Achiote Steak Tacos

I love skirt steak on the grill. It needs little preparation because the steak has a lot of fat that gives it intense flavor. Typically, I season it with fajita seasoning and throw it on the grill and in little time I got myself a juicy steak that is crusty on the outside and tender on the inside.

Just to show how versatile this piece of meat (cut from the underside of the cow) can be, I will add my achiote marinade for even more flavor. What can go wrong by adding hand squeezed citrus and fresh herbs?

Don’t be mistaken, I’m not using flank steak here. Flank steak is a popular cut of beef and it is more abundant than skirt steak, but it’s a different cut of meat. Some consider it a skirt steak alternative, but I don’t because flank steak is not as flavorful and it costs more (typical for lean beef).


  • 2lbs Skirt steak
  • Achiote marinade
  • S&P

To make it easy, I’m happy to post the marinade again:

Achiote marinade:

  • 1/2 a package of achiote paste (50g)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 jalapeno peppers, rough chop (optional)
  • 2 Fresno peppers, rough chop (optional)
  • 1/4 cup bitter orange juice
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 5 small lemons
  • 1 shot tequila

Look in the ethnic section of the grocery store to find many of the ingredients or check out your local Latin market.

Steak taking a bath in the marinade.

Getting steak up to room temp.

Preparation Instructions:
1. Combine the anchiote paste, cumin, pepper, cloves, and allspice in a food processor or blender. Add the chopped jalapeno and Fresno peppers with the orange juice, vinegar, garlic and salt. Blend the dry spices with the liquid until smooth.

2. Squeeze and add the juice of lemons and the tequila. Blend again until it is well mixed.

3. Place the skirt steak in a large 2-gal zip lock bag and add the marinade. Marinate for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

4. Setup the grill for direct cooking. Get a hot grill at 600+ degrees. I used peach wood for smoky flavor, any fruitwood is ideal.

5. Cook the steak until a crust starts to form the underside.

6. When both sides are seared, remove from the grill and let them rest on a plate for 5 minutes.

Afterwards, slice into ¼” strips of beef. Make sure to slice against the grain, you get a tender steak as a result.

I warmed up some corn tortillas on the grill and piled the steak on. I added chopped onion, cilantro, slices of avocado and salt & pepper…simple and tasty! A side of black beans completed my taco feast.

Amazing balance of flavors; zesty and earthy, but all beef!

The worst part was when I ate the last of the skirt steak…that’s right, 2lbs of steak…GONE! Sure, I felt like a glutton and I couldn’t move for an hour, but it was freakin’ good!

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