Tailgate Tacos: Flank Steak, pico de gallo and chimichurri sauce
Football season is right around the corner and we are getting geared up for Panther games! If they are playing at home we cook before and after most games, if they are playing away we cook all day long - watching the other games and enjoying the fall weather!
One of our favorite Sunday tailgate dinners uses food from our garden and from the NoDa Farmers Market. (for ingredients below one * indicates from the garden, two ** from the market).
There are actually three components for this, each with their own recipe, all are easy though! The marinade for the beef, the pico and the chimichurri sauce.
If you can marinate the beef overnight and make the chimichurri the day before, both will be a bit better, but it'll still be great of prepped at least 3 or 4 hours before cooking and serving.
STEP 1 - marinate the beef in a ziplock bag or vaccuum seal. If you can't make sure it is covered with the marinade in whatever container you use. Blend the chimichurri and let sit to the side, on the counter top, not in the fridge.
STEP 2 - when it's time to cook, remove the beef from the marinade and thoroughly pat dry with paper towels. We want this to sear, so the drier when it hits the heat, the better. Fire up the grill or heat a grill pan on the stove - high heat! Drop the beef on the grill and hard sear for at least 5 - 10 minutes each side, depending on how well you want it done. We prefer a medium rare. Once you've seared both sides, remove from the heat and allow to stand for another 5 - 10 minutes. Cut against the grain, cutting thin 1/4 to 1/2 inch strips. Pour the chimichurri over the cut strips and allow to stand another 3 or 4 minutes.
Heat flour tortillas. Add flank strips and top with pico de gallo and crumbled queso fresco (if you don't have queso fresco any light white cheese will work).
THE MARINADE AND BEEF:
1 Flank or skirt steak - about pound ** (from Mary L or Two Moons Farms)
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons of Worchestershire sauce
1 tablespoon of sugar
5 diced garlic cloves *
Whisk all ingredients other than beef together in a mixing bowl - whisk until sugar is completely dissolved. Place meat in a ziplock or vaccuum seal bag and pour in marinade. Allow to sit on the counter top for an hour, then place in the fridge.
THE PICO DE GALLO:
2 medium or one large tomato - chopped into 1/4 inch chunks *
(for the next ingredients you can choose any non-hot pepper - the varieties and mix don't really matter as much as using sweet or mild peppers).
3 or 4 mild or sweet peppers - green bell, banana, shishito, etc.
1 - 2 jalapenos - heat level to taste! *
1 medium onion *
palm full of chopped cilantro *
Chop tomatoes, sweet peppers and onion into evenly sized pieces - finely chop jalapeno into small pieces and finely chop cilantro as well. Toss together in a bowl, salt and pepper to taste and cover with juice from the lime. Mix again and allow to sit at least 30 minutes. We find this better made just before serving as the "fresh" element to to the dish.
1/2 cup olive oil
1 large handful of cilantro *
2 - 3 cloves of garlic *
1 - 2 scallions including the greens
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 - 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (heat to taste)*
Completely blend all ingredients in a small food processor or blender