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I love pumpkin spice lattes, Thanksgiving turkey, Christmas cookies, and fancy holiday roasts. Those are wonderful dishes filled with more than a little sentimentality. However, I find that I crave filling the little gaps I find in the giant holiday rush between Thanksgiving and New Year's with other kinds of comfort foods. Namely, tacos:

And when we're talking steak tacos, I sometimes find friends suggesting we save that for a trip out to our favorite Mexican restaurant. While I'm down for a restaurant outing and a margarita or two, there's no reason to leave steak tacos solely in the category of restaurant fare. This is particularly true when you use your stovetop and your oven to make them just the way you like them. Since I'm a fan of medium-rare steak, I follow the shorter cook times outlined in the recipe below. If you like your steak more well-done (but please, don't overcook it!), feel free to move to the longer cook times shown below. It's up to you. And yes, this procedure works for other steaks and non-taco applications as well. I am just craving tacos!

Since tacos are equally about condiments, I have included some suggestions based on how I most recently served up my steak tacos. I love avocado and a tangy cilantro vinaigrette generously applied, as well as some fresh cilantro (what better way to pretend you've still got some summer lingering?) and thinly sliced radish. For me, that's bliss in a flour tortilla. Feel free to choose your own bliss and make them your own. It's a fun meal to sneak into a month filled with meals that carry more heft and tradition. But hey, make sure you leave a little room for fun stuff like this too!

Sirloin Steak Tacos

  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 10 oz. boneless sirloin steak
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • Flour tortillas, warmed
  • Suggested condiments: fresh cilantro, Cilantro Vinaigrette, thinly sliced radishes, slices of avocado

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Combine the first 6 ingredients (garlic powder through black pepper) in a small bowl. Mix to combine. Use your hands to rub the mixture all over the sirloin steak.

Heat the olive oil in a oven-proof skillet over medium high heat. Place the steak in the skillet. Cook for 4-6 minutes or until well browned, then turn and cook the other side for another 3-5 minutes until browned. Place the skillet in the preheated oven. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook until an instant-read thermometer reads to desired doneness (oven cooking time will be anywhere from 5-15 minutes depending on the desired doneness of your steak --- for medium-rare 140-145° F and for medium 155-160° F. Please be aware that the temperature will continue to cook after removing the steak so it is advised to pull the pan out slightly before the desired doneness).

Meanwhile, warm your flour tortillas (corn tortillas can be used if preferred or looking for a gluten free option) and prepare any condiments you want to serve with the steak. When the steak is done and allowed to rest for 5-10 minutes, slice it thinly and serve on tortillas with your choice of condiments.

  • Yields: 3-4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes