David was in London on business most of last week, so upon his homecoming I wanted to make a really fun, somewhat over-the-top welcome back dinner. Especially since every time I asked him how the food was over there, he’d say, rather less than enthusiastically, ‘eh.’ I guess beans on toast wasn’t cutting it. Can’t say I blame him. I went Mexican with the dinner theme, since we’ve been so much enjoying those flavors this summer, and did a tequila-citrus marinated flank steak over creamy black bean enchiladas. The combo is so spot-on.
I diverted from the original recipe and spiced up the beans a bit, adding cumin (which I love in black beans), Mexican oregano and chipotle powder. I very fortunately live about 3 minutes from a Penzey’s Spices, which is like the Queen of spicedom as far as I’m concerned. Without going into too much information about the sheer wonderfull-ness of a local Penzey’s, it was there where I found Mexican oregano and chipotle powder. As these are harder to find in traditional grocery stores, you can replace the chipotle powder with minced chipotles from a can of chipotles en adobe. If you haven’t got Mexican oregano don’t swap it for Mediterranean oregano – the two are quite different and the Mediterranean oregano flavor will be all wrong. Just leave it out and all will still be well. Adding the chicken broth into the beans and simmering while the liquid evaporates is what makes them nice and creamy.
These enchiladas are so good they’d make for a fantastic vegetarian meal on their own with the pico de gallo and perhaps some guacamole alongside. I love how baking them gets the edges of the tortillas nice and crispy, which contrasts well with the creamy black bean filling.
One final tip – because there’s sugar in the steak marinate, that will make the steak brown much faster than it would otherwise. Sugars carmelize (and can burn) rather quickly. So keep an eye on it. You may need to flip it before the indicated 5-6 minutes grill time per side is up – I’d definitely check it after 3-4 minutes. Once you’ve got a good sear on both sides, you can always cook it over indirect (low) heat to finish cooking it through.
margarita flank steak with black bean enchiladas
- 1 flank steak (1.5 – 2 lbs)
- 1/4 cup each fresh orange juice, lime juice, brown sugar, tequila
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup diced red onion
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp Mexican oregano (optional)
- 1/2 tsp chipotle powder or minced canned chipotle from chipotle en adobo (optional)
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese or fresh Mexican crumbling cheese
- 6 flour tortillas
- 1/2 cup shredded jack cheese
- 1 recipe pico de gallo (recipe follows)
- light sour cream, for serving (optional, not pictured)
1. Combine orange juice, lime juice, brown sugar, tequila and salt in a deep baking dish or plastic freezer bag. Add steak, turn to coat and marinate at room temperature 1 hour or up to 4 hours in the fridge. Let steak come to room temperature 30 minutes if it’s been in the fridge.
2. Preheat oven to 425. Coat a baking dish with cooking spray.
3. Saute onion in olive oil 5-6 minutes until softened. Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Stir in beans, and mash using a potato masher, leaving some beans in tact. Add cumin, Mexican oregano and chipotle (if using) and stir to combine. Add broth and reduce until liquid is evaporated. Stir in goat cheese or fresh Mexican crumbling cheese. Remove from heat.
4. Fill each tortilla with roughly 1/3 cup black beans. Roll like a cigar and place seem side down in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Top with shredded jack cheese and bake 20 minutes, or until edges of tortillas are crispy and cheese has melted and browned slightly.
5. Meanwhile, preheat a gas grill or grill pan, remove steak from marinade and pat both sides dry with paper towels. Discard marinate. Grill steak 5-6 minutes per side over medium-high/direct heat or until steak is cooked to your liking. Remove from grill and let steak rest 10 minutes. Slice thinly and serve over enchiladas with pico de gallo and sour cream.
PIco de gallo
- 3 plum tomatoes
- 1/2 white onion, diced and rinsed under cool water 30 seconds
- 1/3 – 1/2 jalapeno chili, minced
- 1 tsp salt
1. Combine all ingredients in small bowl and let sit 30 minutes for flavors to meld. Taste and adjust for heat (adding additional chili if desired) and salt.
Recipe adapted from Cusine at Home magazine