Who can resist soft, warm, corn tortillas wrapped around slices of seared beef—especially spicy, smoky, chipotle-infused seared beef—and caramelized onions. The combination is Mexico’s taquería crowd pleaser, persistently captivating crowds of tourists and nationals alike—long before the advent of sizzling fajitas. There’s just something so charismatic, so agreeable about that first bite that keeps us coming back for more.
For the greatest tenderness, make sure to choose thick skirt steaks trimmed of all fat and cook it to medium. Flank steak makes great beef tacos when skirt steak is not available. Flank steak is most tender when cooked medium-rare and thinly sliced; it also does well with a longer marinating time. If desired, cook either steak on the grill while the onion caramelizes in the skillet. Steak tacos turn into a meal when served with small bowls of frijoles charros (brothy pinto beans simmered with bacon, onion and roasted chiles) and a green salad.
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds trimmed skirt steaks or flank steak
- 1 jar (16 ounces) Frontera Chipotle Salsa
- 3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
- 2 medium white or red onions, sliced ¼-inch thick
- 12 warm corn tortillas
- Turn the oven onto low. Put the steak into glass dish. Use a spoon to smear ½ cup of the salsa over the steak (go a little heavier on flank than skirt steak). Refrigerate covered 1 to 2 hours for skirt steak, 2 to 4 hours for flank steak.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, but still crunchy, about 4 minutes. Scoop into a heat-proof serving bowl, leaving as much oil as possible in the skillet, and slide into the oven.
- Return the skillet to medium-high heat (a little lower for flank steak). Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of the oil. When hot, lay in the steak(s). Brown on both sides, cooking as done as you like: about 3 minutes per side for medium skirt steak, about 5 minutes per side for 1 ½-inch-thick, medium-rare flank steak.
- For skirt steak, cut across the grain into ¼-inch strips. For flank steak, cut in ¼-inch slices straight down across the grain; on the thick end, you may want to cut the slices in half lengthwise into thinner strips.
- Toss the meat with the onions. Taste and season with salt, usually about 1 teaspoon. Serve with the warm tortillas and remaining Frontera salsa for making soft tacos.