Mojo loco tacos … this is a perfect tailgate item! Marinate the meat a couple hours before the game. Grill it, slice it and devour it.
This recipe is crafted from the skirt steak. So, what is skirt steak, and why is it called that?
Skirt steak can come in two forms; inside and outside. The skirt steak is a thin, fibrous cut of beef taken from the diaphragm muscle on the short plate, just between the abdomen and chest. This cut of meat tends to have a chewy texture due to the fibrous muscle. To maximize the tenderness of the muscle, the skirt steak is marinated before grilling or pan searing. Before cutting, make sure you are cutting against the grain.
I will tell you right now that skirt steak makes the best fajita beef. A common misconception is that skirt steak is the same as flank steak. This is not true – they are similar and often confused, but not the same.
Where does skirt steak come from? Skirt steak comes from the front forequarter below the chest. It is located on the plate, where you also get the short ribs.
Now that we know a little more about skirt steak, we will be preparing Mojo Marinated Skirt Steak Loco Tacos with grilled pico de gallo.
Before we begin, the fat and membrane must be trimmed from the steak. If you need help trimming your meat, click here
for a video. You don’t have to take all the surface fat off, just make sure you leave no silver skin.
This steak takes a marinade wonderfully. In this recipe we will be making a mojo marinade, then turn the marinade into a BBQ Glaze that is amazing.
The mojo marinade is a citrus based marinade. I like to add sugar and soy sauce to the mixture for that yen and yang flavor … almost an Umami affect.
Marinate your steak for at least two hours. This is where the skirt steak in particular will pick up a tremendous amount of flavor. Skirt steaks are perfect for marinating.
Here is the recipe for the marinade:
2 tablespoons juice from about 2 limes, plus 1 extra lime for serving
1/4 cup juice from 1 orange
1/3 cup soy sauce
2/3 cup olive oil, divided
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons brown sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves and fine stems
Combine all ingredients. Reserve 1 lime.
Once you get the marinade mixed up, add the trimmed skirt steak for at least one hour, although 2-3 hours is preferred.
Now it’s time to grill!
But first … Remove the skirt steak from the marinade and pat dry with a paper towel. Keep the marinade and add it to a pot and bring to a boil, reducing to a BBQ sauce. Set this sauce aside.
While you are doing this, let the steak come to room temperature (this will take about 30 minutes).
Once you are ready to grill, make sure you get your cooking surface super hot. I cook over charcoal, but you can cook this in a cast iron, over a gas grill or wherever you can get a really hot surface.
Take your room temperature, dry steak (moisture does not help the searing process so you want the steak to be as dry as possible) and sear the steak on each side for 3-4 minutes. You’ll want to caramelize the steak!
I make a grilled pico de gallo to go on the tacos also. This step is simple. Make your favorite pico de gallo recipe, add it to a tin foil packet and throw it on the grill! I even heat my tortilla on the grill.
Once you take your skirt steak off the grill, be sure to let it rest for at least 10 minutes. Then, you’ll want to slice it against the grain. This is important with this cut, otherwise it will be tough.
Now it is time to assemble your taco! Use a nice lettuce, a drizzle of the Mojo BBQ Sauce and garnish with cilantro. Add your favorite fixings and serve. Now you have a taco that is over the top!
Thank you, and enjoy!
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