Saturday, November 23, 2013

Carne Asada Tacos

After having some carne asada tacos from a lunch truck last week, I’ve been craving more. I’m keeping it simple here: marinated meat, salsa, pickled shallots and cilantro. I used Peruvian peppers – aji panca – in the salsa, because I have a ton of them. You could use any pepper really – guajillos or pasilla would work great, as would jalapenos or chipotles (in adobo sauce or dried). 1 pound of skirt steak makes enough for 2 servings, so plan accordingly.

2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 dried habanero pepper
½ teaspoon ground coriander (I didn’t have whole coriander seeds)
Small handful of cilantro
4 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ cup orange juice (I used the Simply Orange orange/mango juice)
2 tablespoons white vinegar
½ teaspoon sugar
½ cup olive oil
Skirt steak (flank would also work)

Toast the cumin seeds and dried habanero in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about a minute. Add to a coffee grinder and pulse to a powder. Add to a bowl along with the remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust flavors accordingly.

Pour the marinade into a 1 gallon Ziploc bag and add the meat. Marinate for 1 to 4 hours.

Pickled Shallots:
5 oz. sliced shallots
1 cup cider vinegar
5 allspice berries
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 clove garlic, cut in half
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon sugar

Place the shallots in a colander or strainer. Boil water in a small pot and pour over the shallots to par-boil them. Drain excess liquid and add to a bowl with the remaining ingredients. Allow to stand for at least 1 hour.

Tomatillo Salsa
5 tomatillos, husks removed and washed
2 cloves garlic
2 Dried Aji Panca Peppers
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon Mexican oregano

Roast the garlic, skin on, in a dry skillet for about 5 minutes, flipping as the sides start to brown. Remove the seeds from the peppers, and toast in the dry skillet for  30 seconds, then flip and give the other side 30 seconds.

Add all ingredients to a blender and puree.

Corn Tortillas:
8 oz. Masa Harina
10 Oz. Warm Water
½ teaspoon salt

Combine all 3 ingredients in a bowl and mix to form a dough. Break the dough into 9 equally sized pieces.

Working with 1 piece at a time, place the dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and either flatten with a heavy object and/or roll out with a rolling pin.

Cook the tortillas in a dry skillet set over medium heat. They should take about 1 minute per side.

Place a plate in a warm (like 200F or less) oven and store the cooked tortillas in there to keep warm.

To Finish:
Marinated Meat
Corn Tortillas
Pickled Shallots
Tomatillo Salsa
Cilantro, chopped

Remove the meat from the marinade and wash off any excess. Cut the meat into bite sized pieces, and season with salt and pepper.

Heat a skillet to medium high and add some canola oil. Cook the meat, stirring and flipping, for about 3 minutes.

Place the meat on tortillas with the shallots, salsa, and chopped cilantro.



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