Tacos El Yacqui

Serves 6


3/4 pound skirt or flank beef steak

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons any red adobo or spice or steak rub or “taco seasoning”

Juice of 1 orange

Juice of 1 lime

2 cloves garlic, minced or thinly sliced

6 8-inch flour tortillas, warmed or pan-heated

6 thin slices asadero or Monterey Jack or fontina cheese

1/2 cup salsa roja (see recipe below)

Garnishes of cooked pinto beans, chopped white onion, guacamole, and chopped cilantro leaves

Grilled or roasted jalapeño peppers


Make a marinade of the olive oil, the seasoning powder, citrus juices, and garlic, and marinate the meat for 1-3 hours (no longer or the citrus acidity will make the meat mushy). On an outdoor grill, with wood coals (preferred) or other high heat, or inside on a very hot cast-iron skillet or grill pan, grill the meat for 3-4 minutes on each side, letting it rest for 5 minutes before cutting it against the grain into thin “fingers”, and then into 1/2-inch cubed pieces.

To serve: Place 1 slice of cheese into the fold of each tortilla, then a serving of meat (6-8 pieces), then a spooned strip of salsa roja, and then the remaining garnishes, as they are listed in turn, finishing with the cilantro leaves. Serve 2-3 tacos for each eater with the jalapeño peppers as a side.

To make salsa roja: For 20 minutes, boil in water to cover 5 plum or Roma tomatoes, quartered; 1 medium white onion, peeled and quartered; 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped; 2 each serrano and jalapeño peppers, stemmed and chopped; and 1 teaspoon salt. With care, blend in 2 batches adding 12 whole stalks of cilantro with leaves. To a saucepan add 2 tablespoons neutral oil and, over medium heat and with care when adding, cook the blended sauce, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes at a simmer. Stores well in the refrigerator.

Hints and notes:

Hints: Skirt or Flank aka Flap Steak is the best for this recipe; also wood fire keeps the authentic flavors, but you have other options as in the directions below. From Bill St. John