This might be the most simple and easy recipe we have ever posted. It’s so basic that it doesn’t even require an actual recipe. All you do is roast some onion strips in the oven and grill a skirt steak, then put those ingredients in a taco. But the end result tastes a lot more complex — as if you marinated the steak for hours and meticulously carmelized the onions. This meal is perfect for a busy weeknight, or even a last-minute dinner party where you can fool your guests into thinking you spent way more time cooking for them than you actually did. (We won’t tell.)
Start with the onions, because they will take a little longer to cook than the steak. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut an onion into half-moon strips and toss the strips on a cookie sheet with a little vegetable oil. We used a red onion on this night, but yellow or white would work as well.
Cook the onions for about 20-25 minutes total, depending on how fast they are roasting and how “done” you prefer them to be (Dan and I almost always disagree on this point – he likes them more browned than I do, so we usually end up with a mixture.) About 10 minutes into the cooking time, reduce the heat of the oven to 350 degrees. As the onions cook, occasionally stir them with a spatula to make sure that they cook evenly — the onions in the middle of the pan will cook more slowly, while those on the edges will brown faster. Once they are done to your liking (or compromised liking), remove the onions to a plate lined with paper towels and sprinkle them with Kosher salt. The onions can sit at room temperature while you prepare the steak.
To get the steak ready, trim off the large pieces of fat. Don’t worry about removing all of it — a little fat adds flavor!
Next, cut a few thin slices in the fat with a sharp knife. This allows the salt and pepper to penetrate the meat, and it prevents the steak from curling as it cooks over the high heat. Then season the steak on both sides with a generous amount of Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. That’s all there is to seasoning the steak.
Grill the steak over medium-high heat for about 4-6 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, turn the steak, and cook until the steak is medium rare, approximately 5-7 more minutes. Dan also grills a lime to squeeze over the finished steak. Just cut a lime in half and place the halves cut-side-down on the grill for about 5 minutes as the steak grills.
The finished steak (and limes) should rest for about 5 minutes before you cut it. After the steak has rested, squeeze the lime juice over the steak, then cut the meat into thin strips for the tacos.
Update: As one of our readers pointed out, be sure to cut the steak against the grain, otherwise it will be tough to chew.
Place the meat on flour tortillas (bonus points if you make your own — and if you do, please share the recipe — we haven’t found one we love yet), then garnish with cheddar cheese, sour cream and the roasted onions. Or whatever other toppings you like. We served ours with Guacamole Salad. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this recipe — these tacos are delicious. Sometimes all it takes is the pairing of 2 basic ingredients, simply prepared — the beefy steak and the sweet/salty onions — to create a big and complex flavor.