Crispy well-cooked beef makes for the perfect hearty filling for street-style steak tacos. All it takes is a simple marinade and a quick sear on a smoking hot grill before you’re slicing the beef to fill your tortillas with all your favorite toppings.
This post was sponsored by Head Country Barbecue. Have you tried their all-purpose marinade yet? I’m kinda crushing on it. And obvs, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Nothing calls my name like the street vendors you find in bustling markets and street corners on travels. It’s hard for me to pass up the wafting aromas of seared beef, citrus, and spice that rise from the griddle or grill surfaces. With fresh tortillas and a spritz of fresh lime juice, some of the best meals I have had have been right on the side of the road with great company.
With a little inspiration from a new-to-me cut at the market and a craving for those immersive food memories, I decided it was time to make steak tacos as good as those I had experienced abroad. Or at least, good enough until I could get back to the adventuring.
These did not disappoint, actually, they got better with every bite and the “cheap” cut was the perfect choice for recreating the salty, spicy, citrus flavors I was craving.
4 ingredients for easy tacos
This recipe calls for thin-cut beef, a quick mixture of Head Country All-Purpose marinade (seriously, it does most of the work), some citrus, and cilantro for the base of the steaks. It’s the easiest steak taco marinade ever! How you dress up your tortillas once the steaks are sliced is 100% up to you.
For great steak tacos, thin-cut chuck steak is where it’s at.
New to my local market at thin cut chuck steaks. Now, I’ve been a fan of chuck for years, I love its marbling and overall bold beefy flavor. Chuck makes a great grind for burgers and a perfect base for stew beef cubes or is a great option for shredded beef.
But, these thin, well-marbled, and inexpensive steaks? Could they hold up to the heat….
I saw them and immediately thought of how quickly they would pick up a great sear and solid crust over high heat on the grill. I had to test my idea!
These steaks cooked quickly and absorbed a ton of flavor from the marinade. This isn’t like the thin medium rare strips you get from a sliced flat iron or tri-tip, because of the sheer thinness of the cut, they crisp up, allowing for a lot of that overall sear texture we crave.
After grilling, I chopped the meat for crispy beef bites.
How to grill quick steak tacos
Simply whip up a quick marinade of Head Country All-Purpose marinade, lime juice, and cilantro.
The beef absorbs a ton of flavor while in the marinade so it is important for these grilled steak tacos to allow the beef to sit in the Head Country marinade for at least 6 hours.
From there, toss the steaks right over direct heat on a hot grill (watch out, there will be flare-ups), rotating quickly and often to sear all sides.
But, there is a lot of fat connecting chuck steaks, so cook these steaks a little longer, past that oh-so-desirable rare, to allow the fat to render. Don’t be afraid to flip, move and shuffle the meat on the grill as needed to avoid burning and cook everything evenly.
The hardest part of this recipe is grilling the steaks (read: super easy). Chop the beef and assemble tacos to your heart’s desire and enjoy!
These steak tacos are best enjoyed immediately after they come off the grill but the beef can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
Be sure to store all taco toppings and accouterments separately to avoid any soggy toppings.
Want more inexpensive crazy good recipe inspiration? Try some of my favorites!
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Quick and Easy Steak Tacos
For the chuck steaks
- 2 lbs thin cut chuck steaks
- 1 cup Head Country All-Purpose Marinade
- 3 Limes juiced
- ¼ cup Cilantro chopped
For the tacos
- Corn tortillas
- Red onion
- Sweet peppers
Make the Marinade
- In a large resealable bag, mix the Head Country All-Purpose Marinade with the lime juice.
- Add the beef and cilantro.
- Seal the bag and using your hands, move everything around to evenly coat the chuck steaks.
- Place in the fridge for 6 hours to marinate.
Grill the beef
- When ready to grill, preheat your grill for direct heat around 400-450F degrees.
- Remove the beef from the marinade, discard the marinade, and place the beef directly on the grill. The liquid from the marinade will cause flareups that should quickly subside; use long grilling tongs and caution.
- Grill the chuck steaks, rotating and maneuvering as needed to evenly cook all of the portions.
- Grill to desired doneness.
- Remove the steaks from the grill and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Assemble the tacos
- Chop the steaks into thin strips and spritz with fresh lime juice.
- Set up a taco bar with toasted corn tortillas and all of your desired toppings. Invite everyone to build their own tacos.