Tacos are a blank canvas. With their increasing popularity worldwide and an enhanced interest in Mexico’s culinary history, tacos are experiencing something of a renaissance. Everyone’s jumping on the taqueria bandwagon and, as with any food item that captures public fascination, mutation and innovation are inevitable. Some pretty interesting tacos are coming out of this taco-obsessed moment. And while the argument for authenticity and the pitfalls of cultural misappropriation can certainly be made, people seem to be pretty laid back about the taco. It’s the new sandwich, the new pizza, the new DIY salad bar. You can put pretty much anything on a taco and maintain the moniker. Today’s Flank Steak Tacos with Chimichurri & Salsa Blanca are a celebration of this culinary freedom. A freedom we technically always had but I was once totally unaware of.
When I was young, I thought tacos came from a yellow box. I believed a taco had to be stuffed with ground beef, diced tomatoes and iceberg lettuce to be a called a taco. And I believed that the taco had to have a crunchy shell. If a flour tortilla was involved, the food item in question would be classified as a fajita or possibly a burrito, but definitely not a taco.
I know people say ignorance is bliss, but this is certainly not the case when it comes to tacos. If you had told my five-year-old self that I could put a piece of fried fish on a frickin’ taco, I would’ve attempted a back flip. Having said that, I probably would’ve failed… I wasn’t a particularly athletic child. These days, I’m much happier putting just about anything on a flour, corn or even a whole wheat tortilla and mowing down.
I’m kind of going through a bit of an Argentina phase. I spent the better part of an hour on Pinterest yesterday just looking at glamor shots of the country. And because I’m incapable of envisioning myself anywhere without thinking about what I would be eating, I’ve been craving chimichurri something fierce. Really, these Flank Steak Tacos with Chimichurri were inevitable, it was just a question of when.
I added the Salsa Blanca after a somewhat fruitless Google search. I was looking for the name of the white sauce I ate at Santa Carne in Paris. I couldn’t find the name, but I did come across an interesting tidbit about the condiment habits of Argentinians. Apparently, they like their mayo, so I used the mayo-based Alabama white BBQ sauce as a jumping off point and added a few of the herbs from the cilantro chimichurri for continuity’s sake. I think I wound up with something fairly close to what I had in Paris, but it’s not quite there. The Salsa Blanca tastes really good at the very least. If you actually know what the sauce is called, please leave a comment below – I really don’t like being ignorant of such things.
I know, the pomegranate obsession has to stop, but I think they are the best garnishes on the planet. They’re a brilliant color, the have just the right amount of acidity, and they look little gems. It’s hard to let the pomegranate go, but fear not, they’ll almost out of season here, so I’ll have to get creative with my garnishes again soon enough. That being said, pomegranate and rich red meat are a match made in heaven. These Flank Steak Tacos are irresistible with pomegranate arils onboard.
Celebrate Taco Tuesday and up your iron count while you’re at it with these Flank Steak Tacos with Chimichurri & Salsa Blanca.
- 1 pound flank steak, marinaded (see below)
- 1 packaged of flour tortillas (or you can make your own
- 1 batch Chimichurri (see below)
- 1 batch Salsa Blanca (see below)
- Pomegranate arils
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/8 cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Fresh ground pepper
- 1 cup cilantro, tightly packed
- 1 cup parsley, tightly packed
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano
- 1/2 white onion
- 2 red hot pencil peppers, stems removed
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 1/8 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 red hot pencil pepper, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- Fresh ground pepper
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together marinade ingredients until incorporated.
- Pour marinade into a large ziplock bag.
- Remove the flank steak from it's packaging and pat it dry with some paper towel.
- Place flank steak in the bag and seal. Give the bag a shake to ensure the steak is coated in marinade. Refrigerate for at least three hours. Overnight is better.
- Place cilantro, parsley, oregano, chilies, and onion in a food processor. Blitz until a paste forms.
- Add red wine vinegar and lemon juice, and blitz again.
- With the food processor still running, slowly add the olive oil. Taste and season accordingly.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Whisk all of the ingredients together in a medium-sized mixing bowl until well integrated. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Heat a well-oiled cast iron grill over high heat. Place marinaded steak on the grill and cook for 3 minutes per side - longer if you're adverse to rare meat.
- Remove the steak from the grill and tent with foil. Let the meat sit for 10 minutes before slicing (across the grain).
- Place 3-4 slices of steak in each tortilla and top with Chimichurri, Salsa Blanca, and a sprinkling of pomegranate arils.
- Serve with cold beer.