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Steak Tacos with Tomatillo Salsa

Grill Dads' Mexican Hasselback Potatoes + Picanha Steak Tacos
Grill Dads' Mexican Hasselback Potatoes + Picanha Steak TacosNathan Congleton / TODAY
Cook Time:
1 hr
Prep Time:
15 mins

Chef notes

Everybody loves tacos, but we love these because they are stuffed with juicy, tender steak that will make you feel like you ordered tacos at a high-end steakhouse.

Technique tips: Sear the steaks on a hot cast iron skillet, let them rest, then finish in a low-temperature oven for a great crust and edge-to-edge pink.

Swap options: These also make amazing quesadillas or sopes. You can also swap out the sirloin cap (aka picanha) cut for flank or skirt steak.


  • Four 1.5"-thick prime or upper 1/3 choice sirloin cap steaks, about 1/2 pound each (also referred to as "picanha" and "coulotte")
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 limes (zest one, then cut each into eight wedges)
  • cups roasted tomatillo salsa
  • 18 flour tortillas
  • 12 ounces Oaxaca cheese (pull the whole ball into shreds)
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup Mexican crema
  • Hot sauce to taste



Combine salt, lime zest, chipotle powder, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, cumin and pepper. Rub to coat the steaks and marinate 1-4 hours in the fridge. Remove the steaks and set them out at room temp for 45-60 minutes before cooking. 


Preheat oven to 325°F.  Heat a cast iron skillet on high until it smokes. Place the steaks in the pan (cook in two batches if needed to avoid crowding and steaming). Sear all four sides of each steak 1-2 minutes or until a crust forms. Place steaks on the baking sheet with a cooling rack insert (an insert will protect the seared crust on the bottom side and allow for even cooking). Allow to sit for 5-7 minutes, then place in the oven. Remove the steaks when they reach an internal temp of 130°F. Allow to rest for ten minutes while you get the tortillas ready.


Grill the tortillas on both sides. You can do this on a grill over direct heat, directly over a gas flame on a stove or in a skillet. After the tortillas are grilled, wrap them in a barely damp kitchen towel, place them on a plate and put them in the oven to keep them warm.


Slice the steak very thinly, cutting across the short side of the steak. Top with tomatillo salsa, cheese, crema, cilantro, lime and a dash of hot sauce. Start with just enough slices for a first serving all around, so the steak will still be warm when people come back for seconds and thirds.