Thursday, March 8, 2012
Thai Beef Tacos
You might have noticed, we aren't big red meat eaters. I don't have anything in particular against beef, and I'm pretty sure the Monkey Scientist grew up eating loads of steaks (he is from Chicago), but it has some drawbacks. It really isn't that good for you. And more importantly, it's expensive. So when we do have beef, it's a special treat and we usually buy pretty cheap cuts.
The key to enjoying these cheaper cuts is not to eat them in a steak-and-potatoes kind of way. While the Monkey Scientist does broil a mean teriyaki flank steak, tacos might just be the best way to eat flank steak. Tacos are such a simple recipe to throw together on a weeknight, and I loved the Asian twist in this recipe. Definitely made for a unique dinner!
The Monkey Scientist did a lot of work to help me put this recipe together. He made the mango salsa! Since the mango salsa on our pork tenderloin a few weeks ago was too spicy, we left the jalapeno seeds out this time around. I liked it so much better! The shallots were much milder than onions and the mango brought out the sweetness of the coconut milk in the marinade. It was a great addition to the tacos.
These were some of the best tacos I've ever made. The Monkey Scientist said this was one of his favorite dinners - I think he was happy to have some red meat, plus he's a big Chipotle lover. I think marinading for longer than 2 hours (I should learn to prep ahead of time a little better) would have been a good idea, but it was still great. I particularly liked the peanuts on top. They brought out the Asian flavors from the marinade while adding a nice crunch. This is an easy weeknight meal that you will really enjoy!
Thai Beef Tacos
every so slighty adapted from How Sweet It Is
1-1 1/2 pounds flank steak
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup light (canned) coconut milk
4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/3 cup sweet chili sauce
1/2 mango, chopped
1 shallot, diced
1 jalapeno, diced (seeds removed)
a sprinkle each of sugar, salt & pepper
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
8-10 flour tortillas (I used burrito sized, but you could go smaller)
1/2 cup sweet chili sauce or hot salsa
1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
1. Sprinkle flank steak with salt and pepper. Combine coconut milk, chili sauce, garlic, ginger, and sugar in a bowl and whisk.
2. Add flank steak to a ziplock bag or a shallow baking dish and pour marinade overtop. Refrigerate and let sit for 6-24 hours. (I only waited about 2 hours because I don't plan ahead well)
3. When ready to prepare, remove steak from fridge and let sit for 20-30 minutes. (Yep, I skipped this)
4. In a bowl, combine mango, shallot, jalapeno, salt, sugar and pepper, mix thoroughly, then set aside.
5. Heat a large oven-safe skillet (like cast iron) over high heat. At the same time, preheat the broiler in your oven. (You can also grill the steak if you wish.)
6. Using a pastry brush, brush oil onto the skillet so there is only a very thin layer. (CAREFUL! The oil may jump when you start to brush it!)
7. Remove steak from marinade with kitchen tongs, placing in the skillet. Sear on both sides for 1-2 minutes per side.
8. Remove skillet and place is the oven directly under the broiler. Cook for 3 minutes, then flip and cook for 3 minutes more. (Less time if you like it rarer, more if you like it more well done.)
9. Remove skillet from over, and place steak on a cutting board to rest for 15-20 minutes.
10. At this time, assemble your tortillas (warm them if desired), salsa, extra chili sauce for drizzling and peanuts. After the steak has rested, slice it into thin strips. Assemble tacos as desired and eat!