Winter might not be the season for grilling, but it is the season for citrus fruit. My mom just shipped me a giant box of sour oranges from a tree in her yard and I have been using them all week. The box included a recipe for mojo criollo pork, a classic Cuban recipe.
“Make sure you use them all, because after that, if you’re looking for them in the grocery store, they’re insanely expensive for some reason.”
She’s right. I saw them at the store, listed as “ugli fruit” and selling for $2 each.
Sour (or bitter) oranges taste as the name implies. Sour, bitter. More lemon than orange. The skin is even more on the yellow side, but they are great for cooking and making marinades. Use them in places where you need a little acid, a little sour kick. Or if you don’t have them, you can substitute lemon juice.
We made a big batch of this marinade and made steak tacos, they were awesome — these bowls are a great way to use up leftovers and will make a nice (easy!) lunch for the rest of the week. We also made this mojo chicken in the slow cooker, and it was excellent. Where that recipe uses lemon, I used the sour oranges.
This recipe, as listed below, is a combo of our usual steak-taco marinade mixed with the sour-orange-mojo from above. We made tacos straight from the grill and used the rest to make the taco-bowls pictured. On the side (and in the bowl) I served it with grilled pineapple– highly recommended. The pineapple gets so juicy; the sugars caramelize with a slight-black char and it brings out such a nice flavor. I’ve included some details on that as well, at the bottom of this post. It’s really my favorite way to eat pineapple.
Grilled Steak Tacos with Sour Orange Marinade
Assemble this bowl with any combo of the following, and eat well for a week: rice, beans, chopped onion and cilantro, pico de gallo, guacamole, salsa, grilled veggies, grilled pineapple, fresh mango, pickled or fresh jalapeños, sour cream and/or cheese. This marinade works well on any meat for grilling.
2 cups sour orange juice (about 10 oranges)
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 cup light beer
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tbs ground black pepper
1 tbs oregano (chopped fresh or dried)
4 garlic cloves, chopped fine
Adobo Seasoning, Bitter Orange flavor (the orange bottle)
4 pounds arrachera (skirt steak)
Find a deep container that will accommodate your meat and marinade so that your meat will be completely submerged. Season the meat with Adobo powdered seasoning all over, getting all sides of the meat. Let that rest while you prepare your marinade. Mix marinade ingredients together and pour over meat. Allow steak to marinate 4 hours or overnight. Grill over a high flame aiming for medium meat with charred edges. Chop meat after grilling for taco filling. Season with additional lime and Adobe if desired.
Make some tacos, too! Traditional tacos are served with chopped white onion and cilantro. Additional accompaniments can include guacamole, salsa, pico de gallo and sour cream.
Rum-Soaked Grilled Pineapple
Rum isn’t a necessity if you don’t have it, but it does help add a nice char. Use the ripest pineapple you can find, it should be very fragrant and the leaves should be dry and wilted.
1/2 cup sugar-cane rum
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 fresh pineapple, cut into 1″ thick slices
Cut and trim your pineapple. Place in a container and soak with rum. Break up the sugar and coat the pineapple. Let it sit in the mixture for 1-2 hours (up to overnight, if you’re planning ahead). Grill over a high flame, charring on each side. Serve immediately.