If you asked my kids what they wanted for dinner, every night they would answer “tacos”. It’s probably the most requested meal in this house. I like to try variations, dabble in different ingredients, and prove to my kids that onions and peppers are not the enemy. Flank steak is a great cut of meat when making stir fries, or whenever you need a tender piece of meat that cooks quickly. That’s why it was ideal for this dish as the steak in the tacos cannot be tough, but at the same time you want it to be done fast.
Normally I post about The Secret Recipe Club at the beginning of the month. However, due to unforeseen circumstances one of the members from Group D had to bow out, which would have left Fran’s Faves an orphan. Well that just wouldn’t do. This is Fran’s first month in SRC and I couldn’t have her first experience a disappointment. So I started poking around Fran’s site and came across these steak tacos she posted last year for Cinco de Mayo.
Only a few spices are used in this fairly simple and satisfying recipe. It’s a lot like making a stir fry, so I do suggest chopping and dicing everything before you begin the actual cooking process. You could actually prep most of the ingredients ahead of time and just cook when you’re ready. It has great flavor accentuated by the fresh cilantro added at the end. If you have leftovers, mix them with some rice and roll them up in a tortilla for a quick lunch!
I did make several adjustments to Fran’s original, mostly due to my own cooking preferences and my family’s eating habit and tastes. I didn’t mix the corn into the meat, but rather served it on the side. I also made my own Cilantro Relish and Homemade Salsa to use as my toppings. Fran cuts her meat in strips, where I chose to make a thin dice of mine. I also tossed the meat with the spices before cooking instead of adding it after browning. There were a few other tweaks and tinges, so if you would like to try Fran’s recipe head over to her blog. Thanks for the great recipe Fran, and welcome to SRC :)
The easiest way to cut flank steak is to freeze it for about 30 minutes first. That firms it up and makes it much easier to cut. However, don’t be like me and forget that you put it in the freezer and then have to use your microwave’s defrost option to undo everything you intended to do in the first place. :-P Cut the meat into 1/2″ strips lengthwise. Now turn your cutting board a quarter turn and slice the strips thin so that you end up with thin diced pieces of meat. Doing half of the strips and then the other half is easier than trying to cut them all at once.
Dice your vegetables and mince your cilantro.
In the olive oil you’ll cook the red onion and red pepper first. Remove it, then cook the spiced meat. Notice that pan in the pics? It’s my favorite all time pan. I use it for pasta, stir fries and a variety of other dishes. LOVE IT. You can read my review of it here.
You can serve this with either flour or corn tortillas. if you are feeling especially adventurous, you can make some lowfat homemade flour tortillas too!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1½ pounds flank steak, diced thin
- ¾ teaspoon chili powder
- ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 oz can of green chiles
- ⅓ cup minced fresh cilantro
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon of lime juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- Flour or corn tortillas
- Salsa or Salsa Verde
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Sour cream
- For the cilantro relish and homemade salsa, these should be made before you begin cooking so the flavors have some time to meld. I always prepare these first. For the Cilantro Relish, simply combine the ingredients, toss to coat, and set aside, tossing occasionally to mingle flavors. For the homemade salsa, run everything through your food processor, transfer to a bowl and allow to sit, stirring occasionally.
- Cut the flank steak lengthwise into ½" wide strips. Then turn the cutting board a quarter turn and cut the strips into thin dice. I found it easiest to break this into two steps, cutting half of the strips, then finishing the other half. Place the diced meat into a large bowl.
- Combine the chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper in a small bowl and stir. Sprinkle half of the spice mixture over the meat then toss the meat to coat. Sprinkle the remaining spice mixture and toss until meat is coated. Set meat aside.
- Dice the red bell pepper and red onion and combine in a bowl. Set aside. Mince the cilantro and set aside.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a heavy skillet. Add diced onion and red pepper and saute until tender. Remove pepper and onion to a plate and put the diced meat into the pan. Cook and toss the meat until browned, can be slightly pink in spots.
- Add the reserved onion and bell pepper mixture to the meat. Add the can of green chiles, stir everything together. Bring to a light boil and reduce heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the minced cilantro.
- Serve with warmed tortillas, cilantro relish and/or homemade salsa, and your favorite toppings.