Steak Tacos with Tomatillo Salsa

Total Time:
1 hr 55 min
35 min
1 hr
20 min

4 to 6 servings

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 serrano chile peppers, halved (remove seeds for less heat)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for the grill
  • Juice of 4 limes (about 1/3 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 pounds skirt steak, cut in half
  • 1/2 small white onion, diced
  • 3 tomatillos (in their husks)
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 16 corn tortillas
  • Grated Cotija cheese and/or thinly sliced radishes, for topping
  • Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds and toast, stirring occasionally, about 1 minute; transfer to a bowl. Add the garlic and chiles to the skillet. Cook, turning occasionally, until soft and blackened in spots, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and let cool. Add the cumin seeds, vegetable oil, 1/4 cup lime juice and the brown sugar and puree until smooth. Season with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and a few grinds of pepper. Transfer to a resealable plastic bag and add the steak, shaking well to coat. Refrigerate, 1 to 4 hours.

  • Soak the onion in a bowl of cold water. Meanwhile, wipe out the skillet and heat over high heat. Cook the tomatillos, turning, until well charred, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool. Remove the charred husks and roughly chop the flesh. Drain the onion. Wipe out the food processor; add the tomatillos, onion, cilantro and the remaining 1 to 2 tablespoons lime juice and puree until smooth. Season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper; set aside.

  • Meanwhile, bring the steak to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Preheat a grill to high. Remove the steak from the marinade and shake off any excess. Lightly oil the grill, then grill the steak until charred on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook until charred on the other side, 1 to 3 more minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes.

  • Warm the tortillas on the grill. Thinly slice the steak against the grain. Double up the tortillas and fill with the steak and tomatillo salsa. Top with cheese and radishes.

  • Photograph by Ryan Dausch

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