Saturday, January 10, 2009

Faux Carne Asada Tacos

Tonight, we made some steak tacos, using a carne asada recipe out of the upcoming release Simply Mexican as an inspiration, but some leftover prime rib from Christmas dinner as the starting point. Because it was already cooked, frozen, and thawed, I didn't want to heat it too long, for fear of making it dry and chewy. So instead, I created a marinade of the juice of 2 1/2 limes, about a teaspoon of salt, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 small shallot, a teaspoon of cumin, and a 1/2 teaspoon of coriander, all blended up in the food processor with about 1/2 cup pickled hot red peppers from a beautiful jar of peppers given to us as a hosting gift by Dan's coworker Shannon when she and her husband came over during the holidays. I mixed the marinade up with the leftover prime rib, which I had cut into thin slices, put it all in a ziploc bag, sucked the air out to make sure the liquid spread throughout the bag, put it in a second bag, and laid it in the fridge. I also took 1/2 a large red onion, sliced thin, and 'pickled' it for a couple hours in red wine vinegar (based on the original recipe). Every so often, I flipped the bag of meat to let the marinade drip through. After a couple hours, I heated about a teaspoon of bacon fat in a pan on medium-high heat, then tossed in half the meat (we're saving the rest for lunch tomorrow). I warmed up some corn tortillas, and we had the tacos with the meat, red onion, some guacamole, and a little more of that salsa verde.

I scarfed my down, and Dan definitely enjoyed them too. I was concerned about adding too much heat, and held off on putting as many peppers in the marinade as I originally planned to, and I think I could've used about twice what I did to give them more kick... but they were still tasty, tender, and seemed very fresh despite being essentially leftovers.

Thinking back on the sources of the ingredients, I realize the meat, the peppers, and the salsa were all gifts - which all came together for a great dinner.

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