I know, I know. We’re still tailing the end of winter here, and some of you are still a couple feet deep in snow. To you, I send my condolences. Snow and winter are the devil. Thankfully, a couple weeks ago here in Utah, we had a mini winter heat wave, and jumped up to the high 60’s and up to even the low 70’s one day. It was dreamy. No, it was HEAVENLY, man. Everyone got a little crazy; busting out the flip flops, plenty of shorts, lots of t-shirts were to be seen when I was out and about here in mid-February.
I joined them. Wholeheartedly. Winter depresses the heck out of me. Being outside in the lovely warm breeze, opening up my windows and heart to it, it’s what the good stuff is made of, my friends. One day in that mini-heat wave, I thought it’d be fun to bust out the grill on the balcony.
And grill I did, folks. My heart was the happiest it’s been for a while. The promise of spring and summer were at the forefront, and the smell of juicy meats sizzling away on the grill filled the warm air. Mmmm… to say it was nice would be the understatement of the year. I was in love, and made some killer tacos to share with you today!
First comes the part that is vital to grilling just about anything: the marinade. Whenever I’m going to be over a grill for dinnertime, I always stuff my thawed meat and marinade in a bag or pyrex dish in the fridge before breakfast even hits the table. Why? The meats are your friend, and will treat you like a BFF if you marinade them before throwing them over the grill. This time, we soaked the beauties in some fresh ginger, and some deep meat-loving ingredients that will take your taco from “hey this is good” to “ohmygosh I can’t even think straight this ROCKS MY LIFE.” However you cook them up (grill, oven, stovetop), remember two main tips: 1). make sure you don’t overcook the meat and 2). let the meat sit. I can’t emphasize these enough. Slightly undercooking my meats, then letting them sit under a bed of aluminum foil for 10 minutes to seep back in all the juices has changed the way I grill and cook meat in general. It’s amazing, and keeps those juicy meat pieces as moist as ever.
Next, the pico needs to be bold and fresh. Throwing something sweet like pineapple into the mix was a must this time around. Are pineapples in season right now? WHO FREAKING CARES when you’re pregnant and crave everything on the planet with a fiery passion of ten thousand armies. No joke. I needed some pineapple, and cooking up steaks on my balcony in February was going to be my vessel for eating it! This pico is sweet, spicy, and still has that beautiful hint of all things traditional when it comes to pico de gallo. But man, that pineapple sure takes it to the top.
So, when you have a warm day ahead, or if you have a grill pan or broiler all fired up, it’s time to take these ginger steak tacos to the dinnertable, my friends. Your family, friends, and that dear ‘old tummy of yours will thank you greatly for the gift of deliciousness.
Grilled Ginger Steak Tacos
with Pineapple Pico de Gallo
makes 4 servings
2 lbs flank steak, about 1 inch thick
1 t salt
1 t pepper
1/4 C extra virgin oil
1 1/2 T brown sugar
1 T soy sauce
2 t worchestershire sauce
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 T freshly grated ginger root
10-12 small corn/flour tortillas
6oz queso fresco cheese, crumbled
pineapple pico de gallo:
1 C fresh pineapple cubes, diced
2 large plum vine-on tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1/2 red onion, diced
3 T chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime, juiced
salt and pepper to taste
1. Prepare the marinade: In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, brown sugar, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, garlic,and ginger. Place the steak in a large ziplock bag and pour marinade inside the bag over the steaks. Seal tight by closing the lid, place the steak in the fridge for 2-24, mushing and flipping the steak occasionally inside the bag.
2. Make the pineapple pico: In a small bowl, combine all the pico ingredients, and stir together. Let the flavors sit and develop while you grill up the steaks.
3. Cook the steak: you can either grill them outside on the grill (over high heat for about 5 minutes per side), on a skillet over high heat for about 6 minutes per side, or place it under a high broiler for 4-5 minutes per side. Let steak sit, covered in aluminum foil, for 10 minutes before slicing. Then cut against the grain and serve on warmed tortillas, with fresh pineapple pic de gallo and queso blanco.