Grilled Steak Tacos

Grilled Steak Tacos

Hmm.  Drawing a blank on the yakkity yak for this post.  Blogger’s block, I guess.

Usually I have something to say. Let’s see. Well, I bought a new mouth rinse today. Although I just brushed my teeth and used the new mouth rinse, I can still taste tonight’s garlicky dinner (Cobb salad, yum!).  My patients will hate me tomorrow. Poor things; straight back from surgery greeted by a nurse who smells like minted garlic. Is that considered bad breath or just food breath?  There’s a difference, you know. Ask my grandson, Gavin. He’ll give you the 4-1-1 on bad breath. The conversation may even unfold something like this:

“Hey, come here, Gavin.  I want to give you a hug and a kiss.”

Hesitation and a side-long glance from Gavin.

Prodding from his parents, “Gavin, come over here and give Mom-mom a kiss.”

More hesitation.  With eyes downcast he approaches, like a man to the gallows.  He submits to the hugging and a kiss on the cheek and several on his forehead.

Kissing and hugging completed, he squares his shoulders and retreats towards the family room.  “I think I smell ants,” he says as he walks away.

The adults in the room give each other puzzled looks.  Then, from the safety of the family room comes Gavin’s voice once more, “They don’t brush their teeth.”

I’m not saying that this is exactly how things would unfold if you were to have a conversation with Gavin about halitosis; I’m just saying that it could happen that way.

You know, though, some things are just worth running the risk of getting ant breath.  Some foods are so full of flavor and goodness that ant breath is a small, small price to pay.  Pretty much any food with garlic in it falls in to that category.  The following recipe for Grilled Steak Tacos, for instance, has 6 cloves of garlic in the marinade.  It’s a beautiful thing.

A very beautiful thing, indeed.  The beef is marinated for 2-8 hours in a lovely marinade of onion, lime juice, cumin, chipotle chile powder, and those six cloves of garlic.  After the marinating comes the grilling.  And after the grilling comes the thin slicing of the steak.  And after that, you start jockeying for position to be the first one to make a taco.

Print green and blue-1Grilled Steak Tacos

Prep Time: up to 8 hrs 10 mins| Cook Time: 4 mins + 5-10 mins rest time for meat after cooking | Total Time: up to 8 hrs 24 mins | Yield: 8 servings

The marinade tenderizes tougher cuts of beef and adds rich, spicy flavor throughout the steak. Be sure to let meat rest after barbecuing, then slice into thin strips.


  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 6 cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 pounds skirt steak (I used sirloin steak because it is what I had on hand.  However, I think that skirt steak would work better.)
  • flour tortillas
  • optional toppings: seeded, diced tomatoes; shredded lettuce or cabbage; cotija cheese; guacamole; sour cream


  1. Put onion, lime juice, ground cumin, garlic, chipotle chile powder, and salt into a small food processor or a blender. Blitz until ingredients are pureed into a paste.
  2. Spread the paste on both sides of the steak and using your fingers, work the paste into the meat. An optional method would be to put the steak in a zipper style plastic bag, then pour the pour the paste into the bag on top of the steak. Seal the bag, then work the paste into the steak well by kneading the steak through the bag. NOTE:  If using other than skirt steak, pierce meat multiple times with fork before applying paste.
  3. Allow the steak to marinate for 2-8 hours in the refrigerator. If not using a plastic bag, be sure to cover the steak while it marinates.
  4. For a charcoal grill: grill steak on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium-hot coals for about 4 minutes or until steak is lightly charred, turning once halfway through grilling. For a gas or infrared heat grill: preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium-high.  Place steak on grill rack over heat. Cover and grill as above.
  5. Remove steak from grill and cover with foil. Let stand for 5-10 minutes, then coarsely chop or thinly slice steak.
  6. Serve on flour tortillas with toppings of choice.

Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications, Ultimate Mexican, 2011, p 70.

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