This is a modern and funky take on tacos. It uses a hibiscus-flower concentrate to marinate the meat; then the concentrate is reduced to a syrup for drizzling over the tacos.
The steak can be cooked on the grill or in a grill pan.
Make Ahead: The meat needs to marinate for 2 to 24 hours. The syrup for drizzling can be cooked down and refrigerated for up to 1 week.
- 2 cups Jamaica Concentrate (see related recipe)
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 whole cloves
- Pinch freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
- 1 pound flank steak
- Safflower or corn oil
- 1 serrano or jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut in half
- 16 corn tortillas
- Flesh of 1 ripe avocado, cut into thin long slices
- 1/2 cup queso fresco, crumbled
Combine the concentrate, bay leaves, cloves, black pepper and 3/4 teaspoon of salt into a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring, then reduce the heat to medium or medium-low and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture becomes quite shiny and has reduced by half. Transfer to a baking dish or flat container large enough to hold the steak; let cool. Discard the bay leaves and cloves.
Add the steak to the reduced mixture and turn to coat. Cover and let it marinate anywhere from 2 to 24 hours.
Use a little oil to lightly grease a grill pan; place over medium-high heat. Alternatively, lightly grease a grill rack and prepare an outdoor grill for direct, medium-high heat.
Use paper towels to pat the marinated meat dry, then season it with salt to taste. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, then turn the meat over and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or longer (for medium-rare to medium), depending on the desired degree of doneness. Transfer to a cutting board and allow the meat to rest for a few minutes.
Meanwhile pour the marinade into a medium saucepan and drop in the serrano or jalapeno pepper halves. Place over medium heat and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has reduced to a syrupy consistency and is just thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Do not let it get too thick, because it thickens further as it cools. Cool, cover and refrigerate (with the pepper in it) until ready to use.
Cut the rested steak against the grain into thin slices or bite-dize chunks.
Heat the corn tortillas (one at a time) over the flame of a gas stove top just until they are pliable.
To serve, place a few tablespoons of meat in the center of each tortilla; add a slice of avocado and some crumbled queso fresco. Drizzle some of the Jamaica syrup on top.
From Patricia Jinich, chef at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington.
Tested by Mickey Douglas.
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