Cactus Paddle Tacos
A traditional and very simple taco from Mexico is the Tacos de Bistec con Nopales, or in English, seared steak with cactus paddles. Don’t be intimidated by the cactus paddles, they have a neutral flavor and are not very hard to clean.
I served mine with a corn and roasted poblano salsa because I think the sweetness of the corn works well with the cactus and the heat from the poblano works well with the steak.
Seared Steak with Cactus Paddles and Salsa
- 3 medium cactus paddles
- About 2 tablespoons vegetable or coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin and chili powder
- 1pound skirt or flank steak
- 12 fresh warm corn tortillas
- Corn and Roasted Poblano Salsa
- Sour Cream
- Cotija or feta cheese
- With a sharp knife, clean the cactus paddles by trimming all the edges and scraping off the spines. Measure 1 tablespoon of the lard, oil or bacon drippings into a large (12-inch), heavy well-seasoned skillet (preferably cast-iron) or griddle and set over medium-high heat. When hot, add the cactus and cook until done, about 8 to 10 minutes. Slice into strips.
- Generously salt both sides of each piece of meat. Wipe the skillet or griddle and return it to medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. When very hot (it’ll just begin to smoke), sear the meat for 3-4 minutes on each side.
- Build your tacos with the cactus, steak, some cheese, sour cream and salsa.
High Fiber, Egg Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Pork Free, Alcohol Free, No Sugar Added