Steak tacos have long been a favorite of mine, and a great steak taco usually doesn’t need more than cilantro and onion (at least, from my experiences with the little authentic Mexican taco places in Chicago, down the street from me).
When you’re not dumping cheese, sour cream, and other fattening condiments onto a steak taco, they’re generally not too bad for you. However, on a low carb (or “slow carb”) diet, it’s hard to bypass the tortilla that holds all the deliciousness together.
In spite of this, I’ve attempted to craft a carb-free steak taco - let’s get to it.
Here’s What You’ll Need
- About 1b of flank steak
- 2 avocados (optional)
- 1 yellow onion
- 2 limes
- 1 head of lettuce
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Ground pepper
- Salt (coarse Kosher salt preferred)
1) Preparing the Steak
First, we want to get the flank steak ready for the marinade. Because I want to have more surface area of the steak in the marinade, I decided to slice the thick piece of flank steak in half. This step isn’t necessary, especially if you feel like your piece isn’t too thick.
Next, rub or “massage” the piece or pieces of flank steak with salt and pepper. There’s no perfect amount here – start with a little, and use your judgment as you add more. Remember that we will also be pouring a marinade over the steak, so you don’t want to overdo this step.
Now, we want to prepare the marinade. Whisk together the juice of one lime, 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup olive oil, and 2 cloves garlic (minced). Because I’m really bad at mincing garlic cloves, I use the pre-minced garlic from a jar, which I find tastes just as good.
Once everything is mixed together well, pour it over the steak. If you’re using a glass baking dish to marinate the steak like I am, you probably want to turn the steak over a couple times before putting it in the fridge (to make sure both sides of each piece are adequately coated). Another solution would be to double the marinade recipe so that you have more liquid for the beef to soak in, but I don’t think this is necessary.
Marinade the flank steak for at least 30 minutes (but preferably 1-3 hours). While the steak is marinading, you can skip down to “Preparing the Taco Topping” and get that ready.
Now, it’s time to cook the steak. There are a number of ways you can do this, but I’ll walk you through my preferred method.
First, I like to get that grilled flavor on the outside of my steak. Heat up your grill on high, and grill the steak for approximately 2 minutes on each side. Remember, we’re not trying to cook it all the way through (yet). If you don’t want to bother with the grill, you can skip to the next paragraph. Similarly, feel free to cook the steak exclusively on the grill (and ignore the part where we finish cooking it on the stove).
Once the steak is off the grill, chop it into fairly small pieces (as pictured below). Drizzle a large pan with olive oil, and heat the pan on medium-high. Add the chopped steak and finish cooking to your preferred done-ness.
2) Preparing the Taco Topping
For the taco topping, you can chop up onions, cilantro and mix in a little bit of olive oil and lime juice. For this, I use about 1/2 an onion, a small handful of cilantro (chopped), the juice of half of a lime, and a splash of olive oil. If you feel the mixture is too much of a liquid, add more onions and cilantro. Although lime is technically a fruit, it’s very low in sugar (1g in an entire lime), so I’m okay with using a little bit of lime juice. If you’re following the slow carb diet very strictly, feel free to omit the lime juice.
Or, you can whip that same mixture together with avocados and make a very basic guacamole topping (which is what I did). If you go the guacamole route, also add in a bit of salt and pepper (to taste). The reason I call it a very basic guacamole topping is because if I were seriously making guacamole, the recipe would be a bit more complex. If you have a favorite guacamole recipe, feel free to insert it here!
3) Put Together the Tacos!
Separate the layers of the head of lettuce and be sure to rinse each piece. Similar to my mango avocado chicken lettuce wraps, I tend to have difficulty getting several good pieces of lettuce. If you wind up tearing or ruining some pieces, you can double them up so that they don’t go to waste (and this will make the taco a bit sturdier).
Add your steak pieces and whichever topping you decided to make, into the piece(s) of lettuce. If you find that the steak is cold when you go to actually put together the taco, heat up the steak (microwave) before you put it on the lettuce and add the topping.
Enjoy! If you have any comments or modifications that you’d like to share, please do share them below!
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