The first recipe that I've decided to take on from Rick Bayless's 'Mexico One Plate At A Time' was chosen because I picked up a 3 lb organic skirt steak from Saslove's Meat Market in the neighbourhood of Hintonburg in Ottawa, Ontario. I know that skirt steak is the prime cut for anything fajita, and I've even had it as a delicate and flavourful course at Joel Robuchon's L'Atelier so I know it is the meat to beat.
I found a recipe thanks to this blog....(add referen
ce).... and noticed that it was altered to suit the blogger-chef's needs so I thought that I could do the same since recipes are pretty much like open-source software
The recipe calls for poblanos, but in Ottawa, I didn't really have a source so I just went with a red pepper. They're flavourful when they're roasted anyway. I could already smell it in my head if that makes any sense. I also have lime juice on hand thanks to the day I juiced 20 limes, froze the juice in ice-cube trays and then vacuum sealed the cubes using a foodsaver.
roasted red pepper
Marinate the meat. Combine oni
ons garlic, lime juice, cumin and 1/2 tsp s
alt in the food processor to puree. Add marinade to meat in a ziplock bag or plastic sealable container. Marinate it for no longer than 8 hours. I gave it a good 5 and it was full of flavour and the perfect texture.
Creating the pepper and onion mixture or, according to Rick, rajas. Though he would have Poblano chilis. Those don't seem to be around Gatineau in December. Any pepper other than a green pepper will add tons of flav
our. Make sure it's not a green pepper. You're not making pizza here. Heat up a grill or put your oven on broil and place the pepper(s) a few inch
es away from the heat. Monitor it and turn it as the skin chars black. About 4-5 minutes each turn. Once the entire pepper has been charred, remove it, place it in a bowl and cover with plas
tic wrap to steam. 15 minutes later, remove all of the skin, the
stem, and seeds. Dice up the roasted pepper and place it into a bowl.
Slice up the onions and caramelize them. Use a cast iron skillet if you have one. If you don't, go frigging buy one as they are indispensable and will stay with you for LIFE! Lightly grease the pan, set it to med-low and add the onions when heated. Stir them until you see that they've softened and acquired a beautiful rich brown colour. If I had done this for 45 minutes, they would have been fit for pierogis.
he onions with the roasted peppers, add some chopped cilantro, season with salt and pepper and you are ready to grill the meat!
Grilling the meat can be done either on a gas grill, a skillet or via oven broiling. I used a cast iron skillet with a grilled surface. I love the staggered charring effect. Remove the meat from the marinade and shake off whatever will drip off. Oil the meat or grill. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Place the meat over high heat. Turn it once after about 2 minutes or so. It depends on the thickness of your cut. Mine was pretty thick so I needed about 4 minutes a side. I was going for rare, as everyone should with a skirt steak. If you want to eat fully cooked red meat, have short ribs or a burger instead.
To serve the tacos, I used store bought corn tortillas for convenience, but if you want to take this further, make the corn tortillas yourself. I'll do that another time and blog it. For now, get some soft corn tortillas and heat them by either placing them in a dishcloth and steaming them, or put them in some foil in the oven at 350 for about 5-10 minutes. Slice the meat against the grain and then mix it in with the pepper-onion mixture. Place a portion in the warmed taco and add whatever condiments you'd like. We used a top-quality sour cream, sharp chedder, cilantro and some home made pickled jalepenos.
Bon appetit, or should I say, Buen apetito!