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Food & Beverages April, 3 2012

Recipe | Colonel Asada’s Street Tacos

Who is Colonel Asada? He is a founding member of Taco Knights, an informal but secretive street taco society that meets seasonally to prepare and eat simple tacos. Is his flap steak taco recipe easier than it is delicious or vice versa? Follow the recipe after jump and decide for yourself.

Photography by Selectism.com

When preparing for your own evening of street tacos, you can surely spend hours locating and preparing an amazing mojo marinade, but the Colonel wags a finger at such busybodying. His advice: get yourself a nice quality piece of flap steak from the butcher. Similar to a skirt or hangar steak, this cut isn’t as tender as more expensive hunks of beef, but it has good marbling and cooks splendidly on a grill, or, in this case, in a cast iron pan.

Ingredients:
1lb flap steak
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
2 Tbsp neutral oil (like grapeseed)

Place your flap steak on a cutting board and salt and pepper both sides generously, pushing the seasoning into the meat with your (clean) hands. Sometimes the Colonel leaves the salted meat to rest so the salt can draw the juices inside closer to the surface. Other times he doesn’t. Heat the oil in a cast-iron pan over medium high heat and when it rolls happily about the pan, put in the steak.

Now let it cook, poking it occasionally with some tongs to keep yourself entertained. The Colonel moves his steak around a lot and flips it from side to side often. The steak pictured was significantly thicker at one end, so after the thinner half was cooked medium rare, the Colonel cut it away and returned it to the cutting board so the thicker half could continue cooking. Just be sure not to get too close to well-done or the texture and flavor will go askew.

Let the steak rest for five or 10 minutes so the juices can settle and then begin slicing the meat. The meat should be cut against the grain in thin strips. You can cut the strips down into little chunks or leave them long. That is all you need to do.

For the Taco Knights, street tacos are all about the fixin’s. There are no rules here. Pictured above are some pickled red onions, a pile of cotija cheese (don’t sleep on this salty, crumbly stuff), green onions, and chopped yellow onion. Nearby were some slices of avocado and a jar of Sambal for all sorts of taco combinations. There were also soft corn tortillas and crunchy shells on-hand.

Now go forth and enjoy your tacos.

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