We’ve now eaten twice at Pachanga Patterson, the new Mexican restaurant in our little mainstream-media-anointed stretch of 31st Avenue, and each time I’ve had some transcendent tacos that have stuck in my memory long after the sangria should have wiped them away… so it didn’t take much inspiration to try Bon Appétit’s version on a recent rainy night (good lord, I’m looking forward to not wanting to complain about the weather every day.) This was simple to make, and there was a lot going on flavour-wise – perhaps a little too much to hold together, but if you’re looking for something to wake up a mundane evening and make your tastebuds work out, this is a good bet.
These were very easy and pretty inexpensive to throw together, as well. They made about four tacos each for two people plus a couple of forkfuls of extra filling – BA says 4 servings, but only if you have other things on the side, I’d say. Prep your veggies: finely chop one green chile pepper and dice one green bell pepper. Set aside while you cook the steak.
Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a large sauté pan. Season one 12oz strip skirt steak and add to the pan; cook for 3-4 minutes each side until medium-rare (you’ll be cooking it more later, so don’t overdo it here.) Remove to a plate and set aside.
Without cleaning the pan, add the chile pepper and bell pepper and sauté for a couple of minutes until softened. Add one cup canned diced tomatoes with their juice; approx 3/4 cup pimiento-stuffed olives, halved; a handful of raisins; 1tsp ground cumin and 1/2tsp ground cinnamon or allspice. (Told you there was a lot going on.) Simmer, stirring, for a few minutes, and season to taste.
Slice the steak on the diagonal into thin strips. Add to pan with any juices and cook together over a low heat until everything is combined.
Heat a small, dry frying pan/skillet over a high heat, and heat six small corn tortillas, one at a time, in the hot pan, flipping each one as it starts to puff up. (You can also heat them in the microwave.)
Arrange three taco shells per person on a plate and fill generously with steak mix. Top with a small handful of crumbled feta and sprinkle with fresh cilantro.
Serve with lime wedges on the side, and might I be so bold as to suggest some version of a Dark & Stormy (dark spiced rum, ginger beer and a generous squeeze of lime.) We have become partial to The Kraken black spiced rum – warm, almost chocolatey-rich, and fabulously packaged. The website is no slouch either. So there you have it – a multilayered, sweet and rich weeknight dinner to block out the rain.