Recipe for Grilled Steak Tacos

The best tacos probably don’t start with a recipe at all. They spring from surprising sources — like the leftovers in the back of your refrigerator. This recipe is inspired by Mexican street vendors, who push charcoal-burning pushcarts and sell fabulous tacos al carbon, or grilled tacos.

[Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Juanmonino]
Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Juanmonino

Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus 15 minutes for Fresh Salsa

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

1 pound, skirt or tri-tip steak, trimmed of fat and silverskin

Salt and pepper to taste

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon olive oil

Juice of 1⁄2 lime (1 tablespoon)

Twelve 4-1⁄2-inch or eight 6-inch corn tortillas

1 bunch coarsely chopped cilantro leaves (about 1⁄2 cup)

2 peeled, seeded, and sliced avocados

1 bunch diagonally sliced scallions

Garnishes: Lime wedges, 1⁄4 head shredded white cabbage or lettuce, fresh salsa

  1. Prepare a hot fire in a gas or charcoal grill.

  2. Half an hour before grilling, season the steak evenly with salt and pepper.

    Rub with the garlic and oregano and evenly drizzle with the olive oil and lime juice. Turn to evenly coat steak and refrigerate.

  3. Grill the steak over high heat for 1-1⁄2 minutes per side, or until it’s caramelized on the outside and pink in the center.

    Let sit for 5 minutes before slicing into 1⁄4-inch strips across the grain (at a right angle to the way the meat’s fibers are running). Serve ­immediately with warmed tortillas, garnishes, and plenty of fresh salsa.

For grilled chicken tacos, season the meat with plenty of salt and pepper or marinate in your favorite marinade. Grill about 1-1⁄4 pounds of chicken thighs or breasts, on the bone, for 30 minutes over medium heat, turning frequently. Remove the meat from the bones, cut into 1⁄4-inch strips, and use as a filling with the same garnishes suggested in the Grilled Steak Tacos recipe.

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