Seared Spicy Beef in a Wrap or Tacos

What can I say: I didn’t really intend to make this one, but back when Gabrielle and I were standing in front of the meat case waiting for the butcher to wrap up our pork chops, we had forgot all about our New Year’s Ressy, and were all like “OOOO. . . Bavette. . . I wonder what that cut is like. . . it looks just like skirt (mmmm. . . yummy!), but thicker!” Oh, and it’s also known as, are you ready?: Flap Meat. How glamorous! You have to hand it to the French; they can make anything seem more sophisticated. But, name aside, this is an awesome cut of beef, and if you see it in your market, notice how much lower the price is in comparison. I understand that the cat’s out of the bathtub, and this cut’s creepin’ on a come up. Who know’s if it’ll stay low forever? We were mystified by it’s very existence! It turned out to be the perfect cut for these Seared Spicy Beef’s in a Wrap, the recipe even calls for. . . flap! . . . if you don’t have rump, heel or round. I should mention that the recipe is from The River Cottage Meat Book (which I’m cooking my way through, in case you didn’t know. ;-))

This one’s easier than telling lies to Bob Costas on live television (unless you want to make all this fixins from scratch, in which case this one’ll probably take you all day, and probably be almost as hard as living your whole life holding a record you never deserved.) OK, enough baseball commentary. So you want 2lbs. of beef, or so, the juice of a lime, a good squeeze of some honey or brown sugar, a couple cloves of minced garlic, a few finely choped hot peppers, as hot or mild as you prefer, (but still hot, otherwise it won’t be spicy), and lastly, and most importantly, a good slosh of Tequila! Mix up all of those things, and then marinade the beef in it for 2 hours.

Meanwhile, make sure you have cheese, sour cream, lettuce, maybe some refried beans, and some good soft flour tortillas, and some red salsa (which are recipes featured in the book.) I purchased these things from La Palapa, here in Portland, mainly because I couldn’t be buggered to go out and buy a tortilla press, and do all of that the other day, but perhaps when I do, I’ll add an addendum to this post. However, I did wing the guacamole recipe, which admitted only parallels the books in spirit only, but here’s what I did anyway (and it was really good!): Dice one big tomato and put it in a decent-size bowl; add the juice of one lime, one crushed clove of garlic, a chopped up hot chile, a healthy splash of olive oil, two peeled and diced avocados, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix it really well, and maybe even mash it a bit, your call.

Depending on what cut of beef you’re using, cut the pieces so that they are only about 3/4 of an inch thick. If you have a grill pan use that, but better yet, if you feel like firing up the grill, you should take it there. Either way, you want your cooking medium to be hot hOT HOT! Once it’s there, grease the surface with some canola oil, and lay the steaks down on the hot hot surface. You only have to sear them for a minute or 2, tops (!), on both sides. You want a nice medium rare for full-flavor to be in effect, unless, of-course, you’re one of those people, in which case you should sear them to within an inch of there lives! Anyway, when there done to your satisfaction, let them rest for a few minutes (very important for retaining those delicious juices), slice the steaks up super thin, almost to a shave, really, and assemble some tacos, yo!

Resources: Beef by Piedmontese purchased at Laurelhurst Market , Tortillas and Red Salsa from La Palapa, Tillamook Cheese, Sour Cream from Sunshine Dairy, Lettuce, Limes, Avocados, and hot peppers purchased at Sheridan Fruit Co.

Link to Recipe only blog: Catastrophysicist Cooks