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Best Beef for Tacos?

o
Oliverstreet Jul 26, 2006 06:38 PM

I was totally inspired by Mark Bittman's home-made taco recipes in today's NY Times, and would like to try some myself. The problem is that the beef he calls for (skirt steak) is grilled, and I live in an apartment and am sadly grill-less. Anyone know how to adapt skirt steak indoors? Or is there a better beef for indoor tacos?

Here's the link to the story:
The Taco Joint in Your Kitchen
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/26/din...

  1. d
    Darren72 Jul 26, 2006 06:39 PM

    I would do it under the broiler.

    1. p
      pamd Jul 26, 2006 06:41 PM

      do you have a broiler- you could try on that. I suggest buying an indoor grill for an apt. I think they are best with skirt steak.

      1. g
        gorboduc Jul 26, 2006 06:46 PM

        You could also try a grill pan if you've got one.

        A good cast iron griddle would work too, though I guess that would technically make them Tacos a la Plancha.... You'd miss the smokey part, but I bet they'd still be good.

        If you do them on the griddle, onions and rajas are good additions.

        1. r
          rtmonty Jul 26, 2006 06:46 PM

          Almost all Tex-Mex tacos, especially "hard" shell tacos, use ground beef and that's the way we still make them. Skirt steak is usually used for fijitas and sometimes in soft tacos. And, it's usually something like 80% ground beef, nothing super lean.

          1. d
            dano Jul 26, 2006 07:27 PM

            ridged cast iron grill pan.

            edit-unless you want shredded beef tacos. brisket, dried chile, salt, water. cook till done and shred.

            1. lax2mia Jul 26, 2006 10:03 PM

              Was it me or was that article a little off base? Bittman says to add something crunchy, some cheese, etc. to your tacos. Most of my favorite taco places serve them with just the tortilla (corn, of course), the protein (carnitas, steak, marinated pork rind), and some salsa. Maybe some cilantro. And a squeeze of lime. And rajas as mentioned above would be good too. But never lettuce, tomato, or cheese as suggested by Mr. Bittman.

              As for faux grilling, use the cast iron pan. You get juicy and crusty beef that way.

              1 Reply
              1. re: lax2mia
                d
                Darren72 Jul 26, 2006 10:10 PM

                Honestly, I think it was you. Bittman made it pretty clear that you can be creative in making a taco, go for just meat and salsa, or add something "crunchy" and cheese.

                Regarding the cooking method, you will get nicely carmelized meat if you use any high heat cooking method, and that include a cast iron pan or a broiler. After all, a broiler is simply a grill that is upside down (yes, yes, I know that isn't the same thing...don't jump on me, I'm simply making an analogy....) Basically, you want to cook the skirt stake quickly and with high heat. Pan roasting and broiling are the best methods for this. Finally, put whatever you want on your taco. It's your meal and you shouldn't feel like a slave to a particular restaurant or method.

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