Tacos: BBQ Onglet with Scotch Bonnet, Grapefruit and Mango

July 23, 2013

Onglet, or skirt steak, is a great cut of beef to cook on the BBQ; it has so much flavour and just needs a really quick grilling over high heat. Over cook it and you’ll find dinner now has the texture of a flip flop, but get it right and you’ll cut into juicy meat with a texture like butter. I gave it a bathing in a spicy, fruit based marinade which was pretty damn fine when slung into tacos. Here’s what to do:

1. Meet @markymarket at Chancery Lane tube to take receipt of a kg of onglet. You can’t miss him – he’ll stick out like a sore thumb wearing a white butcher’s coat and lugging a cool box. Contact him via his website or Twitter to place an order.

2. Gather some mates together for a hot and sticky summer evening BBQ. They will bring loads of interesting wine because they are ace.

3. Make the fruit marinade. I was originally going to use papaya; a great meat tenderiser. I didn’t though because I didn’t have one and also, papayas are expensive. SO expensive. What I did have was 1 very ripe mango and 3 apricots, the flesh of which was whizzed with grapefruit juice, garlic and scotch bonnet chilli. This makes a great table sauce too, so reserve some for later. Pour the sauce over the onglet and marinate for an hour. It will look like it’s covered in sick. It isn’t; that’s your delicious mango sauce, silly.

4. Grill the meat. Rest the meat. Slice the meat. Eat the meat. We piled it into tacos and topped with guacamole, salsa, and onions quick pickled in lime and orange juice.

A dollop of that mango sauce on top is most excellent, too…

Mango and Scotch Bonnet Marinated Onglet Tacos Recipe

(serves 4)

1 kg onglet (skirt steak)

For the marinade:

4 cloves garlic, peeled
Flesh of 1 ripe mango
Flesh of 3 apricots
Juice of 1 grapefruit
1 scotch bonnet chilli, deseeded or not is up to you
Splash olive oil
Salt and pepper

Get the onglet out of the fridge about 2 hours before you want to cook it. Whizz all the marinade ingredients in a blender and pour 3/4 over the onglet, reserving the other 1/4 for serving. Light your BBQ and wait until the flames have died down and the coals are nice and grey/white all over, you want the BBQ as hot as possible and that doesn’t mean flames. By which point your onglet should be ready.

Brush off excess marinade and season well on both sides with salt and pepper. Grill for 2 minutes, then flip and grill a further 2 minutes. Repeat this – so a further 2 minutes each side. This should give you pretty rare steak, but of course it depends on the thickness (you could also brush a little of the reserved marinade on while cooking, if you like. Don’t double dip the brush into the sauce you’re going to serve at the table, though). Let the meat rest for 10 minutes while you get everything else ready, then slice and serve with extras below.

For the guacamole:

I steal a trick from Thomasina Miers here and bash up a little onion and chilli first in the pestle and mortar, as well as mixing some in, which gives a really nice overall savoury flavour. Mix with the flesh of 2 avocados (roughly mashed, you want some texture), juice of 1-2 limes and a little more finely chopped onion and chilli. Finish with salt, pepper and coriander.

For the salsa:

Make a basic tomato salsa by seeding and finely chopping really ripe tomatoes, about 6, and mixing with half a small finely chopped red onion, a squeeze of lime juice, small handful chopped coriander leaves, and salt and pepper.

For the pickled onions:

Another trick nicked from Thomasina Miers, whose book ‘Mexican Cooking Made Simple’ is actually really bloody good. Cover finely sliced red onions with boiling water for ten minutes then drain. Squeeze in lime and orange juice, plus a finely chopped scotch bonnet chilli. Leave for a couple of hours. Makes a great condiment on loads of things, actually.

Tortilla/taco note: I have been e-mailed by a reader who pointed out I have ‘misrepresented’ tacos as I have actually used tortillas. Fact is, tacos are impossible to get hold of for me and also, I don’t like them. Too tough. So yes, I used tortillas and cut taco shapes from them. Apologies if this has offended anyone else. 

You Might Also Like


  • Avatar
    Reply Chris Berry @scrummyscran July 23, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    What a great recipe, and the photos of the dish look fab too – really emphasises how vibrant it is. Love cooking with onglet too – really underrated cut of beef. The idea of mixing the sweetness of the fruit and heat of the chilli in the marinade for the meat sounds really interesting.

    Now all we need is the summery weather to return, and I shall definitely give the dish a go – many thanks for sharing!


    • Avatar
      Reply Helen July 23, 2013 at 2:48 pm

      Yeah this cloudy humidity – not the same! You’re right, the sweet fruit and chilli – mega combo.

  • Avatar
    Reply Helen P July 24, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Holy moly. Looks awesome 🙂

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen July 24, 2013 at 9:17 am

      Thanks Helen 🙂

  • Avatar
    Reply Selena July 24, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Looks awesome, I do love a bit of onglet. What tacos do you use?

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen July 24, 2013 at 11:14 am

      Some corn tortillas that I found in Morrison’s – just toast them VERY briefly on the BBQ first.

  • Avatar
    Reply Catherine Edwards July 24, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Oh god, yum, just yum. I never really took much notice of different steak cuts, but have recently become obsessed with hanger steak, similar to skirt I guess, as over-cook it and you get the flip flop effect. So hungry now…

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen July 24, 2013 at 1:56 pm

      The flip flop effect! I have coined a new culinary term.

  • Avatar
    Reply Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) July 25, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    This is the taco of my dreams. I need to get some flank steak, STAT. Too bad I think grocery stores have caught on to this perfect meat, I see markups EVERYWHERE now…

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen July 25, 2013 at 4:10 pm

      I know…rubbish! Glad you like the look of them though.

  • Avatar
    Reply luke July 27, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    I did this tonight, used rotis as I happened to have a cupboard full. Was great!

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen July 28, 2013 at 12:33 pm

      Yay! Very pleased you enjoyed it.

  • Avatar
    Reply Kate July 29, 2013 at 8:32 am

    I’m not sure what your other reader meant about tacos but my understanding was that they are a tortilla wrapped around filling and the hard taco shells are certainly not the only acceptable type. Anyway … looks great!

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen July 29, 2013 at 8:39 am

      I’m not sure what they meant either!! I’ve had loads of e-mail saying the same thing as you so thank you. I was starting to doubt myself!

  • Avatar
    Reply Emma August 18, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    This looks incredible!!! My mouth is literally watering! Another recipe to try! So glad I found this blog!

  • Avatar
    Reply Lesley August 19, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    What you made are soft tacos. 🙂

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen August 19, 2013 at 1:43 pm

      I KNOW 😉 I was being sarcastic…

  • Avatar
    Reply Melanie August 4, 2015 at 3:19 am

    Well you learn something new everyday. I know what skirt steak is, but

    • Avatar
      Reply Melanie August 4, 2015 at 3:21 am

      Errrrr! I know what skirt steak is but I’d never heard it called “onglet”. I look forward to springing that one on my butcher but I bet he’s familiar with it already.

    Leave a Reply

    Secured By miniOrange