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Skirt Steak Double Tacos with Tomato and Avocado Salad

Skirt Steak Double Tacos with Tomato and Avocado Salad

Renée Robinson

Melted Cheese Between Two Tortillas Makes for a Killer Taco.

I realize these look odd, but please bear with me here. I encountered a recipe by Pati Jinich in which she describes tacos which are made by first dunking the tortillas in a tomato sauce, placing 2 at a time in a skillet, topping them with cheese, and then placing one on top of the other, at which time you add the filing, fold it in half and continue cooking until it’s crisp.

I couldn’t stop thinking about it. The idea of the melted cheese between the layers of tortillas and imagining how it would ooze out the edges and crisp up as the taco  cooked finally got the best of me and I had to go for it.

Pati’s recipe was for a shrimp filled taco and her sauce was tomato based and contained only a few chiles de árbol. I wanted mine to be filled with sliced skirt steak and felt the sauce needed to be much more chile centric. So, I used guajillo, pasilla, and chiles de árbol for my sauce, arriving at a deeply flavored and cumin scented base for my tacos.

Chile Sauce
Chile Sauce

I seared my skirt steak in a very hot cast iron skillet in order to get the outside done quickly. The meat needed to stay rare because I knew it would cook a little more when it was cooked inside the taco. It ended up working out perfectly. The steak was at a medium rare stage when I ate the finished taco.

Seasoned Skirt Steak for Double Tacos
Seared Skirt Steak

I also felt the sauce and steak would stand up to sharp cheddar for my choice of cheese. I’m extremely fond of Mexican crema and use it frequently, so it was a natural here in order to add some creaminess to the taco. For brightness I made up a quick salad/salsa of tomatoes, avocado, red onion, lime juice and cilantro.

Oh, my goodness. Folks these things are ridiculously delicious. I made the tacos a couple of nights ago and we haven’t stopped talking about them yet. Luckily, I have leftover steak and cheese and will be able to make them again in the next day or so. Once was simply not enough.

Skirt Steak Double Tacos with Tomato and Avocado Salad

Recipe by Renée Robinson



Best tacos ever? You decide. 2 tortillas are covered in chile sauce, layered with cheese and fried until the cheese melts. You then stack one on top of the other, fill it with seared skirt steak, fold it over and continue frying until it's good and crispy. Definitely in the running for best taco ever.

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  • 1 dried guajillo chile, stemmed and seeded

  • 3 dried pasilla chiles, stemmed and seeded

  • 5 dried chiles de árbol, stemmed

  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled

  • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes

  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, finely ground

  • 1 teaspoon Morton’s kosher salt

  • 5 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil, divided

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

  • 1 1/2 pounds skirt steak

  • Black pepper

  • 16 corn tortillas

  • 12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

  • 6 Campari tomatoes, each cut into 8 pieces

  • 1/2 small red onion, chopped

  • 1 avocado, cut into bite sized pieces

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

  • Kosher salt

  • Black pepper, coarsely ground


  • In a medium saucepan, cover the chiles and garlic with water and bring to a boil. Simmer until the chiles are softened, about 15 minutes. Drain and transfer the chiles and garlic to a blender. Add the canned tomatoes and puree until smooth.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the chile/tomato puree and cook partially covered until thickened, (about 10 minutes), turning the heat down as needed to keep it from scorching. Stir in 2 teaspoons lime juice and set aside to cool.
  • Season the skirt steak with salt and pepper. Either sear it in a hot skillet or over hot coals on a grill until rare. This will only take about 2 minutes per side. You don’t want to cook it beyond the rare stage because it will cook a little more when cooking the tacos. Let the steak rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing thinly across the grain.
  • În a medium sized bowl, combine the tomatoes, avocado, red onion, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the chopped cilantro. Set aside.
  • Spread the chile sauce over both sides of 1 tortilla. I found this was easiest to do by holding the tortilla in my hand and using a spoon to spread the sauce. You don’t want a thick coating of the sauce. Just enough to thinly coat the tortilla.
  • Place the tortilla in a large skillet or griddle, in which you’ve heated up a tablespoon or so of vegetable oil over medium heat. The skillet needs to be large enough to hold 2 tortillas, side by side. Spread the sauce over another tortilla and add it to the skillet.
  • Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of cheese over each tortilla and let it cook for only a minute or so - just until the bottom has dried out. Using a wide spatula, move one tortilla onto the top of the other one, cheese side up. Don’t worry if the tortilla tears when you move it. It won’t make any difference. It doesn’t need to be exactly centered on the other tortilla. It’s okay if it’s off center.
  • Add some of the sliced steak to one half of the doubled tortilla and fold over the other half, in order to cover the meat and create the shape of a taco. Flip the folded tortilla and let it cook for another minute or so. The cheese should melt. Flip it again and make sure both sides are nice and crisp. Remove to a plate and continue making the tacos. Drizzle with some crema and serve with the tomato/avocado salad. Enjoy!


  • Large Skillet or Griddle

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