Monday, August 30, 2010

Carne Asada Street Tacos with Texas Pico

If you happen to find yourself up around the Denton area you might want to stop in to La Azteca Market. Walk inside and head to the back of the store where you will find any cut of meat you can think of, and many you have never thought of. Take a number and when called just ask for 3 lbs (or however much you might need) of marinated beef. I have tried many of the Latin markets and various meat counters in the area and so far La Azteca has the best beef and chicken you can get when it comes to TexMex or Mexican cooking.

For those not in the North Texas area I have posted my recipe for a carne asada recipe that I also use for these tacos. Click here: Carne Asada

I call these "Street Tacos" because they are inspired by the tacos you get in Mexico from street vendors. They come in beef, chicken, pork, goat and seafood, depending on the region you are in. Some are better than others but the beef seems to always be good. The squeeze of lime gives it a touch of Baja.

You are going to want to cook this meat over a very hot charcoal and/or wood fire. The faster it cooks the more tender it will be. Never use any sort of lighter fluid or instant starting charcoal. All you will taste is the chemical flavor and not the meat and smoke. If you can adjust the position of your fire, move up as close to the grilling surface as possible and open your air vents all the way to allow maximum air flow. Let the fire and grates get very hot before you put the meat on.

Remove the steaks from the packaging and trim off any excess fat or anything else that is attached to the meat. With a meat mallet or the back of a sturdy knife, tenderize the meat on both sides. This is not absolutley necessary but it can make a big difference in the tenderness of the meat. Set aside at room temperature and let it warm up a bit.

Now on to the good stuff. This recipe is for 2-4 people so adjust your amounts accordingly.

Texas Pico

1 small red onion, finely diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro
2-3 large Roma tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 green onion, chopped
1 teaspoon of your favorite Mexican seasoning
juice from half a lime
pinch of Kosher Salt
A couple of grinds of fresh cracked pepper.

Mix everything together and let is sit until the meat is ready.


Find the smallest corn tortillas you can get. La Azteca has them as
does Fiesta. If you can only find large corn tortilla, cut them down
to 3 inch diameters with a cookie cutter. You want to steam these.
The easiest way is to put up to 9 of them in a ziplock back and
microwave for 30 seconds. Another way is to wrap them in foil and
put them on the grill next to the meat as it cooks. Be sure to turn it
over from time to time. You will want 2 tortillas per taco.


Look for limes that are darker green in color and that are soft to the
touch but not mushy. A hard lime will not give up much juice. Cut a
couple of limes into wedges and have them ready to go.

Putting it all together

Place the meat on the grill directly over the hottest part of the
fire. Flip it over when the bottom side is dark brown and starting
to char on the edges. When the meat is all cooked, let it rest for
a few minutes then slice it across the grain into 1/4 inch wide strips.
You can serve it this way or cut these strips into cubes. If the steak
is tender enough I prefer the strips.

Assembling the taco is simple. Take 2 tortillas and stack them up, place a
good amount of meat in the center but be sure you can fold up the ends around it.
Squeeze some lime onto the meat and top with a spoonful or two of the
pico. Repeat for as many tacos as you need, then eat and enjoy.

No comments:

Post a Comment