With today being May 4th, Americans are predictively preparing their Cinco de Mayo plans and I’m obviously going to be giving you a delicious Mexican-inspired steak recipe. I also wanted to do was lay down a little history lesson first. Let’s get this straight people, we are NOT celebrating Mexico’s Independence Day. That falls on September 16th. What beer companies actually have us celebrating is the Mexican army’s surprise victory over the French in 1862 at the Battle of Puebla. A severely outnumbered Mexican army took down almost 500 French soldiers, while only losing around 100 of their own soldiers. This was not a particularly large victory in the Franco-Mexican War (bonus points if you know what the war was known as), it signified “a great symbolic victory” for the people of Mexico.
So, why does America celebrate this? There are a few variables that lead to the popularization of the holiday. The California Latinos who were happy about the win at the Battle of Puebla, also saw this as a parallel to the American Civil War, where many were cheering on the Union army. It was seen as a “[simultaneous] fight for democracy.” Many years later, FDR enacted the Good Neighbor Policy, a policy created “to improve relations with Latin America.” And last but not least, the American beer companies had targeted campaigns to Latinos in the 70’s and 80’s.
Why have I told you all of of this? I find it important to delve deeper into cultures that may not be familiar to us. Not just cultures, but we should be learning more about our friends and neighbors. The key word here is “learn”, not “I saw this on Facebook.” I find that food can connect and educate people in many different ways and it helps us have conversations with one another. Tomorrow, celebrate the Mexican culture with some exquisite food, tequila, and good friends (or maybe even new friends)!
Today I have a rich, savory Mexican-inspired chili rubbed flank steak recipe with an outstanding sweet potato kale hash adapted from Sweet Savory Life. If you are a parent and you have toned down your Cinco de Mayo celebrations as the years have gone on, as I have, then this is perfect for a laid back night with friends and some skinny margaritas (#basic). I hope you all have a fun and safe Cinco de Mayo!
- 1 1/2 pounds flank steak or any other thinly sliced steak
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp lime juice
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 sweet potato diced
- 2 cups kale de-stemmed and chopped
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 1/2 red bell pepper diced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 tbsp olive oil separated
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp cumin
- dash cayenne pepper
- dash smoked paprika
- 1/3 cup water
- salt to taste
In a measuring cup or small bowl, whisk soy sauce, Worcestershire, red wine vinegar, chili powder, lime juice, and garlic. Put steak in a gallon size plastic bag and pour marinade over. Marinate in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour prior to cooking.
For the sweet potato kale hash, combine sweet potato, onion, red bell pepper, and garlic in a medium bowl.
In a measuring cup or small bowl, whisk 2 Tablespoons olive oil, chili powder, cumin, salt, and a dash of cayenne pepper and smoked paprika together. Pour over sweet potato mix and stir until the vegetables are properly coated.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet/pan on medium-high heat. Add sweet potato mix, stirring occasionally to avoid charring the vegetables. Cook for about 8-10 minutes or until the sweet potato is easily pierced with a fork.
While the sweet potato mix is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a grill pan or a large skillet. Place flank steak with marinade in the pan and cook about 4-5 minutes on each side if you want medium rare. Remove from heat, placing the steak on a cutting board, and let it rest for about 5 minutes.
Once the sweet potato mix is fork tender, add kale and water to the mix, stir once, cover the pan, and let cook for 1-3 minutes. Once the kale is wilted and no longer tough, remove cover, add salt to taste. Remove from heat.
Slice steak into thin strips and serve with sweet potato hash.