Sunday, July 20, 2014

OTB


One of my husband's favorite restaurants is On the Border, which my husband calls OTB.  This recipe is a copycat version of their Ranchiladas.

Now, this is a dish that you can really be creative with the skirt steak.  I'm not sure what marinade or seasonings OTB uses on their steak.  I know a lot of restaurant marinades use soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce.  You could go that direction, or you could even just use salt and pepper and keep it simple.  But I chose a different route.  

For years, my husband and I have gone to a store called Michoacana for what they call Fajita Marinada, which is their seasoned skirt steak for fajitas.  Now, Michoacana is not a place for the squeamish.  They aren't the nicest looking stores around.  But their meat quality is good and you can find all sorts of Mexican style foods there that you can't get elsewhere.  

My friend from work, Lupe, told me about a seasoning that acts as a tenderizer that she said was the same thing that Michoacana uses.  She brought me a bottle of it and told me to season the skirt steak well the day before and let it sit in the fridge overnight so the meat gets really tender.  And she was right!  The flavor was spot on and the meat was ridiculously tender.  If you have a Michoacana near you, the seasoning/tenderizer is called El Venado Fajita Sazon Rojo. Their website says they supply to Michoacana grocery stores.  If you can't find this particular brand, that's okay. There are plenty of good fajita seasonings out there.  Or you can go simple with salt and pepper for this dish.  

One other thing about this meat.  I used a different style of cooking method.  You can certainly do this on the grill if you want.  But I seared mine in a cast iron pan in butter.  The charred bits were amazing!  If you like Ranchiladas, you should give this a try.

RANCHILADAS
FOR THE MEAT:
2 lbs skirt steak
Fajita Sazon Rojo (or other fajita seasoning mix)
3 T butter
Olive oil

FOR THE RED SAUCE:
4 dried guajillo chiles
4 New Mexico chiles
1 T garlic powder
1 T chili powder
1 T cumin
2 teaspoon beef bouillon
4 C water
1/4 C vegetable oil
1/4 C flour

FOR THE ENCHILADAS:
10-12 corn tortillas
1 1/2 to 2 C shredded Cheddar cheese
Chopped onions (if desired)
1/4 C lard or vegetable oil
1/4 C flour
2 C chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 T cumin
2 T chili powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano

FOR SERVING:
Refried beans
Mexican rice
Sour cream
Guacamole
Pico de gallo

Liberally season the skirt steak on both sides with the fajita seasoning.  Cover and place in the fridge for about 24 hours.

For the red sauce for the skirt steak, remove the stems and seeds of the dried chiles and put them in a pot with about 4 C water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until they are soft.  Reserve 3 C of the liquid from the chiles.  Place the chiles and 1 C of the cooking liquid along with the garlic powder, chili powder, and cumin into a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Put the vegetable oil and flour into a large skillet over medium high heat.  Whisk until smooth.  Stir the beef bouillon into the remaining 2 C cooking liquid.  Whisk the liquid into the flour.  Whisk in the chile mixture and cook until thickened and bubbly.  Set aside and keep warm.

For the enchiladas, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Soften the tortillas in a damp towel in the microwave.  Place some cheese down the center of each tortilla.  (Add some chopped onions to them if you'd like.)  Roll them up and place them seam side down in a casserole pan.  Melt the lard in a skillet and whisk in the flour until smooth.  Whisk in the chicken stock, black pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, and oregano.  Cook until bubbly and thickened.  Pour this mixture all over the top of the enchiladas.  Sprinkle additional cheese over the top.  Bake them for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted all the way through.

For the skirt steak, going with the grain of the meat, cut the skirt steak into about 2-inch steaks.  Melt the butter over high heat in a large cast iron skillet (or any skillet) and drizzle in some  olive oil.  You want this screaming hot so the steaks will sear.  (Be careful.  The steaks will spatter.)  Cook the steaks in the butter until your desired doneness.  Let the steaks rest about 10 minutes and then slice against the grain. Pour the red sauce over the sliced steaks.  Serve with the enchiladas, refried beans, rice, and garnish with guacamole, sour cream, and pico de gallo.

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