After years of debating whether marinades are worth the effort, we've decided to mostly skip them, especially when it comes to steak on a weeknight.
That's because the ingredients in marinades do a poor job of penetrating the surface of the meat, and liquids actually inhibit the flavor that comes from searing meat because it has to first boil off.
So for steak, our motto is, season first, sauce later.
That's how we treat the steak in a simple taco filling in our book "COOKish." Then while the steak rests, we turn sautéed onion and poblano chilies into a quick salsa. Dousing the mixture with lime juice after cooking keeps the flavors bright and balanced.
Skirt steak is the perfect cut for these tacos because the cumin gets trapped in the folds, and the relatively high fat content adds flavor while insulating the spice from burning.
For the tenderest texture, slice the steak thinly and against the grain. And use a nonstick skillet, otherwise the steak's seasoning may stick to the pan and scorch.