It must be taco month because this is the second taco post in a week! In my house, tacos are “fun food”. I’ll prepare the main taco filling and serve with an assortment of my family’s favorite condiments. During the summer months, tacos just seem to be the easiest and freshest way to get dinner on the table. And with all the fabulous seasonal produce becoming available this time of year, tacos make a yummy way to use the savored summer bounty.
Sometimes I like to mix it up and serve tacos with a variety of fillings. Chorizo and potatoes, roasted poblanos and potatoes, carnitas, shrimp, fish and of course beef. Although I use several different cuts of beef for tacos, one of my favorite is flank steak. My preferred method of preparation for flank is to marinate it overnight for carne asada.
However, last week I completely forgot to marinate my flank steak. Yes, even I can forget those simple little tasks, usually due to other more pressing matters such as missing shoes that need to be found, or getting a much needed gym uniform washed and dried before the next day of school.
When I found the flank steak sitting in my frig the next morning, I thought to myself what in the heck am I going to do with it now. Well, let’s just pull out the handy dandy slow cooker and see what we come up with. Slow cooked flank steak tacos were born. Whoo Hoo! Dinner wasn’t a bust after all and the Bennett Crew was thrilled because they were being served their favorite meal… tacos.
2 lbs Flank Steak
Salt and pepper
Veggie oil for browning
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder (or chipotle chili powder)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
1 white onion, halved and sliced
6 cloves garlic smashed
1 14oz can organic fire roasted tomatoes (I like Muir Glen)
1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped (about ½ cup)
2 limes, 1 lime juiced, 1 lime sliced to serve with tacos
Ranchero Cheese (a Mexican cheese found in most grocers)
Corn Tortillas, fried, broiled or steamed
Pre-heat your slow cooker. Mix together the cumin, chili powder, coriander and oregano. Heat a skillet on medium high with a little high heat veggie oil such as sunflower or safflower oil. Season the flank steak with salt and pepper and deeply brown on both sides.
Transfer the browned steak to a plate and rub with the spice and herb mixture. Place a few onions on the bottom of the slow cooker and then place the steak on top of the onions. Scatter the rest of the onions, garlic cloves, bay leaf and tomatoes on top of the steak. Cover and cook on low for about 5-6 hours or until the flank steak is tender and separates easily.
Before serving, either pan fry or oven broil the corn tortillas. You can also steam the tortillas in a rice cooker/steamer, or in a microwave steam bowl.
To pan fry the tortillas, add corn oil to the bottom of a heavy fry pan, about 1 inch, and heat on medium. Place the corn tortilla in the hot oil and lightly fry on each side until a little golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and blot, and then fold in half to make a taco shell.
To oven broil, brush each tortilla with oil on both sides. Place the tortillas on a baking sheet and broil on high for a minute or two on both sides. Remove from the oven and fold into a taco shell.
Stuff the taco shells with the flank steak and top with a squeeze of fresh lime and condiments. Serve with Spanish rice and slices of fresh tropical frut.