I rarely get around to sharing the off-the-cuff recipes I cook day to day. Look, writing a blog is a lot of hard work; I know it might seem like I just sit down and bash out a few hundred words and take a quick snap and, yeah, ok, that’s sort of what happens but let me tell you that doing it for a solid ten years takes a fair bit of organisation.
Making things look appetising is a concern, of course, because no-one wants to see a photo of brown stew taken with flash at 9 pm on a Formica countertop, so that means pictures are off limits once natural daylight has waned. If you want to share a recipe, then you need to write down exactly what you used and what you did, either at the time or very shortly afterwards because trust me, you definitely won’t remember. All this before you’ve even considered whether or not the end result is worth sharing.
Nowadays, most recipes I cook work the first time around (that’s a benefit of years of messing stuff up, so I’ve earned my stripes) but for all the necessary elements to come together without any planning, well, it just doesn’t happen too often. Sometimes my camera is out of battery, or I have people round and don’t want to be in food blogger mode. Perhaps I just can’t be bothered (I KNOW).
Anyway, the point is I’m going to try and share more of these ‘everyday’ recipes and before you say, ‘OMG no-one eats like this every day’ let me say that, yeah, sometimes I just make a sandwich or a boiled egg but actually, quite often we do bash out a batch of tacos of a lunchtime and what of it? I’m not trying to show off here – I eat for a living. This is just what I do.
So. This lunch was completely unexpected – I was on my way home when I got a call from the BBQ Hotline which went something along the lines of, ‘I have a few hours I didn’t expect to have – let’s grill’ to which I replied, ‘pass dem tongs’ and the result was these tacos.
We rushed up to Flock and Herd butchers in Peckham, bought a fine hunk o’ rump and rubbed it down with ground Pasilla and chilli de Arbol, blitzed cumin and coriander seeds. We grilled fat wedges of pineapple until blackened, chopped them up to reveal their juiciness and dusted them with Tajin – an excellent dried lime and chilli dust that is everywhere on tables in California and Mexico (do not fret – you can buy it online). We oiled and blistered spring onions, purchased scary-red Mexican Habanero hot sauce (mucho authentico), then stamped out some corn tacos, cooking them on a hot plate on the grill.
It’s the grilled pineapple that makes these so good – the sweet fruit alongside the lime, grilled steak and searing bite of the Habanero is a killer combination (see also: grapefruit and mango). We ate the lot between us, alongside several cold beers and afterwards, snoozed on the sofa. The perfect, impromptu Saturday lunch.
BBQ Steak and Pineapple Tacos
1 x 600g rump steak
1 Pasilla chilli
2 Chilli de Arbol
1 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon sea salt
6 spring onions
Coriander, to serve
Habanero hot sauce, to serve
Shredded white cabbage dressed with a splash of good white wine vinegar and salt and scrunched with your hands, to serve (totally optional and just for a bit of crunch)
10 tacos – you can either buy these – corn tacos are available now online and in shops, or you can make them. We made them but we didn’t write down quantities and it’s not helpful to say ‘add water until the mixture feels right’. Recipes are abundant online – here is one on Kitchn and another on BBC Food.
Light your BBQ.
Grind the chillies and spices and mix with the salt. Rub all over the steak.
Peel the pineapple and cut into quarters lengthways. Remove the core then cut each quarter into long wedges. Grill this on the BBQ (as it is), then chop.
Trim the spring onions then rub them with a little oil. Season with salt and grill whole until charred. Chop.
Dust any excess rub off the steak then grill it to your liking on the BBQ. We like it medium rare as you can see. This is going to take around 8 minutes on the BBQ, flipping every minute or so.
Pile it all into tacos. This isn’t rocket science. Ice cold beers on the side work very nicely.