Smoky Steak Tacos Recipe


I received a generous gift of dried chiles, so I set out to create a simple recipe for a marinade using one of my favorite flavors: smoked chile peppers.

They have a lovely heat that’s not overpowering, and the preparation is simple enough for everyday cooking.

Smoky Steak Tacos

Serves: 4 (2 tacos each)
Prep time: 20 minutes, plus marinating time
Cook time: 10-12 minutes, depending on meat used

  • 1 pound top sirloin, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 small smoked Serrano chiles
  • 1/3 cup lime juice (about 4 limes)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup hot water, near boiling
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 small onion, cut into chunks

Heat a frying pan over high heat, and add the chile peppers just until fragrant (about 2 minutes).

Remove the peppers, cut off the stem and remove the seeds. Cut them into small pieces. Soak the chiles in hot water for about 10 minutes until softened, then drain.

Mix all the other ingredients into the chiles and puree with an immersion blender.

Pour over meat, stir well, and marinate at least 30 minutes and up to overnight. Refrigerate if marinating longer than an hour.

Broil, grill, or pan-cook the meat, and serve with your favorite taco toppings.

Cook’s Note: This marinade could easily be used on your favorite meat or poultry, though I used top sirloin. Also, to assure maximum flavor, cut your meat into bite-sized pieces before cooking.

Complete the meal: For traditional Mexican tacos, top steak tacos with a mixture of chopped onions, cilantro and lime juice. Chicken tacos traditionally are topped with tomatoes, lettuce and guacamole. But, anything goes! Serve with your favorite chips and salsa, some refried beans, and a great margarita for a fiesta of a meal!

Shopping list:

4 limes or lime juice
1 onion
Favorite taco toppings

Your choice of meat (steak or chicken works best)

Other Items
Corn tortillas
Smoked Serrano chiles, a dried chile usually found in the Mexican or Latin food aisle

You can find more of Mara Rosenbloom’s recipes at