mexican salsa.
Like the recipe? Pin it!
- 2 pounds flank steak diced
- 1/4 cup corn oil
- 12 corn tortillas quality
- 12 lime wedges
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
Ingredients for Flank Steak Marinade:
- 2 tablespoon corn oil
- 2 tablespoon ancho chile powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin ground
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 3 teaspoon black pepper ground
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder ground
Ingredients for Taqueria Sauce
- 12 oz. tomatoes, crushed
- 1/2 tablespoon white pepper, ground
- 2 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoon lime, juiced
Instructions for Flank Steak Marinade
- Place flank steak on a sheet tray.
- Rub flank steak with ancho chili powder, ground cumin, ground black pepper, garlic powder and Kosher salt.
- Let it rest room temp for 5 minutes.
- Add corn oil and rub until completely incorporated, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Bring a large cast iron pan to high heat (about 4 minutes) and sear flank steak on both sides for 2 minutes (each side). Remove from heat and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Instructions for Taqueria Sauce:
- Open 12 oz. can of crushed tomatoes, strain] excess liquid and place tomatoes in a large bowl.
- Fold in ground white pepper, white vinegar and Kosher salt.
- Mince in 1 clove garlic and juice 2 tablespoons lime juice.
- Whisk all together for 1 minutes and refrigerate.
Instructions for Assembling Steak Tacos:
- In a large saute pan on medium heat add corn oil. Cook corn tortillas for 1 minute per side.
- Remove from pan and cover with a damp paper towel.
- Next, bring large saute pan to high heat and sear marinated flank steak for 2 minutes on each side. Shut off heat and set aside. Allow steak to rest 5 minutes.
- Assemble tacos and top with cilantro
- Add Taqueria sauce as desired.