Mexican Essentials: Awesome Steak Taco Meat

Andy Anderson !


I played around with this the other day, and it turned into an all-nighter. I was looking for flavorful beef, with just the right amount of heat. I wound up with flat-iron steak, two types of chili powder, and in the end I threw in a few chipotle peppers for good measure. Then, I let the flavors blend in a low heat oven… perfection.

So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.


☆☆☆☆☆ 0 votes

15 Min
2 Hr



  • 2 - 3 lb
    flat-iron steak
  • 1/2 c
    orange juice
  • 1/2 c
    filtered water
  • 3 - 4 medium
    chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp
    lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 Tbsp
    regular chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp
    ancho chili powder
  • 2 tsp
    ground cumin
  • 1 tsp
    dried oregano
  • 1 tsp
    paprika, mild or hot, your choice

How to Make Mexican Essentials: Awesome Steak Taco Meat


  2. For this recipe, you will need an ovenproof pot, with a tight-fitting lid. If you have a Dutch oven, that would be perfect.
  3. The Peppers
    If you like Mexican food, you probably have a few cans of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, hanging about your storeroom. They are great in so many recipes. In this recipe, I chop them up in a bit of the sauce, and throw them into the pot. Some people prefer to scrape out the seeds before chopping… that is up to you.

    I make my own chipotle pepper in sauce, and someday I will have to post the recipe.

    FYI: The intensity of this recipe comes from the chipotle peppers, and the chili powders. Feel free to adjust those items to develop the exact level of heat you desire.
  4. Here is a photo of my favorite canned variety of chipotle peppers. However, there are a lot of good brands available.
  5. Where’s the Beef?
    You could probably use just about any type of beef for this recipe. As a matter of fact, the most common type used for a recipe like this is flank steak Both flank and flat-iron steak are flavorful. The flank comes from the belly muscle, while the flat-iron hails from the chuck primal. One of the big differences between the two is that the flat-iron has a bit more marbling (fat), and I want some of that yummy fat to increase the flavors of the recipe.
  6. Gather your ingredients (mise en place).
  7. Place a rack in the bottom position, and preheat the oven to 250f (120c).
  8. Cut the flat-iron steak against the grain into thin strips, I am thinking about 1/4-inch (0.6cm). If you want a bit more of a chew, cut them a little thicker. However, I would not go much thinner, or they will fall apart in the braising liquid.
  9. Add all the braising ingredients to an ovenproof pot, and stir to combine.
  10. Add the beef, and combine with the other ingredients.
  11. Cover the pot, and place into the preheated oven, for one hour.
  12. Remove the pot, give the beef a quick stir, then re-cover, place back into the oven, increase the temperature to 275f (135c), and cook for an additional hour.
  14. I love using this beef for tacos; however, there are so many creative ways to enjoy its spicy flavor. Enjoy.
  15. Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

Printable Recipe Card

About Mexican Essentials: Awesome Steak Taco Meat

Course/Dish: Beef
Main Ingredient: Beef
Regional Style: Mexican

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