Seared Steak Tacos with Spicy Blistered Serranos & Onions

Tacos de Bistec con Chiles Toreados
Servings: 4


  • 12-24fresh fresh serrano chiles (depending on your penchant for hot food), stemmed (optional)
  • 2-3tablespoons rich-tasting pork lard, vegetable oil, or bacon drippings
  • 1medium white onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 1/2tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Salt
  • 1pound thin-cut beef (look for cecina, tasajo, or butterflied skirt steak in a Mexican market, or thin-cut round tip — ⅛ to ¼ inch (3 to 6 mm) thick — also known as minute steak, sandwich steak, or breakfast steak in an American market)
  • 12warm corn tortillas
  • Roasted Tomatillo Salsa for serving


The chiles.  With a small sharp knife, cut straight down through each chile, starting just below the stem and continuing to the point. Each chile will be cut in half except for the spot just below the stem end that holds it together. Rotate each chile a quarter turn and make a similar cut, resulting in chiles that are cut into 4 long pieces held together at the stem end.

Measure 1 tablespoon of the lard, oil, or bacon drippings into a large 12-inch heavy, well-seasoned skillet (preferably cast iron) or griddle and set over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion slices and cook, stirring often, until they are richly golden and charred in spots, 7 to 8 minutes

Add another tablespoon of lard and the chiles to the pan and cook until they are blistered all over, about 5 minutes. (Make sure the kitchen is well ventilated during this step!) Deglaze the pan with lime juice and sprinkle the chiles with salt. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Generously salt both sides of each piece of meat. Wipe the skillet or griddle and return it to medium high heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon lard, oil, or bacon drippings. When very hot (it’ll just begin to smoke), lay in the meat in a single layer. If it doesn’t all fit comfortably, you’ll need to do this in 2 batches. Sear the meat on one side until brown (about 1½ minutes), flip it, and sear the other side. Transfer to a cutting board; tent with foil if you are searing the meat in batches.

To serve, chop the seared steak into ½-inch bits and mix with the onions. Spoon some of the filling onto warm tortillas, drizzle with roasted tomatillo salsa, and top with the blistered serranos. Serve with the lime wedges, if desired.


  1. It’s delicious but I didn’t use the hot chili’s. I used a mild jalapeño. Thanks so much for the recipe. By the way I cooked it outside in my Patio

  2. Thank you, Rick!! I will try this recipe this weekend. It looks delicious. I personally love spicy food and I was able to tell based on the faces that you were making that this was spicy!! Yay!!!! TACO TUESDAY IS BACK.✨

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