Thursday, January 14, 2010

Carne Asada Tacos

Flap meat is cheap. It was on sale the other day in small quantities so we bought a couple of pounds. Then came the challenge of figuring out what to do with it. We decided on Carne Asada tacos after much deliberation. To make the carne asada, we marinated the beef for a couple of hours and then fried it up in the pan. Grilling would probably also be delicious.

The Meat
Flap meat. Flap meat is from the same area of a cow that skirt steak and flank steak come from. Some people say it has a little more flavor than the flank steak. It is good when marinated and cooked quickly, and that is exactly what tacos are.

The Marinade
It took me a lot of effort of online searching to find just the thing for this meat. I wanted it to be perfect. And well, it wasn't perfect but it certainly was tasty. I finally decided on a recipe from Simply Recipes. And then I changed it a little to meet my needs. There was a lot of flavor after 3 hours of careful marinading.

The toppings
Tacos are just meat and corn flour without toppings. A classic street taco is meat, salsa, onions and cilantro. But throw in a little fun! We added Queso Fresca, avocado, and two types of salsa. At our grocery store there is a pretty extensive Hispanic foods section. I decided to pick up some of the canned salsas (not jarred) and it proved to be a worthy solution. The Ranchera salsa I picked up is spicy and smokey and just the right consistency for tacos.

2 poounds flap meat
4 cloves garlic
2 jalapenos
1 handful cilantro, stems and leaves
1 T coriander seeds
salt & pepper
2 limes
1 orange
2 T white vinegar
1/2 t sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
queso fresca
half onion
cilantro leaves
small tortillas (corn is the more traditional)

1. Juice the limes and oranges into the same bowl. Add sugar, salt and pepper, vinegar and olive oil. Crush the coriander seeds with a meat tenderizor and add to the mixture.
2. Cut off the jalapeno stems. In a food processor or mini chopper combine jalapenos (seeds and all), cilantro and garlic until finely chopped. Add to the juice mixture.
3. Cut meat into small cubes and place in a large ziploc bag. Pour the marinade over the meat. Zip the bag and move it around to coat all pieces. Place the bag in a shallow baking pan and refrigerate for 1-4 hours.
4. Prepare the topping. Finely chop the onion and cilantro. Crumble the cheese and open the salsas. Leave the avocado for just before serving.
5. Heat a frying pan with a scant t vegetable oil. Add meat in batches and cook until medium rare. If too much liquid is in the pan, empty it between batches so you don't steam the meat. Keep neat warm until all has been cooked.
6. Set up a taco bar and serve warm.

1 comment:

Nadine said...

looks yummy! I have never heard of flap meat -- the sleuth gourmet said that skirt steak is a substitute.