We eat Mexican food (or what’s generally considered Mexican food in the U.S.) probably 10-12 times a month. This includes eating out as well as home cooked meals. We simply love it and we live in an area where Mexican cuisine is prevalent. Even our little town has two Mexican restaurants and you’ll generally find some Mexican food on the menus of all the other restaurants, even if it’s only tacos.
I pass a Mexican bakery on the way to visit my mother, several times a week, which is unfortunate. Virtually everything they offer is large, delicious, and inexpensive. It’s easy to drop $10 there and come home with a huge box of goodies…that I don’t need to eat. “Must avert eyes” I think to myself as I drive by. Sometimes that works. Sometimes we’re eating caramel-filled churros and pineapple empanadas before dinner.
I haven’t done a scientific analysis but I’m guessing average-size tacos have fewer calories than gigantic empanadas. Plus, I don’t cover my empanadas with veggies. These flank steak tacos are fairly lean, tender (from the homemade marinade), and taste delicious with a pile of your favorite veggie toppings. I served mine in 6″ flour tortillas, but if you’re watching the carbs you could wrap them in large lettuce leaves.
I marinated the flank steak (some stores market this cut as “flat-iron steak”) for about 3 hours. Just pour the marinade-which I mixed up in the blender- in to a zipper bag, toss in your steak, and refrigerate. I was going to marinate it a little longer but an impending storm forced me to grill earlier than I anticipated. Still, after just 3 hours it cooked up tender and juicy. I recommend not marinating longer than 8 hours so the meat doesn’t cross the line from tender to mushy.
I grilled this steak but you can also cook it on the stove in a grill pan, or broil it (which would be my second choice after grilling outdoors) in the oven. Here is a good tutorial on broiling a flank steak in your oven. Cooking times on outdoor grills can vary depending on the method and type of grill used. I have a pellet grill so I’m pretty much cooking with indirect heat. I cooked it at 400 degrees, 10 minutes per side, which left the narrow ends cooked completely through and the center still pink-it tested 140 degrees, which may be too much for some folks, not enough for others. ( To me, grilling-like art- is subjective, so fix it the way you like it.) Let the steak rest, covered, for 10 minutes after cooking (the internal temperature will rise during this time). Thinly slice the meat across the grain (across the narrow part of the steak) as in the photo.
In case you’re worried, the marinade I used imparted more of a smoky, not spicy, flavor. If you like a spicy marinade substitute fresh habanero or jalapeño peppers for the canned chipotle pepper.
Top your flank steak tacos with any and all the fixings you like. I offered lettuce, tomato, avocado, shredded radish (gives a little crunch and sometimes some heat, depending on the radish-try it!), cilantro, shredded cheeses, and salsa. Really, the list of toppings is endless, but if you pile on the veggies you can have churros for dessert. I know where you can get some fresh ones, cheap.
Flank Steak tacos
- 1 chipotle pepper from a can, packed in adobo sauce (find in the Mexican food section of you grocery store-often near the canned enchilada sauce, salsas, etc.)
- 1 Tbs. adobo sauce from the can of chipotle peppers
- 1/3 c. oil
- ¼ c. lime juice
- 1 Tbs. chili powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. cumin
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. onion powder
- ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1.5 lbs. flank steak (sometimes called “flatiron”)
- 8 6-inch tortillas
- Your favorite taco toppings
- Step 1 In a blender, mix chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, oil, lime juice, chili powder, salt, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper until smooth, about 1 minute.
- Step 2 Pour marinade into a gallon size zipper bag and add the flank steak. Refrigerate 2-8 hours.
- Step 3 When ready to cook, heat the grill.
- Step 4 Remove flank steak from marinade (discard marinade) and place on heated grill. Cook, turning once, until heated through (I cooked mine to an internal temp of 140 degrees-cook it the way you like your steaks.).
- Step 5 Remove to a platter and cover with foil. Let rest 10 minutes, then slice thinly across the grain (the narrow part) and serve on tortillas with your favorite taco toppings.