Chipotle Beef Tacos with Caramelized Onions

August 2, 2010 · 20 comments

in beef,dairy-free,mexican/tex-mex

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a Rick Bayless recipe.  It’s also been a while since I’ve posted anything but chicken lately, apparently.  Two birds, one stone!

Mexican Everyday has easily become on of my favorite cookbooks.  Tom’s never used it, but he claims it’s one of his, too, since he’s really enjoyed every recipe from it.  I do have one small qualm about the book, and that is that several of the recipes ask you to make a significant amount of marinade and “save the rest for another time” rather than just having you make a smaller portion or simply telling you to use, say, 1/2 cup of the marinade found on page 24.  Similarly, this recipe calls for a can of chipotles in adobo, asks you to puree them, and then save what you don’t  use for later.  Instead, I just pureed about 4 chipotles and a little adobo sauce.

At any rate, these tacos were delicious and could not possibly be easier.  Who doesn’t like a 1-ingredient marinade?  Well, I guess technically this isn’t even a marinade, but I made it one.  The chipotle was nice and smoky and spicy and paired wonderfully with the caramelized onions.  I topped our tacos with some goat cheese because really, what’s a taco without cheese?  The goat cheese was a tangy, cool counterpart to the spicy beef & onions.  Quite honestly, I don’t think you need extra salsa or hot sauce because the tacos are flavorful enough, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.

These are also fairly healthy.  I don’t think I used a whole 3 Tbsp. of oil to be honest and even if you do, it’s less than a tablespoon per person with no other major calorie bombs.  Flank steak is quite lean and corn tortillas are perfectly healthy, when they aren’t fried. :)

Chipotle Beef Tacos with Caramelized Onions

Serves 4
Adapted from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless

4-5 chipotles in adobo
1 lb. skirt or flank steak
3 Tbsp. canola, divided
2 medium onions, sliced 1/4″ thick
12 warm corn tortillas
sea salt
goat cheese (optional)
Smoky chipotle salsa, bottled salsa, or hot sauce for serving

Puree the chipotles in a small food processor until smooth.  Brush each side of the steak with a light smear of the chipotle (go a little heavier on flank steak).  Marinate for an hour or two in the fridge or for up to 20-30 minutes on the counter.

Turn the oven to the lowest setting.

Heat 2 Tbsp. of the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and cook  until golden but still a little crunchy, about 5 minutes. (I took them a little further, because I prefer my caramelized onions to be a little softer).  Transfer to a heat-proof bowl and set in the heated oven.

Return the skillet to medium-high heat, and add the remaining Tbsp. of oil.  Once hot, lay in the steak, and cook until it’s done to your liking (3 minutes per side for medium-rare skirt steak, 5 minutes per side for medium-rare flank steak).  Let the meat rest (it’s best to do it on a wire rack over a plate or dish in the oven) for 5-10 minutes before slicing against the grain.

Toss the meat with the onions, and season to taste with the salt (about 1 tsp.).

Serve with the warmed tortillas, goat cheese, and salsa.

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