Chimichurri Steak Tacos

Galley Pirates Truth Bomb* : we do not make a completely new and different meal every day of our lives.  When you are not looking, we — like other mere maritime mortals — repeat our favorites and go-to’s (go’s-to?) and standbys over and over again.  We do endeavor not to tire you all with repetition, and commit to come up with something novel each and every Friday.  But today…I convinced Pirate Caroline to let me publish a “derivative” post, because it was UNBELIEVABLY delicious.  And boasts a new and heretofore unpublished sauce that you should make every week and put on everything from these tacos to eggs to plain old rice and beans.

* Yes, I know “truth bomb” is probably incredibly passé, but I don’t think we have many teenaged followers, so I’m running with it.

Chimichurri Steak Tacos

Jump to Recipe

For Meat:
1-1/2 or 2 lbs flank steak or skirt steak
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, peeled and well crushed
3-4 limes
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

For Pickles:
1-2 bunches radishes
1 medium red onion
1 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

3 cloves garlic, peeled and well crushed
1/4 cup vegetable oil

For Sauce:
1 cup fresh parsley leaves
3-4 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
3 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup olive oil

To Serve:
Tortillas — corn or flour, your choice
Beer — again, your choice!

Derivative recipe number one: this is our marinated flank steak recipe from way back when, but while that recipe had a vaguely Asian flavor, here we replace the ginger with limes.  So mix all of the meat ingredients in a Ziploc bag, massage to mix well, and let marinate for at least one but up to four hours.  Squeeze the lime juice into the marinade and then just throw the peels in there too.I decided to taste test the flank (left) vs. skirt (right) steak.  I came out with no particular conclusion!  The flank steak was juicier, but the skirt steak was an easier bite in the tacos; both took the marinade equally well, and got a good sear for flavor.  So choose based on availability or price if you don’t have a personal favorite.  These were grilled on a gas transom grill and took about 15 minutes apiece over medium-high heat, turning 4 times total to get good grill marks.  Remove from the grill, let rest for 5-10 minutes, and then slice thinly against the grain.Second derivative recipe: using my fresh pepper relish recipe I pickled radishes and onions; so pretty and delightfully tangy and fresh in the tacos.  To make, boil the vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and garlic just until sugar is dissolved (and have your portholes open so the galley doesn’t smell like Easter egg dying time!).  Of heat, add oil.  Pour vinaigrette over sliced radishes and onions in a mason jar, seal, and marinate optimally 24 hours, shaking occasionally.  These will keep for a week in the icebox and are so good on anything that pickles are good on.Not having 24 hours to marinate my pickles, I turned the jar upside down to make sure those that would be served tonight had as much time in the juice as possible.Finally, a new recipe!  Chimichurri sauce is Argentinian or Brazilian in origin, and all about grilled meat.  That said, I have put it on my scrambled eggs, fish, pork, and on really desperate last minute white rice with canned black beans and it made EVERYTHING special.  It’s pretty intensely flavored — like pesto, but maybe even a bit stronger — so a batch will last you a week or so, even at my consumption rate.Combine the herbs, garlic and spices in your hand-cranked food processor and grind until fairly finely chopped.Add the oil and grind again until basically emulsified.  If you’re making this in an electrified galley and use a machine food processor or blender, you can stream the oil in and get a much more even effect.  But taste is good either way.

To serve, throw a couple of slices of steak in a lightly-grilled tortilla, toss some pickles in and drizzle some sauce on top.  Split a lime between your tacos and your Corona, and see how many friends you make in the marina.  Salud, Pirates!

Chimichurri Steak Tacos


Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs flank or skirt steak
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 4 limes halved
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 bunches radishes
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 4 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 12 flour tortillas
Instructions
  1. For meat: combine steak and next six ingredients in a heavy ziploc bag, squeezing the limes in and adding peels to the bag.  Seal and massage to combine and cover meat.  Allow to marinate for at least one but up to four hours.  Remove from marinade and grill over medium high heat for approximately 15 minutes, flipping several times.  Allow to rest for 10 minutes and slice thinly against the grain.

  2. For pickles: Slice radishes and red onion and put in mason jar or similar tightly lidded container.  Combine next five ingredients and bring to a boil just long enough to dissolve sugar.  Off heat, stir in vegetable oil. Pour over radishes and onion in jar, shake to combine, and let marinate, optimally for 24 hours.

  3. For sauce: combine parsley, oregano, garlic, salt, and peppers in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.  Stream in oil until emulsified.

  4. To serve: lightly grill tortillas.  Place several strips of steak in each tortilla, scatter with 1/2 cup or so of pickles and about a tablespoon of sauce.

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