Tacos, tacos, tacos! They’ve come a long way for me!! From Taco Bell back in the day when you could get one for .29 cents to those college days and the late night stops at Jack-in-the-Box for those three for .99 cent grease loaded tacos. Yeah, I ate those. Don’t judge me. LOL! Fast forward to 2018 where tacos are taking a center stage in upscale restaurants. So quick and easy to make at home, especially with my Grilled Steak Tacos recipe.
Prepping the Almond Flour Shells
I’ve mentioned Siete Almond Flour Tortillas (available on Amazon, but you can find it cheaper in local health markets or grocery stores) in other recipes, but it’s worth mentioning again. These tortillas are amazing! You can eat them right out of the package, heat them in the microwave, or create shells as I have discovered. For my Grilled Steak Tacos recipe, I heat and shape them, but you can also do it soft taco style and use the tortillas right out of the bag. I like the crunch of the shells so I heat and shape them.
You can use a cast iron griddle or heat these directly over an open flame. I’ve done them both ways. Make note…over an open flame is less forgiving, as I found out trying to take pictures at the same time! In both cases, you just continually flip the tortilla until you’ve reached your desired brown-ness. The whole tortilla won’t be brown…you’ll have brown spots. Also note, the longer you cook them, the harder it will be to shape them. On the cast iron griddle I cook it about 2 minutes…continually flipping it.
Once cooked, carefully fold them into a taco shell shape and let them cool. An easy way to do that is to place two to four glasses on the counter about an inch apart and place the shell between them so the glasses hold the shell in its shape until it’s set.
Or… if you have a gas stove with grates like mine, you can do this:
The Taco Toppings
This is where you can go creatively crazy. Unleash you inner artist! Taco toppings throughout the ages have gone from the classic lettuce, tomatoes and cheese, to cabbage, grilled pineapple and insects. Yes, you read that right…insects. I’m adventuresome, but it’s going to take some serious time (and tequila) before I’m ready to eat insects, even though they apparently have some really good health benefits.
The taco is a perfect way to get in your vegetable servings for the day! The way I approach my toppings for tacos include what’s available in my fridge, what’s colorful and what adds flavor and texture. Today, that list comprised of two types of cabbage, napa and red, tomatoes, jalapenos and zucchini ribbons. Oh, and cilantro. That’s a must for tacos!
The Meat and the Grilling
While perusing the butcher shop I came across grass fed and finished top sirloin. As you may know, grass fed and finished meat is a little bit more expensive than grain fed meat, but it’s healthier for you. The piece I bought was about 2 1/2 lbs. I’ve found 100% grass fed top sirloin from $12.99 per pound at Whole Foods, to $16.99 per pound at the organic butcher. As you’re doing the math and before you say “Yikes!” let me tell you that I got 6 meals out of that piece of meat – dinner for two people, for two nights and then 2 lunches for Mark to take to work. We can’t eat out six times for that amount (much less get 100% grass fed meat). So, if your budget allows…look for 100% grass fed beef for these Grilled Steak Tacos.
Remove your top sirloin from the refrigerator about 20 – 30 minutes before grilling. The seasoning for this is simple – let the quality of the meat do the talking. I used sea salt, fresh cracked black pepper. That’s it. I then put it on a rack instead of directly on a plate. I find the bottom side always loses a bit of seasoning when it sits in its juices and the air circulating around the meat will give you dry sides before you put into onto the grill. When you season it with the sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, be sure to get the sides too. Then let it sit at room temperature 20-30 minutes.
Heat your outdoor grill to about 360 degrees.
Once the grill is at temperature, place your meat onto the grill and leave it alone for about 6-7 minutes. Try and tamp out any flare-ups. To reduce flare-ups, you could trim off the fat, but since I am using 100% grass fed beef, I leave the fat on because it is sooooo flavorful.
Turn it over and grill for another 5-6 minutes or so. This will give you a medium internal temperature.
