Thursday, May 5, 2011

Carne Asada Tacos

7 years old. For a lot of things, that would be a long life. Your mattress might make it that long. For a mayfly or worker bee, 2,555 days would be an eternity. The tires on my car won't last that long. Hell the car probably won't either. My fridge better make it 7 years. The furnace? Fat chance. A $150 22,000 BTU gas grill?

Thank you, Sears Kenmore, for the outdoor gas grilling experience you have provided for the past 7 years. You have lived outside your whole life, enduring many ups and downs in temps while residing in the Midwest, and plenty of rain and snow when I forgot to put your clothes back on. And plenty of abuse from me, although I (mostly) kept you clean and happy most of the time. Your auto ignition didn't last long, but that's okay. The light-in-the-handle gimmick was also crappy, but I didn't think of you any less, that was your parents' fault. You've been stoic for the last 7 years, and your age clearly shows the fight. You've grown squeaky and rusty, legs weak from oxidation, the cover thicker from creosote build-up from hours of smoking. You've had part replacement and other minor surgeries, but the years have finally caught up to. There's no more fixes, you've been around a lot longer than most. It's time to bid adieu, to say thanks and goodbye. You will not be forgotten, but remembered fondly. Thanks for all that dead animal (and some vegetable) you've put on the table. Now get your ass to the trash so we can get a new grill!

The last meal on the old grill-
Carne Asada Tacos
6 servings

2 lb skirt or flank steak
6-8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
2 jalapenos, stemmed, thinly sliced (seeds and membrane incl.)
2 limes and their juice
2 TB white vinegar
1/2 ts white sugar
1/3 C EVOO
handful cilantro, chopped (stems and leaves)
1/2 ts kosher
1/4 ts black pepper

grilled peppers
grilled onions
shredded cheese
sour cream
hot sauce
warmed flour or corn tortillas

For the marinade-
Add your steaks, trimmed of any excess fat (that's any fat hanging, not surrounded by meat) to a large seal-able plastic bag. Add the marinade ingredients and shake up a bit to get everything loving each other, then remove as much air as possible while you seal up the bag and place on a sheet pan with sides (in case there's a leak). Stash in the fridge for 2 (minimum) to (maximum) 8 hrs. Flip a few times during the marinate if possible. Remove from fridge 30 minutes before grilling, remove from marinade and remove the clinging garlic and onion pieces.

For the cooking-
Fire up your outdoor hotbox to bout medium-high, with the grills already slippery with your favorite lube (Pam). Over direct heat, grill for 4 minutes, then about 3 on the flippity flip. Use your finger to test for doneness, you want medium-rare to slightly more medium-rare. Let rest for 5 minutes off the grill, then slice in half (if long pieces of steak, you want bout 3" strips) and then slice thinly against the grain. Serve up with accouterments of your choice and warm tortillas. Acceptable drink choices include Tecate, Modelo, or Pacifico.

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