*This post is in partnership with Oregon Country Beef (OCB) and PCC Community Markets. I’m honored to be working with these two companies that value relationship, community and real food. For those of you new to Seattle, PCC is the nation’s largest community-owned food co-op, and has been a Seattle stand by for 65 years. I’ve been a proud shopper at PCC for nearly two decades, becoming a card-carrying member just after Gabe and I got married. I trust them to stock locally sourced and extremely high-quality products such as OCB , which make it easy to cook a fresh, delicious meal from scratch any day of the week.
When Gabe and I were dating we used to share our dinners at restaurants. Every Friday night we would go out to a new restaurant and order a few things off the menu so we could maximize what we were able to taste while not blowing what little budget we had as a young married couple. I thought this was a mutually enjoyed exchange until we got married but after that Gabe slowly revealed to me that he didn’t want to share plates any more. You see, our taste buds are completely different. I’m sweet and savory and he’s one or the other. I’m punch-you-in-the-face flavors he’s cautious and easily overwhelmed with bold combinations. He’s a light sprinkle of soy on his sushi while I’m a heaping pile of wasabi and a deep bath of soy sauce.
So this recipe today is all me; big bold flavors like citrus and char, fish sauce and heat – or so I thought. I’m just looking over at his plate while I’m writing this and there is no food left behind. Maybe we aren’t so different after all.
Pickled beef is an odd sounding description, I’ll admit, but it’s often the odd ones that intrigue me the most. These tacos were inspired by this recipe on Bon Appetit. Which the writer encourages us to think of it more like ceviche and less like a pickle. It all starts with quality beef – I prefer natural beef like OCB which is free from antibiotics and added hormones, and is
Non-GMO Project Verified – but the cut you choose is really up to you. The steak is grilled over a hot fire, then rested and cubed before marinating in a pungent broth of jalapeño, lime, and fish sauce. After a little dip the meat becomes tender, punchy and gently warming. It’s a brilliant technique that can extend far beyond the taco.
While the grill is hot we char a couple of avocados and jalapeños for a smoky salsa that offsets the bright meat beautifully. This recipe is equally fitting for a weeknight dinner or feeding a crowd (it doubles or even triples quite nicely).
Pickled Beef Tacos with Charred Avocado Salsa
1 pound Oregon Country Beef (choose either flank, skirt or bottom sirloin steak)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 jalapeño, deseeded and diced
Zest and juice from 3 large limes (about 1/2 cup juice)
4 to 6 tortillas
Charred Avocado Salsa (recipe below)
1 cup sliced cabbage
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
Season the steak with sea salt.
In a small bowl stir together the fish sauce, jalapeño, and lime zest and juice. Set aside.
Preheat your grill to high heat or set a grill grate directly over hot coals.
Grill the steak for 2 minutes before flipping and cooking an additional minute or two. The cook time will depend on the cut and thickness of the meat you choose. For the OCB bottom sirloin my total grill time was under 4 minutes.
Remove the meat from the grill then let rest while you prepare the salsa and warm the tortillas.
After the steak has rested for about 10 minutes cut it into rough 1/4 - 1/2 inch cubes.
Add the steak to the marinade and let sit for 15 minutes.
Warm the tortillas over the grill then slather with a couple of tablespoons of salsa. Top with pickled beef then cabbage and cilantro. Enjoy straight away.
Charred Avocado Salsa
2 avocados, halved and pitted
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon cumin seed
Over a hot grill char the avocados until blackened, about 2 minutes. Char the jalapeños until the skin crisps and blackens and softens.
Remove the avocados and jalapeños from the grill then let cool for a few minutes.
Scoop out the avocado into a large bowl then deseed and dice the jalapeño. Add that to the bowl as well along with cilantro, lime zest and juice, cumin seed and salt. Mash with a fork then taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Use salsa straight away or cover the surface with plastic wrap if not serving immediately.