I know. Sorry. I love it, though!
This one ways Jay’s idea. It was lovely and sunny outside yesterday, which is totes great for photographing food, and I kind of wanted beef and Jay kind of wanted something Mediterranean-ish so….here we go.
It’s got feta and mint, so it’s TOTALLY authentic, ok? If you like a gyro at all, you’ll really love this – the flavors of a gyro, MINUS the lamb because legit gyro meat is 1. hard to find and 2. a pain to make, but the flavors are all there, and the Greek yogurt with caramelized onions is just….insanity. Super delicious, kind of tastes like French Onion Dip, but kind of tastes like tzatziki sauce once you add mint and cucumber to the taco itself. I CAN’T stop thinking about this. It’s glorious!
I’ll talk about the onion yogurt sauce first, but know that you can make this in any order you like since you’re an adult. The caramelized onions take an hour or two to REALLY develop, so you can make the yogurt in advance or earlier in the day. I made this all at once and started the onions at the same time I rubbed the steaks with the spices. So, the onions caramelized for 2 hours and the steaks marinated in their spices for two hours. BUT, to make this meal in a hurry you can have the onions done ahead of time, then just rub and grill and slice the steaks. Everything else on this taco is raw!
First, peel and thinly slice the onions. Don’t be afraid of the quantity – the onions will cook down by half or MORE – kind of like wilting spinach. Plus, if you have more onions than you need to make dip just stir them into ANYTHING else you cook in the next few days. They add great flavor!
The thing about caramelizing onions is this: we want them to cook super slowly and soften, but not brown at the edges if you were, say, searing onions for fajitas or something. Make sense? I like to REALLY go for it, and let them cook on the lowest setting (you’ll barely hear a sizzle) for 2 hours or more. They’ll be soft and almost falling apart, but with no browned edges.
These are the onions after 20 minutes: barely cooking!
And these are the onions after an hour – allllmost halfway there. OBVIOUSLY, if you want to hurry these up you can turn the heat up and accomplish this in 45 minutes or so, but you’ll have to stir more often. At the low heat I was using, I could wander off for 15 full minutes without stirring to watch Breaking Bad, which was really my goal. If you’re IN the kitchen you can caramelize onions much faster.
To make the dip, combine the yogurt, 3 tablespoons of caramelized onions, a sprinkle of salt, and the garlic clove. Taste, and add more salt if you’d like! Again, this can be made a day (or three) in advance. Say…on a weekend afternoon? Then you’ll be ready for the week!
Now, onto the steak and the rest of the taco. For the seasonings, we’ll need garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, olive oil, salt, Worcestershire sauce, cinnamon, and oregano. Totes Greek-ish, and REALLY delicious.
Grab any steak you like! These were called top sirloin, and I bought them because they were cheap. Seriously. If you cook beef properly and slice it thinly, it’ll be flavorful and tender no matter what cut you use! If you’re unsure, flank, strip, or skirt steaks would work beautifully here. 1/4 pound or so per person.
Season both sides of the steak very lightly (measurements are below, but basically we’re lightly dusting the steaks with each of the seasonings), then drizzle them with olive oil and turn them once or twice with tongs to be sure they’re coated on all sides with the seasonings. Let them hang out for 30 minutes or more to come to room temperature, or over night if you’re feeling really plan-ahead-y. I rarely am feeling that way.
You can cook the steaks any way you like, but I like getting a skillet REALLY hot with olive oil, then searing on all sides of the steak for medium-rare. 1-inch steaks will need five-7 minutes on each side. We want a really great crust (almost black from all the spices), and to achieve that place the skillets in the pan once it’s hot, then let them SIT for at least 4 minutes before you turn them. The steak should release from the pan easily, if you have to tug it let it keep cooking for another minute or two before you serve it.
I love this for a family dinner or party because everyone can build tacos as they like, and a side salad or bowl of tabbouleh would make this a complete meal if you were eating normal-sized tacos.
Oh and also – fun week project. I got a request last week for some scallop recipes. Got any favorite restaurant scallop dishes that you’d like to recreate at home? What about other fast dinners? Football apps? I’m in the market for some fun new ideas, please and thank you!
- I pound lean steak, such as sirloin or flank
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground or dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 7 ounces plain greek yogurt (1 individual container)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large or 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- taco shells, your choice
- 2 cups torn lettuce
- 1/4 cup torn mint leaves
- 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles
- 1 small cucumber, julienned
- 1/2 medium tomato, chopped
- For the onions, cook onions, salt, sugar, and red pepper with the olive oil for 1 - 2 hours on low or medium-low until very soft but not blackened at edges. The pan should sizzle just a bit. Stir every 10 minutes or so to prevent browning on the bottom layer of onions.
- When onions are caramelized, combine with the garlic and yogurt. Taste, and add salt to your preference.
- For the meat, rub the steak with all the seasonings, olive oil, and Worcestershire sauce. Let sit for 30 minutes or up to overnight. When you're ready to cook the meat, preheat a skillet for at least 10 minutes to medium-high with a drizzle of olive oil.
- When the pan is very hot, cook the steaks on all sides until medium or medium-rare, about 5 minutes per side for a 1-inch steak. Let the steak rest for 10 - 15 minutes, and very thinly slice against the grain for serving.
- To serve, top a tortilla or taco shell with the meat, veggies, mint, cheese, and yogurt sauce.
- Yogurt sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance, and steak can be rubbed and marinated the night ahead. Then, you cook the steak and assemble tacos in no time!