No other dinners are as looked forward to in our house as our weekly “Taco Tuesday” night. With a husband and 3 college age daughters still living at home, and a very special girl we caregive for by the name of Alli, finding meals that everyone enjoys can be challenging. As a caregiver for Caregivers Metro Detroit, I have, many times, resorted to the standard due to the lack of time, “This is for dinner, if you do not like it you can have cereal or make your own.” line, I do thoroughly enjoy the times our family can come together and everyone enjoys the meal. That is one of the reasons I love Mexican food so much.
I supply the protein, soft and hard shells both, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro and onions and everyone makes their own dish, exactly how they like it. I always complete the meal with rice, refried beans and Tostitos with salsa. Finish it off with guacamole and sour cream and all I see at the table are smiling faces. Everyone loves Taco night, especially when I make Carne Asada. It is incredibly easy to cook, but still yields a mouth full of flavor.
One thing very important, like with any meal using beef, is to purchase a grade-A cut of meat. For Carne Asada, I use a Flank Steak, usually purchased at Costco. I apply a good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil to the meat, rubbing it on both sides. For season, I only use Salt, Pepper and a light dusting of Lawry’s season salt. We only grill, mainly because we love that char-grilled flavor when done on a barbecue. The key to getting the char-grilled flavor, without getting the meat too well done is to make sure the barbecue is very hot when you first put the meat on. I char each side, just a minute or two on a very high flame, to seal in the juices and flavors. We prefer our meat medium, so I lower the heat and finish cooking to the desired flavor.
I do let the meat sit for about 15 minutes after I am done barbecuing. Once it has sat, I cut it crosswise, making small pieces which are better for taco filling. I dice up a small onion and fresh cilantro and mix both ingredients into the chopped meat. The amount you mix in depends on how much you like these flavors. If you prefer to just leave the meat alone, without the onion and cilantro, that is fine also, as the meat will be very flavorful and juicy on its own. We use this as a replacement for regular seasoned ground beef or chicken. It is also great for salads, which my daughters love. I will usually do an extra flank steak (they come in a 2 pack at Costco) for leftovers.
The girls will eat it without the taco shell, just as a salad on it’s own. This meal is so highly successful that there have been many evenings when the conversation takes a back seat to the eating. And with 3 daughters, any time our dinner table is quiet due to eating is a cause for celebration. Enjoy.