1 flank steak (halved, about 2 pounds)
1 Tbsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
1 can black beans
1 green chili
2 garlic cloves
6 stalks kale
2 jarred pickled chilies
2 Tbsp. chili oil
olive oil (staples)
4 tortillas (optional)
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Get a grill pan warming over high heat and a large saute pan warming over medium heat.
Take notice of the direction of the grain of your steak before cooking. It’s hard to determine once it’s been cooked and we’ll be cutting it against the grain later. Season one side of the steaks with ½ tablespoon cumin, ½ tablespoon smoked paprika, a healthy sprinkling of salt, and a drizzle of olive oil. Massage all that goodness into the steak. Lay steaks, seasoned side down, in the grill pan. Resist the temptation to touch the steaks in the pan, allow them to caramelize. Now, season the top side of the steaks with ½ tablespoon cumin, ½ tablespoon smoked paprika, and another healthy sprinkling of salt.
Grab your chili and roll it on the counter to break up the seeds inside. Cut off the top, shake out the seeds, and thinly slice into strips. Next, thinly slice the cloves of garlic and set aside with the chilis (we’ll be using half for the beans and half for the marinade). Strip your kale by holding it upside down and briskly stripping the leaves from top to bottom. Give the kale leaves a rough chop. You know we’re not wasting the stems, slice them as thin as possible.
Coat your hot saute pan with olive oil. Take half of the fresh chilis and half of the garlic and add them to the pan. While those cook down a bit, grab your can of beans and drain the liquid from the can (just use the lid). Add the beans to the pan, along with the kale leaves and stems. Toss everything to combine.
It’s been about 5 minutes and our steaks are getting smokey. Flip the steaks and toss the entire pan into the oven.
Pour off the pickled chili oil into a bowl (if you don’t have chili oil you can use olive oil). On a cutting board, combine remaining fresh chili and garlic, pickled chilies, and the zest of one lime. Finely chop the mixture into a paste, adding a large pinch of salt to help bust it up. Add the mixture to the bowl with the chili oil. Squeeze the juice of the lime into the bowl and stir to combine.
Add a healthy sprinkling of salt to the beans and greens. To marry the flavors of the meal, add a teaspoon of cumin to the pan as well. Toss to combine and remove from heat.
Place a medium pan over medium heat. Add tortillas to the pan in a single layer Splash them with water to steam them just a bit.
The steaks have been in the oven for about 7 minutes, it’s time to take them out. Remove the steaks from the pan and place into the bowl of marinade and smear them all around.
Add a pile of black beans and greens to your plate. Slice the steak against the grain (remember we identified the grain earlier), and add to your plate. Finally, drizzle a bit of the marinade over the plated steak and line the side of the plate with warm tortillas.
Hot Tip: “Against the grain” Look over your steak before cooking it to determine the direction of the grain. It’s tough to tell after the meat has been cooked.
Hot Tip: “Oil what?” Your food, not the pan. This prevents from having too much oil in the pan as well as prevents burning.
Hot Tip: “Rollin’ chilis” Roll your fresh chili on a hard surface to break up the seeds inside. Then cut off the top and shake out the unwanted seeds.
Hot Tip: “Strippin’ kale” Hold a stalk of kale upside down, quickly stripping from top to bottom, remove the leaves in one fell swoop. Save the stems!