Sunday, May 4, 2008

Flank Steak & Chorizo Mixed Grill

The following is an unofficial rule of country parties: Someone will bring a layered taco dip - you can just count on it. I understand the allure of taking a taco dip to a party because 1) it's tasty, 2) it's easy, 3) it can be made ahead. I, myself, have taken many a taco dip to parties, especially our neighborhood Cinco de Mayo party.

But this year I wanted to make something a little more interesting for our neighborhood "Cinco de Tres." And yes, I know it should have been "Tres de Mayo" but I didn't plan the party... Anyway, I think of this as an "unlayered taco dip" or an "open face taco". You could just as easily serve with warmed tortillas for a real taco.

One note: there's a somewhat special ingredient in here called crema mexicana, a sweet and creamy cultured milk product that is similar to crème fraîche. It really does add a certain zing to the dish, but you can just as easily substitute sour cream if you're not close to a Mexican grocery store (in St. Louis we are lucky to have several).


Marinade for flank steak
1 lime, zest and juice
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped green onions
4 cloves garlic, minced
3T oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp cumin

Marinade for vegetables while grilling
2 T butter
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp cumin

4 lbs chorizo
2 lbs flank steak
3 ears corn
2 Vidalia onions, thick sliced
2 red bell peppers, thick sliced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped green onions
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup crema mexicana

Combine ingredients for steak marinade in a bowl. Muddle slightly using the back of a wood spoon to open up the onions and cilantro. Spread 1/2 cup of the marinade in the bottom of a 9x13 glass dish. Place flank steak on top and spread remaining marinade on steak. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 12.

Bring grill to medium high heat. Microwave ingredients for grilling marinade to melt butter, or warm on the grill in a ramekin or inexpensive pie plate. Place vegetables on grill in single layer and brush with butter marinade. Turn once veggies start to char and brush with remaining marinade, about 5-10 minutes total depending on grill heat. Remove veggies to pan. Grill chorizo until cooked through, turning during cooking, about 7-10 minutes. Grill flank steak for 5-7 minutes on each side, until center reaches desired temperature (I like it a little on the medium rare side).

Cut flank steak and chorizo into bite-sized pieces, cutting on the diagonal. Cut corn from cob into a large bowl. Chop grilled onions and red peppers and place in bowl with corn. Chop remaining cilantro, green onions, and garlic and place in bowl. Stir. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Place meat in bottom of a large dish. Top with dollops of crema mexicana. Cover that with large spoonfuls of the roasted vegetable salsa. Top again with dollops of crema mexicana.

Check out the finished product in my Flickr photos.

Chris Freeland
cfreeland27 (at)

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