These aren’t your everyday flank steak tacos. If you’re looking for a basic run of the mill steak taco recipe, you should probably look elsewhere. These tacos start with the most flavorful ancho chile citrus marinade and end with super juicy, tender slices of grilled flank steak.
The marinade is chock full of smoky sweet dried ancho chiles, a solid dose of spicy dried chiles de arbol, whole citrus fruit, and crushed allspice berries. This aromatic mixture infuses the meat with flavor while the acid tenderizes it, giving you deliciously juicy pieces of meat.
Since the meat is so flavorful, I like to keep the rest of the taco fresh and simple. Read on below for a list of my favorite toppings for these flank steak tacos.
for how long should you marinate flank steak?
This flank steak will have the best flavor when it’s marinated all day. If possible, start it in the morning and throw it on the grill when you’re ready for dinner.
A lot of recipes will tell you not to exceed 8 hours with beef in a citrus based marinade, but I suggest you ignore that advice. I marinated this exact flank steak for two and a half days once (life, okay?), and the meat was super flavorful and delicious. I wouldn’t push it that long in general, but just know you can keep flank steak in a citrus marinade for longer than you probably think!
best toppings for these grilled flank steak tacos
I like to keep the toppings on these grilled steak tacos really simple. This lets the bright citrus and sweet, smoky ancho chile flavor shine. Because these tacos– they’re all about the meat.
Here are a few creamy, crunchy, fresh additions:
- Sliced Avocado
- Shredded cabbage
- Sliced radishes
- Fresh cilantro
- Your favorite salsa or fresh pico de gallo
how make these grilled flank steak tacos under the broiler:
If you don’t have a grill, you can just as easily cook this flank steak under the broiler in the oven.
- Preheat broiler to high and place an oven rack a few inches below the heating element.
- Lay a wire rack over a foil lined baking sheet, then place flank steak on top.
- Broil for about 6 minutes, flip the steak, and broil another 6 minutes for medium rare (or until the thickest part of the meat registers 135°F with an instant-read thermometer).
what goes into the flank steak marinade?
- Dried ancho chiles
- Dried chiles de arbol
- Allspice berries
- Black peppercorns
- Apple cider vinegar
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
tips for these grilled flank steak tacos
- You can use this marinade for chicken or pork, if desired. Just don’t marinate it for more than 3 hours.
- Marinate flank steak for at least 3 hours, and up to 24 hours for maximum flavor
- Warm the corn tortillas up on a dry cast iron pan for toasty flavor and brown spots (medium-high heat, about 20 seconds per side)
- Feel free to mix and match your favorite dried chiles in place of the ancho chiles. For an extra layer smokiness, sub in a few dried chipotle chiles (such as chipotle morita). For more spice, try dried pasilla peppers.
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grilled flank steak tacos with ancho chiles and citrus
These grilled flank steak tacos are so juicy, tender and flavorful, you’ll want to eat them all summer long. Whole citrus fruit and dried ancho chiles give them a bright, smoky, spicy edge.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 8 tacos
- Category: Meat
- Method: Grill
- Cuisine: Mexican
- 4 ancho chiles, wiped clean
- 2 chiles de arbol, wiped clean
- 1 orange, washed and roughly chopped to 1-inch pieces
- 2 limes, washed and roughly chopped to 1-inch pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 5 whole black peppercorns, crushed
- 5 whole allspice berries, crushed
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- one 2-pound flank steak
- 8 small corn tortillas, warmed
- sliced avocado, for serving
- shredded cabbage, for serving
- sliced radishes, for serving
- fresh cilantro, chopped, for serving
- limes, cut into wedges, for serving
- salsa or pico de gallo, for serving
- Heat a dry cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add chiles and toast until fragrant, turning frequently to prevent burning, 2- 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let chiles soak until soft but not much longer, about 10 minutes. Remove stems and tear chiles into pieces in the blender. Add orange, limes, garlic, honey, salt, peppercorns, allspice, vinegar, water and olive oil in a blender and puree until smooth.
- Place the steak in a large, heavy duty ziplock bag and pour the sauce over top. Seal the bag and toss the marinade around to fully coat the meat. Refrigerate at least 3 hours and up to 24 hours.
- Remove steak from the refrigerator 30 minutes before you’re ready to grill. Preheat a grill to medium high heat (about 450°F). Oil grates. Remove steak from marinade, letting excess drip off. Grill the steak for about 6 minutes per side for medium rare, turning once, or until steak is lightly charred and the thickest part of the meat registers 135°F with an instant-read thermometer. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Thinly slice meat against the grain.
- To assemble tacos, place a warm tortilla on a plate and top with a few slices of avocado and a portion of grilled flank steak. Sprinkle with shredded cabbage, radishes and cilantro and garnish with lime wedges. If desired, serve with your favorite salsa or pico de gallo.
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- Serving Size: 1 taco
- Calories: 379
- Sugar: 2.3g
- Sodium: 342mg
- Fat: 19g
- Saturated Fat: 5.3g
- Unsaturated Fat: 11.8g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 18g
- Fiber: 6g
- Protein: 34g
- Cholesterol: 90mg
Keywords: flank steak tacos