Steak Tacos

Now that it’s too cold outside to grill with any type of regularity, I’ve had to spend more time in the kitchen mastering the art of cooking meat on the stove stop.  I can’t say that it’s the most enjoyable experience when compared to sitting outside by the grill with a beer in your hand… but it’s not too bad. One of our favorite dishes lately has been steak tacos.  In theory it’s a really simple dish, but it all hinges on a properly cooked piece of steak.  So the focus of this post will be on explaining the process I use to cook my taco steak meat on the stove top.  I’ll let you figure out how build the tacos to your liking – that’s the easy part. I normally get everything else ready first, except the meat.  That way I can focus solely on the meat.  Then it’s just a matter of cutting the meat and sitting down to eat.

First, I start with a quality piece of meat.  I use flank steak.  I can’t tell you exactly all of the different cuts of meats I have tried (because I’ve tried a lot) but nothing compares to using a nice flank steak.  The cut is important as well.  You could potentially use a more expensive piece of meat other than flank steak, but the cut of flank is great for tacos or fajitas.  When cooked properly, it’s very tender and easy to eat.

I dry off any excess moisture from the meat (both sides) with a paper towel before I put a rub on the outside.  Surface moisture on meat creates steam when you put it in a hot pan, preventing the wet food from browning. When cooking meat, browning is critical to the taste of the meat and it seals in flavors and helps to maintain tenderness. The goal when drying the meat is not to remove all of the moisture, but to extract any surface moisture before the meat hits the pan.  For a rub, I use things like chili powder, onion powder, pepper, cayenne pepper, etc.  I pat the seasonings down into the meat on both sides and I also experiment with different homemade rubs… just make sure stay away from using salt in your rubs.  Salt will ruin your meat and dry it out while cooking over high heat.  I only add salt AFTER the meat has been cut.

Next, I heat up some corn oil in a cooking pan.  I try to get the pan as hot as possible and I also cook with a gas grill.  So I crank it up as high as it will go and add just enough corn oil to the pan to cover the bottom and then a little extra.  Once the pan is as hot as possible, I put the meat on the pan.  Also, I don’t cover the pan with a lid – even if makes a bit of a mess. Once the meat has thoroughly charred (which is somewhat subjective, I know) I flip it over to start cooking the other side.  I typically cook both sides for about 4 minutes but it all depends on the thickness of your meat.  I would recommend learning how to gauge the level of “doneness” by touch, which I cover in a different post.

Once my meat is done, I place it on a cutting board and let it rest for about 5 – 10 minutes.  After it’s had time to rest, I cut it into strips as pictured below.


From here, the rest is easy.


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Categories: cooking, grilling


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13 Comments on “Steak Tacos”

  1. November 1, 2012 at 3:56 pm #

    Lovely looking piece of meat. The flank is not easy to get here in Ireland. I must order some from my butcher.

    • November 2, 2012 at 10:15 am #

      What are some popular cuts in Ireland?

      • November 2, 2012 at 11:23 am #

        Fillet (when we can afford it) sirloin and striploin. Popular at present (in fancy restaurants that are trying to improve their margins) are calf (calf of leg as opposed to leg of calf) and oxtail. Keep up the good works.

  2. November 1, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

    Another winner!

  3. Monte
    November 8, 2012 at 10:19 am #

    I didn’t know that salt in a rub would dry out the meat, thanks for the tip

    • November 11, 2012 at 11:08 am #

      No problem 🙂 happy to share good tips and info. Feel free to do the same.

  4. January 27, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    damn, that looks fantastic.
    in fact everything so far I’ve seen looks gorgeous..

  5. February 1, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

    Thank you for stopping by my blog.

    • February 1, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

      of course 🙂 thanks for checking out mine. I love what you’re doing with your’s


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