I have been working on my carne asada marinade for ages now, and there has always been something that’s just a little off that I don’t like. My suspicion has been the inclusion of Mexican oregano (which we also put in our pulled pork), and I was right. There’s something about it that just doesn’t seem to jive with my tastebuds. But last night I unlocked the code for the most amazing marinated beef (Truly Mexican? Probably not. Delicious? Absolutely.). We honestly ate most of it sliced directly from the cutting board before we even thought of filling a taco shell.
In a plastic container, mix and refrigerate the following (for at least 8 hours, flipping once during the soak)
- 1 cup soy sauce, a generous sploosh of sriracha, 2 TB brown sugar, a good shake of pepper, 1 TB minced garlic & 4 pickled jalapeno rings
- Add sirloin steak to the poundage of your preference (ours was about 1.5 pounds)
After the meat had marinated, I let it sit for about an hour on the counter to get a little closer to room temperature. Broil your meat, on high, for 5-6 minutes per side. This seals in the juices and basically caramelizes all that amazing stuff from the marinade on the meat and makes it super irresistible. After the broil, bake your slab o’meat for 15 minutes at 350*. Rest (elevated on a fork or spoon) for 5-10 minutes. Slice, and enjoy.
This technique left our meat almost candied on the outside and a perfect medium all the way through. It was melt in your mouth awesome.
As I may have mentioned once or twice (or a million times) we eat a lot of tiny tacos in our house and tiny tacos require lots of fresh cilantro (also known as coriander) to ensure maximum awesomeness. However, it can be hard to keep fresh cilantro on hand unless you’re growing it in your garden for immediate harvest. And considering spring is never actually going to arrive in Alaska (much less summer) store bought for the moment is the way it needs to be. But how to keep it from curling up in the fridge you ask? Easy:
- Fill small cup halfway with water
- Place cilantro in cup
- Cover loosely with an open plastic bag
- Place in fridge
This method will keep your cilantro fresh for 2-3 weeks (sometimes longer). Change the water when you think of it and use as much as you need at a time. Enjoy!
It’s true. These pulled pork style tacos don’t last nearly as long as they should in our household of two (I should probably be embarrassed, but I’m not. I’ll own it. They are so good.). I have passed the recipe along to a few folks and they agree, this stuff is good. I mean, good.
We prefer to use our pressure cooker to make these bad boys, but I know a few folks that have used their crock pots too (we don’t have one, I call them crack pots, but I digress) and they have turned out just as well – just be sure to follow cooking time instructions per pound of meat for the device of your choosing.
What you will need:
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander (did you know coriander is the same thing as cilantro? Mind blowing.)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 (3-4 pound) boneless pork shoulder/rump roast (Have your butcher remove any bones and fat as much as possible)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups chicken broth
- A few jalapeños for good measure
Mix the dry ingredients together (except the bay leaves, just in case you were wondering) and rub your roast so the tasty bits get in all the nooks and crannies. Pour your chicken stock, bay leaves and a few jalapeños (pickled or fresh it’s up to you) into your pressure cooker, and set the little metal trivet on top of all of that. Place your perfectly seasoned roast on the trivet and set to High Pressure for 60 minutes (all you crock pot folks can pull your chins off the floor now). After the timer beeps, release the pressure and remove your roast from the pot. Remove the trivet and then replace the roast (you’re almost done!), running one last 30 minute High Pressure cycle. (we throw a few more jalapeños in this step too – we like life spicy)
After the last cook your mouth watering meat hunk is done and may even start to fall apart as you remove it from the pot. Set in a bowl or deep plate and slowly pull apart with a fork and a ladle a scoop or two of the delicious broth over your meat and you’re ready to go.
Fill tiny tortillas with meat, freshly chopped cilantro, perhaps a little salsa, and whatever else your heart desires. This pork won’t last long and you’ll be foaming at the mouth to make it again. Seriously.
We have been on a ‘tiny taco’ kick at our house. Small street style tacos with anything from halibut to ground turkey to the best pulled marinated pork you’ve ever had with rough chopped cilantro, a little cabbage, a noticeable lack of cheese (I am told the cheese part of those molten burritos we’re all so used to are not what you would call authentic), other random fixins’ and of course salsa. We have been making our own salsa and it’s so stinkin’ easy it hurts. After chatting with my friend Minerva, who runs her own handcrafted food biz with deep roots in Mexican culture and tastes, we figured that people are just lazy or honestly don’t know how easy (and cheap!) it is to make salsa. She is constantly asked to jar and sell the stuff. Why? Make it yourself! And why go to the store to pay $5 for some jar of processed junk that tastes like, well, processed stuff in a jar, when you can whip up your own batch of ‘can’t get fresher than this’ salsa for pennies.
- Chop one medium tomato – making sure to remove the seeds and guts
- Chop half an onion and throw in a bowl with the tomatoes
- Grab a few sprigs of fresh cilantro and chop, stems and all (cilantro is super cheap – .69c sometimes for a bunch and can be kept in the fridge covered in water for up to 3 weeks)
- Finely chop half a fresh, gutted, jalapeño (or more – depending on your preferred level of heat) and toss into the mix
- Squirt a little lemon juice and a little lime juice, throw a dash of salt and a dash of pepper and let your mixture sit for 5-10 minutes.
- Stuff face with tiny tacos topped with fresh salsa that cost $1.50 – max.
This recipe (or rather, a photo of a recipe) has been going around Pinterest forever and we finally gave it a try: Wonton Tacos. They are super easy, and super delicious and have definitely just made it onto our “quick party food for the masses” list.
- Place wonton wrappers in a muffin pan and preheat your oven to 400*
- Fill wrappers with your already cooked and seasoned taco meat that has chopped white onion cooked within (I use ground turkey instead of ground beef – better flavor, less grease, more thumbs up) – a spoonful or so
- Top with chopped cabbage, jalapenos and shredded pepperjack and cheddar cheese
- Bake for 6-8 minutes
- Top with a dollop of sour cream and chopped scallions
- Eat some. Repeat. Repeat again.
I’m pretty excited to take these for lunch tomorrow as well. Recipe makes 24 little cross culturally delicious wonton tacos.
EDIT: There was 1 single wonton leftover….I had 7 or 8….someone else ate all the rest. I think this means they get the seal of approval!