Healthy Flank Steak Tacos with Chimichurri…Ay Caramba!

Weekends go by so fast, one of these weekends I’m just going to sit and stare at a clock the whole time in the hopes that it lasts longer…I bet it won’t.

My oldest son, who is 6, had a roller skating birthday party to go to yesterday, Jason dropped him off and I picked him up.  When I arrived to get him at 2:30 PM I spotted him out on the rink, he was drenched in sweat and redder in the face than I have ever seen him.  He had literally been skating the whole 2 1/2 hours of the party, no stopping for cake or witnessing the opening of presents…no time to eat cake when you gotta skate I guess.  He’s only been skating one other time and he doesn’t quite get the whole gliding concept yet so there’s a lot of physical exertion happening when he skates.  

When he saw me he waved and continued to skate until the DJ kicked them all off.  He made his way off the rink and pretty much collapsed in the first chair he saw and started begging for water.  I got the skates off and his boots on and we started heading towards the door but he wasn’t walking very well, he kept saying he couldn’t feel his legs…which isn’t surprising considering his form out there and the fact that he had been skating that way for 2.5 hours.  We make it to the car and I literally have to lift him into my SUV because he can’t get in, I was cracking up and so was he…the whole thing was so ridiculous.  Don’t worry, he’s fine now…he’s sitting next to me looking at Houzz on the ipad and asking if I like every million dollar kitchen he comes across.  I told him that when he goes pro in roller skating he can buy me one of them, he agreed to…yes!

Ok, it’s time to talk about Healthy Flank Steak Tacos!  Flank steak is so great because it’s relatively inexpensive, VERY lean, and so easy to cook (as long as you know what you’re doing).  There are really only two ways to cook a flank steak, if you deviate from these two methods you will probably end up with a really tough piece of meat that won’t be fun to eat and will probably give you lockjaw (never good).

The first way to cook a flank steak is very quickly on a really hot grill, I recommend using a marinade first…get your grill piping hot and then throw it on and cook it for 5 minutes, flip it and cook for 5 more minutes and then for the love of God get that thing off the grill!  This will sear the outside but keep the inside nice and tender.

The second way, which is the method I utilized for these tacos, is to cook it very slowly in your crock pot.  

Here is what you will need for this recipe…

1-2 pounds flank steak, depending on your crowd (or chicken if you don’t eat steak, or even shrimp if you don’t want to use the slow cooker…I’ll explain the variations at the end of this post)

Dry Rub 
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Chimichurri Sauce 
2 cups packed flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup fresh oregano leaves
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup EVOO

1 – red bell pepper 
1 – onion
1 – avocado
reduced fat sour cream
tortillas (corn and/or flour)

Mix your dry rub together in a bowl…

and rub it all over the meat, like this…

Then put your flank steak in the crock pot.  I couldn’t find a 2 lb flank steak so I bought 2 – 1 pounders and they both fit nicely in the bottom of the crock pot.

Then cut up an onion and throw that on top of your flank steak, you don’t need to cut it into small pieces…

Now put the lid on, set your crock pot on low for 6-8 hours, and walk away. 

Now it’s time to make the Chimichurri…I’ve been in LOVE with chimichurri ever since I discovered it a few years ago.  It originated in Argentina and from what I’ve read on the internet they use it like ketchup down there so it must be pretty good, right?

Take the parsley, oregano, garlic, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and put it all in the food processor.  Process it for about 30 seconds and scrape down the sides with a spatula to get it all incorporated.  Now with the lid on but that little lid thingy off, stream in the olive oil while processing.  Then it’s done…now let it sit until the meat is done so all the yummy flavors can meld together.  It should look something like this…

 Now you can relax for a few hours…read a book, do some yoga, go roller skating…whatever feels good to you.

About 30 minutes before your meat is ready (6 hours is good but you can leave it in there for 8) you can prepare the rest of the toppings.

Slice your red pepper and saute it in a pan with some olive oil until it gets soft and maybe even a little charred in spots, like this…

These peppers get soooo sweet when you cook them like this and they are a perfect compliment to the tangy saltiness of the chimichurri sauce.  You can put the sliced pepper in the crock pot but I think they taste better and hold up well when you saute them separately…I’m not going to tell to you what to do because it’s your life and they’re your peppers, just remember that you will have to live with your decisions…so just saute the pepper.

Now it’s time to shred the meat….you don’t need to shred the crap out of it, just get it into manageable pieces.

Take the meat out of the crock pot but don’t pour out those precious juices!  

Put the meat on a board and start cutting it in large long slices (1-2 inches thick) going against the grain, like this…

If you’re not sure what “going against the grain” means, it just refers to cutting the meat perpendicular to how the lines on the top of the piece of the meat are running.  You do this so you can cut through the lines and end up with manageable pieces to eat.  If you cut along the grain, you would end up with very long thin pieces of meat that are hard to chew.  I hope I explained that ok…if not, then I’m sorry I made you read that.

Now you need to shred the pieces of meat you cut, like this…

Now throw it all back in the crock pot with those precious juices we talked about…it should resemble something like this when you’re done…

For the tortillas, I bought two kinds…flour and corn.  The corn tortillas are 100% corn so they’re great for someone who needs to stay away from flour.  If I want to heat many tortillas at once, I wrap them in foil and throw them in a 200° F oven for about 10 minutes or so.  You can also heat them one at a time over the flame on a gas stove, up to you.

Now you just need to slice up your avocado and get your sour cream out and you are ready to roll!

Here is a photo of the finished product, not the best pic but I just wanted to eat it so bad I didn’t care…

The flavor combo in these tacos is out of this world, I’m not even exaggerating.  If you’re not a steak eater, you can totally follow this exact recipe using chicken.  You can also make a shrimp version…for that you would just coat the shrimp with the dry rub and saute it in a pan with some olive oil for a few minutes.  I have made them every way I just mentioned and I couldn’t tell you which one is my favorite, they all turn out great.  The nice thing about the shrimp is that you can cook the steak or chicken in the crock pot and your shrimp on the stove so people can choose what they want (sort of like surf ‘n turf!).

So since I wasn’t patient enough to take a really good picture of the taco, I decided to take a really good picture of my cat…

Well, we have another roller skating party tomorrow at a different rink…we are really making the rounds on the roller skating circuit lately.  I’m taking a half day at work so I can take him to the party…and because I’m going roller skating too.


The Good Cooker

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