Bob Hart’s Steak Tacos
The perfect steak – an impeccably grilled rib-eye on the bone, something around the 600g mark – would be the ultimate barbecue offering … were it not for one small thing.
At this time of the year in particular, meals around the barbecue tend to be for groups of enthusiasts rather than one or two spoilt and greedy souls. And while I am all for splitting a large rib-eye between two, it can be a struggle to stretch it much further than that AND maintain the peace.
There is a way, however: it’s called STEAK TACOS. And it is truly magnificent, entirely satisfying, and a dead set favourite of mine.
It consists of the aforementioned perfect rib-eye which is cooked, taken off the bone in one piece and sliced, against the grain, into delicate slivers and divided between three or four freshly grilled and handsomely dressed tacos or small tortillas.
Add a smear of chipotle mayo, a dollop of guacamole (or just diced avocado), a dollop of salsa, a squeeze of fresh lime juice and a clump of coriander leaves. Then, fold, eat, give thanks…
First, choose your rib-eyes – the tastiest of all steaks, and essentially scotch fillet on the bone. Not small, of course, and not cheap. But when you share them in this way you get great bang for your buck and one will deliver four (or even more) great tacos.
Salt the steaks (generously, and with sea salt, please) four hours before youplan to cook them. Then, remove them from the fridge two hours later and let them return to room temperature and continue to absorb the salt.
Shortly before putting them on the grill, oil with EV olive oil and sprinkle with a dry rub of cracked black pepper and fresh rosemary, finely chopped. Then, cook them, covered of course, to taste on a very hot grill (220C)..
Around 12 minutes (or less if you like) will do the job: cook at 25 degrees to the grill bars for 3 minutes, flip and cook for 3 more, flip and move through 90 degrees, and flip again for another 3. Lift them off the grill and rest, loosely tented in foil and in a warm (not hot) place, for between 6 and 10 minutes.
While they are resting, ensure you have your chipotle mayo and your guacamole ready, coarsely chop a handful of coriander leaves and have your halved fresh limes ready for squeezing over the finished taco.
For the chipotle mayo, simply stir chipotle puree – made by pureeing a small can of chipotle peppers in adobo in a blender and spooning 1-2 tbs of the puree into a cup of Best Foods mayo, or to taste. Keep the guacamole simple by dressing a finely cubed avocado with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lime and tossing it with some finely diced salad onion, a chopped tomato and some chopped coriander leaves. Pick up a jar of decent salsa according to yourtaste preference.
And finally, buy a pack of small tortillas. There are some fine, freshly made ones on sale in Melbourne, so watch for a pack of those. And rather than go through the laboured re-heating processes often suggested, simply toss these briefly onto the grill on which you cooked your steaks. Now…
With a sharp knife, slice the eyes of meat out of your rib-eyes, cutting as close to the bone as possible. And now slice these, against the grain, into thin, perfect slices.
To assemble, brush the hot tortillas, straight from the grill, with chipotle mayo, position a couple of slices of steak (or more) in the middle of each, add some guacamole, a dollop of salsa, a sprinkle of coriander leaves and a squeeze of lime.
You can work out the rest… but don’t forget the very, very cold beer!