Cat Cora's Grilled Chili-Lime Flank Steak Soft Tacos with Charred Pineapple Salsa
A Healthy and Flavorful Family Dinner
Spoon up a juicy, colorful pineapple salsa next to these easy-to-grill soft tacos and you have a delicious dinner with some style and flair. I like that every part of this meal can be done on the grill.
Chili powder and lime gives an inexpensive cut of meat a lot of flavor; when choosing flank or skirt steak, be sure to go for thinner cuts of meat; if the meat is thick, the lime juice doesn't reach the center to tenderize and the meat can come off the grill a little tough.
You can slightly brown the pineapple slabs on your grill in a minute or two, or you can leave the fruit on the grill until one side of the pineapple is truly black, for four or five minutes. I like this charred look and how it tastes in the salsa but taste a piece and see if you prefer your pineapple lightly browned or truly blackened. The pineapple needs a few minutes to cool when you take it off the grill, so you might want to grill the fruit first and then use the time while it cools to cut up the remaining vegetables for the salsa. This recipe makes a lot of salsa but it's good to have on hand in your fridge for a few days, ready to liven up simple quesadillas.
For the Steak Marinade: In a small bowl, mix all spices, salt, pepper, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and blend well to make a paste. Place the meat in a shallow dish and rub the paste evenly over both sides. Cover the steak and let it marinate for 1 to 4 hours.
For the Charred Pineapple Salsa: When the steak is done marinating, preheat the grill; you'll cut and grill the pineapple first and then put the steaks on the grill when the salsa is ready.
To cut the pineapple, slice off the leafy top and just enough of the bottom of the fruit so it rests flat on a cutting board. Slice off all the skin with a sharp knife, cutting from top to bottom and taking off as little of the flesh as possible, rotating the pineapple as you go. Discard the skin. Cut out any "eyes" with a paring knife and discard. Slice the fruit away from the core in four or five grill-friendly slabs.
When the grill is hot, place the pineapple slabs on the hot grill and grill quickly until the fruit just begins to show some browning, 1 to 2 minutes on each side. (If you want one side to be truly charred or blackened, let it go for 4 to 5 minutes on one side only.)
Take the fruit off the grill when it's as browned as you like. Set it aside to cool for a few minutes and then dice the pineapple for the salsa. In a medium bowl, mix the diced charred pineapple, red onion, cilantro, 2 tablespoons lime juice, vinegar, remaining olive oil, salt, and minced hot pepper and blend well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
To cook the steak: Place the steak on the grill and cook for about 5 to 6 minutes on each side or slightly longer if you like it more well done. Remove the steak from the grill and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. While the grill is hot, place the tortillas on the grill and grill for 10 seconds on each side then wrap in a linen napkin for serving.
Slice the steak into 1/2-inch slices, place on a platter, and spoon over the charred pineapple salsa. Place the tortillas on the table and serve family style.