Your grill temperature may vary so keep an eye on the cooking progression. Grill about 3-4 minutes after flipping for medium-rare and maybe 8-9 for well done. Using tongs, hold the meat on its edges on the grill for about 20 seconds or so. Not necessary, but I like doing that.
Transfer to a cutting board or plate and loosely tent with foil. Let it rest for 4-5 minutes before slicing. Slice it with your knife on a slight diagonal…not straight up and down.
The Art of Assembly
So, there are some differing schools of thought on how to assemble a taco. Veggies on the bottom and meat on the top so the meat holds the veggies in, or meat on the bottom with veggies on top so the meat stays in place. My thoughts: IT’S A TACO…THINGS ARE GOING TO FALL OUT!! So…assemble it how you want to…it’s all good! I’m a meat on the bottom person.
Awesome Grilled Steak Tacos Leftovers
There may or may not be any leftovers, but if there are, these Grilled Steak Tacos make an awesome second night dinner. You can easily change up your toppings. I had plenty of grilled sirloin left and for our second night, since I ran out of zucchini, I just sliced up some celery which added a delightful crunch and used more cabbage, tomatoes, jalapenos, and onions. I was also able to make two fabulous Grilled Steak Tacos “salads” for Mark’s lunch. Using the remaining toppings. I first mixed into the cabbage some Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Chipotle Lime Mayonnaise and used that as the base of the salad. Added some of the remaining toppings, added sliced steak and boom…lunch prepared. On the second salad, I added hard boiled egg to change it up. So many things you can do with the leftovers!
Equipment I Use in my Kitchen:
Grilled Steak Tacos
- 2 1/2 lbs top sirloin try for a piece that is about 1" thick
- fine sea salt and pepper
- 2 cups napa cabbage shredded
- 1 cup red cabbage shredded
- 1 zucchini (smaller diameter better) cut into ribbons
- 1/2 medium red onion thinly sliced
- 12 cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 1 jalepeno thinly sliced
- 5 sprigs cilantro coarsely chopped
- olive oil
- Heat your gas grill to approximately 360 degrees F.
For the Taco Shells
- Place two to four glasses about an inch apart on the counter near the stove. You'll use this to shape the tortilla.
- Lightly brush the griddle pan with olive oil and place griddle pan over medium high heat and let it heat for a minute.
- Place a tortilla on the griddle pan and let sit for 30 seconds or so between flippings, until tortilla is heated and brown spots appear.
- Carefully remove tortilla and shape into a taco shell. Set the tortilla between the glasses so that it holds its shape while cooling. Or, if you have grates as pictured above, set them between the grates. Alternatively, you can just hold the shell until it has hardened into its shape...however...keep an eye on that griddle pan!
- Repeat with remaining tortillas, lightly re-brushing the griddle pan if needed.
For the Toppings
- To make the zucchini ribbons, first trim the ends of the zucchini. Use a vegetable peeler to carefully slice the zucchini lengthwise into long thin ribbons. Note: a smaller diameter zucchini will nicely fit the width of a vegetable peeler!
- Chop, cut, thinly slice or shred the remaining topping ingredients as stated in the ingredients list.
- Arrange all toppings on a plate or tray or into individual bowls. Set aside.
For the Meat
- Season the sirloin with the salt and pepper. Use your judgement based on your tastes and health needs. I use minimal salt and lots of pepper because I like pepper! Be sure to season the edges too.Place on a rack over a plate or tray to allow air to circulate. Let sit for 20 minutes at room temperature before grilling.
- Place sirloin onto a hot grill and leave it alone for 6-7 minutes. Tamp out any flare ups.
- Flip the sirloin and continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes for medium rare, 5-6 minutes for medium, 8-9 for well done. Grill temperatures vary so keep an eye of the progression of the cooking.
- Remove sirloin to a cutting board or plate and loosely tent with foil. Let it rest 5 minutes before slicing.
- Slice the sirloin with a sharp knife, holding the knife at a slight diagonal (instead of slicing straight up and down).Serve along side the shells and the toppings - letting everyone assemble their own Grilled Steak Tacos!