My parents gave me a very wonderful hand-me-down gift while we were in Michigan for Christmas – my mom’s old meat grinder attachment for the Kitchen Aid Mixer. Dad had gotten Mom a new one, since her old one has a couple cracks in it near the grinder face, but was otherwise still working just fine. I was happy to take the grinder home with me, but really didn’t think that my life had been lacking without a meat grinder in it.
Boy, was I wrong. I love this attachment. I went to the market first thing the next morning after we returned to Chicago, and bought a couple flaps of my favorite cut of beef – skirt steak. People overlook the humble skirt – it’s a cheap cut, and a real pain to remove all of the silver skin and fat. But pounded a bit and marinated for a few hours before a quick sear on the grill – skirt delivers the beefiest flavor to be found on the cow, and it’s our go-to cut for entertaining.
Since it is definitely not grilling season in Chicago, grabbing a couple nice pieces of skirt was the perfect opportunity to put my new grinder to the test. After removing the silver skin and most of the fat, I put the meat through the grinder on the largest grinding plate, and the resulting meat was a perfect chopped meat consistency that was perfect for the tacos. I like my tacos highly spiced, so I made a good chipotle marinade studded with garlic and brightened with a little vinegar and sherry. The finished tacos were definitely my favorite so far for wintertime (non-grilled) tacos.
Skirt Steak Tacos with Chipotle Marinade
2lbs skirt steak, untrimmed
1/3 cup chipotle puree
1 tsp ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red onion, finely minced
2 T Worcestershire sauce
2 T cooking sherry
2 T apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
Garnishes: minced white onion, lime wedges and cilantro
- Lay the skirt steak (cold from the fridge) flat on a plastic cutting board and trim off most of the fat and all of the silver skin. I left a little fat on, to help give the tacos some flavor – the fat is easy to drain off later, once the meat is cooked. After you’ve trimmed the steak, cut it into large cubes so that it will fit through your meat grinder tube.
- Attach your meat grinder attachment to the Kitchen Aid mixer, and install the largest grinding plate. Turn on the mixer, and place a large bowl under the grinder. Feed the meat into the grinder, using the wooden plunger to push the meat down the tube. The grinder will do the rest of the work for you.
- Once all of the meat is ground, make the marinade. Combine the chipotle puree, cumin, garlic, onion, cider vinegar and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl. Stir to combine everything. Taste – it should be pretty salty to season all of the meat, and if you think it needs it – add up to 1/2 tsp salt.
- Pour the marinade over the meat, and get in there with your hands and mix it all up well. Stash the meat in the fridge, covered, for a couple hours until you’re ready for dinner.
- I made homemade tortillas for this feast, so if you’re going to make them yourself, make them before you cook the meat, and then just wrap them in a slightly damp kitchen towel, and put them on a plate in an oven on the lowest setting while you deal with the meat.
- Heat a couple of large non-stick skillets over medium-high heat. Sprinkle enough meat into each pan to cover the bottom in one layer – no crowding, so that you’ll be able to brown it. Let the meat cook for a minute, then stir, and cook for one more minute. Scoop the cooked steak out of the pan into a clean casserole with a slotted spoon, and pour off any remaining fat left in the pans. Stash the cooked meat into the oven (on low), in the covered casserole. Return the pans to the heat and cook another batch of steak, repeating the same procedure until all of the meat is cooked.
Serve the tacos with warm tortillas, lime wedges, cilantro, and minced white onion for garnish.