These tacos pack a lot of flavor for relatively simple ingredients. Unfortunately, I couldn’t track down any tomatillos, so I ended up using a bottled salsa. I served these with the suggested bean recipe.
Chipotle Beef Tacos with Caramelized Onions (Tacos de Carne Asada Enchipotlada)
Mexican Everyday – Rick Bayless
One 7-ounce can chipotle chiles en adobo
1 pound skirt or flank steak (skirt steak should be trimmed of fat and white silverskin)
3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil (divided use)
2 medium white onions, sliced 1/4 inch thick
12 warm corn tortillas, store-bought (see reheating instructions on page 214) or homemade (page 212)
About 3/4 cup Smoky Chipotle Salsa (page 149), or bottled salsa or hot sauce, for serving
Turn the oven onto its lowest setting. Open the can of chipotles and scrape them into a food processor or blender along with the canning sauce. Process until smooth. Use a brush to smear a light chipotle patina on the steak (go a little heavier on flank than skirt steak(. You’ll have chipotle marinade left over; cover and refrigerate for up to several weeks.
In a very large (12-inch) skillet, the heavier the better, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until golden but still crunchy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Scoop into a heatproof serving bowl, leaving as much oil as possible in the skillet, and slide into the oven.
Return the skillet to medium-high heat (or a little lower for flank steak). Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. When it is hot, lay in the steak. Brown on both sides, cooking until as done as you like : about 3 minutes per side for medium skirt steak, about 5 minutes per side for medium-rare 1 1/2-inch-thick flank steak. The meat will be juiciest if you let it rest in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes on a wire rack over a plate, but you can cut and serve it right away.
CUt the skirt steak into roughly 3-inch lengths, then cut each piece across the grain into 1/4-inch strips. Or cut the flank steak across the grain straight down into 1/4-inch slices; on the thick end, you may want to cut the slices lengthwise in half into thinner strips.
Toss the meat with the onions. Taste and season with salt, usually about 1 teaspoon. Serve with the warm tortillas and salsa or hot sauce for making soft tacos.
Reheating Corn Tortillas
With a microwave oven: Dribble 3 tablespoons water over a clean kitchen towel, then wrap your cold tortillas in it. Slide the package into a microwaveable plastic bag and fold the top over – don’t seal it. Microwave at 50% power for 4 minutes to create a steamy environment around the tortillas. Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.
With a vegetable steamer:
Set up a vegetable steamer (one without that little post sticking up). Pour about 1/2 inch of water into the bottom. Wrap the cold tortillas – no more than 12 at a time – in a clean kitchen towel. Lay the package in the steamer, set the lid in place and set the pot over high heat. When steam comes puffing out, set the time for 1 minute. Then turn off the heat and let the tortillas sit in their steamy world for 10 minutes. They’re ready.
MacGourmet Rating: 4 Stars