Steak Tacos in Cilantro, Jalapeno, and Garlic
Inspired by my favorite Test Kitchen, here is a version with some minor modifications.
Author: Christopher Kosovich
- For the Herb Paste:
- ½ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
- 4 medium garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 4 medium scallions, roughly chopped (about ⅓ cup)
- 1 medium jalapeño chile, stemmed and roughly chopped
- ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 flank steak (1½ to 1¾ pounds), trimmed of excess fat and cut lengthwise (with grain) into 4 equal pieces
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt or 1½ teaspoons table salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 12 taco-size flour tortillas, warmed
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- Pickled red onion
- Lime wedges
- FOR THE HERB PASTE:
- Pulse cilantro, garlic, scallions, jalapeño, and cumin in food processor until finely chopped, ten to twelve 1-second pulses, scraping down sides as necessary.
- Add oil in a thin stream through food processor tube and process until mixture is smooth and resembles pesto, about 15 seconds, scraping down sides of workbowl as necessary.
- Transfer 2 tablespoons herb paste to medium bowl; whisk in lime juice and set aside (this will be used to mix with the steak after resting/slicing).
- FOR THE STEAK:
- Using dinner fork, poke each piece of steak 10 to 12 times on each side.
- Place in large glass baking dish; rub all sides of steak pieces evenly with salt and then coat with remaining herb paste.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.
- Scrape herb paste off steak and sprinkle all sides of pieces evenly with sugar and pepper.
- Heat oil in 12-inch heavy-bottomed nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until smoking.
- Place steak in skillet and cook until well browned, about 3 minutes.
- Flip steak and sear until second side is well browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Using tongs, stand each piece on a cut side and cook, turning as necessary, until all cut sides are well browned and internal temperature registers 125 to 130 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 2 to 7 minutes.
- Transfer steak to cutting board and let rest 5 minutes.
- FOR THE TACOS:
- Using sharp chef’s knife or carving knife, slice steak pieces across grain into ⅛-inch-thick pieces.
- Transfer sliced steak to bowl with herb paste-lime juice mixture and toss to coat.
- Season with salt.
- Spoon small amount of sliced steak into center of each warm tortilla and serve immediately, passing toppings separately.