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Mexican-Style Cumin-Pepper Steak Tacos

Mexican-Style Cumin-Pepper Steak Tacos


For the steaks:

  • 2 pounds flatiron steaks

  • Olive oil, for drizzling

  • 1 rounded tablespoon ground cumin

  • 2 teaspoons granulated garlic

  • 2 teaspoons granulated onion

  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped

  • Salt and pepper

  • 2 limes

For the poblano sauce:

  • 4 large poblano peppers

  • 1 large white or yellow onion, peeled and cut into wedges

  • 4 large cloves garlic, crushed

  • 2 jalapeño peppers

  • 4-6 medium tomatillos

  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves

  • Drizzle of agave or light honey, such as Acacia honey

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • Juice of 1 lime

  • Salt, to taste

For the peppers and onions:

  • 2 tablespoons canola or olive oil

  • 1 large red bell pepper or frying pepper, sliced

  • 1 large green frying, mild or bell pepper, sliced

  • 1 large red onion, halved and sliced

  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced

  • Salt and pepper

  • A splash of dry sherry or white wine

For wrapping:

  • 16 corn tortillas (4-6 inches), charred in hot dry pan on both sides

  • Romaine or iceberg lettuce leaves, for wrapping (instead of tortillas)

For the fixin's:

  • Sliced radishes

  • Cilantro leaves

  • Sliced avocado

  • Sour cream or Mexican crema

  • Shredded Manchego cheese

  • Lime-picked red onions (red onions dressed with salt, pepper and lime juice) or chopped raw onions


Bring the steaks to room temperature and coat lightly in olive or canola oil. Combine the cumin, granulated garlic and onion, thyme, salt and pepper in a small bowl and rub into the meat. Let stand, covered, for 30 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 500°F. Lightly spray or drizzle the poblanos, onions, garlic and jalapeño peppers with olive oil and roast until the peppers and tomatillos charred and the onions are tender. Take the garlic out when light golden and tender; the peppers may need turning as well. Cool the peppers in a covered bowl, then peel and seed. In a food processor, combine the peppers, onions, garlic and tomatillos with cilantro, honey, cumin, lime juice and salt, and pulse to chop or puree to your desired consistency; adjust the seasonings, to taste. Heat a griddle or grill pan to medium high heat for steaks. Heat a large skillet with canola or olive oil, two turns of the pan. Add red and green mild peppers, red onions and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Cook veggies to tender-crisp, 4-5 minutes, deglaze the pan with sherry or white wine. Char the tortillas (if using) in a dry skillet over high heat for 20-30 seconds on each side. Assemble the toppings of your choice. Grill the steaks for 8 minutes, turning once for medium rare, 10-12 minutes for medium-well. Grill 2 halved limes alongside steaks. Let the steaks rest and thinly slice on an angle against the grain. Douse the meat with the juice of grilled limes. Assemble the lettuce or corn tacos as you like.