Steak Tacos with Avocado Tomatillo Salsa

Steak Tacos with Avocado Tomatillo Salsa
Contributor

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Traveling back to Oregon from Seattle on a Tuesday, my husband, Benjamin, and I pulled into a taco stand in central Washington. We had only $10 in cash and with that we ate our fill of tacos filled with the seared beef called carne asada. There is no secret marinade or ingredient for the habit-forming tacos sold at roadside stands and food carts: the beef is diced very fine, salted, and then browned on a griddle with onions and cilantro. You get a heaping tablespoon of scrumptious beef on top of two soft corn tortillas and a wedge of lime. It's up to you to flavor it with a great salsa like this smooth and tart avocado-tomatillo salsa. Be sure to offer bowls full of radishes, cucumbers, and pickled carrots to fill out the meal, which is especially easy and family-friendly for weeknights on the run.
 

Notes

Click here to read more about Lynne Curry and her new book Pure Beef: An Essential Guide to Artisan Meat with Recipes for Every Cut.

Recipe reprinted with permission from PURE BEEF © 2012 by Lynne Curry, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Book Group.

Ingredients

For the avocado-tomatillo salsa

  • tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed
  • jalapeño pepper, seeded
  • ripe avocados
  • clove garlic
  • 1/4  Cup  lightly packed chopped cilantro
  • 1/2  Teaspoon  salt

For the tacos

  • 12  Ounces  top round steak, cut into 1/8-inch cubes
  • 1  Teaspoon  salt
  • 2  Teaspoons  vegetable oil
  • white onion, very finely chopped
  • 1/2  Cup  lightly packed finely chopped cilantro
  • 12  corn tortillas
  • Lime wedges, for garnish
  • Sour cream, for garnish

Directions

For the avocado-tomatillo salsa

Fill a medium saucepan with about 2-inches of water and place the pan over high heat to bring the water to a boil. Add the tomatillos and jalapeño, reduce the heat to low, and steam until the tomatillos turn pale and soft, about 7 minutes.

Transfer the tomatillos and jalapeño with ¼ cup of the cooking liquid into a food processor or a blender. Pit and peel the avocado and add it along with the garlic, cilantro, and salt. Purée until the salsa is very smooth and thick but pourable. Pour it into a small serving bowl and let it cool to room temperature before serving. Best eaten the day it is made, it will store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
 

For the tacos

Just before cooking, put the beef in a medium mixing bowl, sprinkle with salt, and toss to distribute it. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. When it shimmers, add the beef, stir once, and let it cook without stirring until the liquid evaporates and the beef sears and browns, about 4 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, just until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat, stir in the cilantro, and distribute the beef among the tortillas to serve with a squeeze of lime, sour cream, and the salsa.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
5g
7%
Saturated Fat
2g
8%
Cholesterol
74mg
25%
Carbohydrate, by difference
2g
2%
Protein
25g
54%
Vitamin A, RAE
32µg
5%
Vitamin B-12
2µg
83%
Vitamin B-6
1mg
77%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
23mg
31%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
4µg
4%
Calcium, Ca
20mg
2%
Choline, total
75mg
18%
Fiber, total dietary
1g
4%
Folate, total
10µg
3%
Iron, Fe
3mg
17%
Magnesium, Mg
17mg
5%
Niacin
8mg
57%
Phosphorus, P
262mg
37%
Selenium, Se
26µg
47%
Sodium, Na
83mg
6%
Water
93g
3%
Zinc, Zn
4mg
50%

Steak Shopping Tip

Most cattle are fed a diet of grass until they are sent to a feedlot – where they are finished on corn. When possible, choose beef from cattle that are “100% grass fed” - it will be more expensive, but better for your health.

Steak Cooking Tip

The method used to cook beef is dependent on the cut. Cuts that are more tender, like filet mignon, should be cooked for a relatively short amount of time over high heat by grilling or sautéing. While less tender cuts, like brisket and short ribs, should be cooked for a longer time with lower heat by braising or stewing.