Peppered Steak and Caramelized Onion Tacos

Mexican food isn’t always super hot and spicy, contrary to what you might read on here on my site. I do prefer things to be extra spicy, but sometimes that can come from a few dashes of hot sauce and not from the dish itself. This is a great example of simple Mexican food that doesn’t use anything more than a few simple ingredients that everyone can easily find in their refrigerator. I was extremely pleased with these tacos, to say the least. While cooking this meal, your home will fill with the wonderful smell of ground black pepper, caramelizing onions, and garlic. I think that caramelized onions smell almost sweet, and you will definitely agree with me after cooking this. The steak is perfectly cooked and well seasoned with only ground black pepper, but I think that it brings out the flavor of the meat and nothing more is needed. The onions are full of rich, caramel-y flavor, and the garlic takes things up a notch. The most notable part about these tacos, I believe, is the queso fresco, which means “fresh cheese” in Spanish. It’s a great cheese for crumbling (much like queso blanco) and looks beautiful on top of any dish. It’s a soft, mild cheese that I love to top spicy meals with because it cuts the heat, but it’s also a bit creamy and adds a welcome to texture to these steak and onion tacos. Queso fresco melts in your mouth and creates a cool sensation against the piping hot tacos. It’s very similar to a more mild Feta cheese. You should be able to find it in the cheese section of your grocery store, along with the other specialty cheeses (unless you live in an area where Latin food is prevalent, in which case it will be right there next to the cheddar, as it is in my grocery store). If you can’t find it, though, don’t worry! Monterrey jack, pepper jack, or even a mild cheddar will compliment these simple, yet fragrant and flavorful, tacos.

Peppered Steak and Caramelized Onion Tacos
This is one of the most simple recipes I’ve done in a while. If you can’t find queso fresco, you can definitely use another cheese of your choice, but queso fresco goes really well with these.

Peppered Steak and Caramelized Onion Tacos
Heat three tablespoons of vegetable oil in a pan over medium-high heat, toss your steak with 2 teaspoons of ground black pepper, then cook your slices of steak for 2 minutes or so, until just barely cooked through (you do NOT want to overcook them).

Peppered Steak and Caramelized Onion Tacos
Place on a wire rack (or just straight onto a baking sheet) and cover with foil to keep warm.

Peppered Steak and Caramelized Onion Tacos
Add in your thinly sliced onions and cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, until golden and soft. Add in the garlic and saute for another minute. Add in the beef and cook until heated through.

Peppered Steak and Caramelized Onion Tacos
Heat a flour tortilla in a dry frying pan, then add in the steak and onion mixture. Top with crumbled queso freso (or another cheese) and serve.

Peppered Steak and Caramelized Onion Tacos

Peppered Steak and Caramelized Onion Tacos
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 2-3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 1.5 pounds flank steak/top round steak/whatever cut you like, sliced thinly
  • 2-3 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 large onion, sliced thinly
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 5 or 6 6-inch flour tortillas
  • crumbled queso fresco, for topping (or another cheese)
  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Toss the steak with the black pepper and add to the hot skillet. Cook for 2 minutes or so, until just browned (do NOT overcook) and place on a baking sheet and/or wire rack and cover with foil to keep warm.
  2. Add in the onion and lower the heat to medium. Cook until golden, about 8-10 minutes. Add in the garlic and saute for another minute or so, until fragrant. Add in the steak pieces again and cook until heated through, about another minute or so.
  3. Heat your flour tortillas in the oven or in a dry frying pan, then top with the steak and onion mixture. Sprinkle crumbled queso fresco or another cheese over the taco and serve. Serves 4.


24 Responses

  1. Lea Ann says:

    I’m a big taco fan. This looks wonderful. Another bookmarked and can’t wait to try it.

  2. Tina says:

    Sydney: This looks so yummy and so easy .I will be making tacos soon ! I have some filet steaks in the freezer ,guess they are going into tacos !! Cann’t wait !Thank you for yet another great treat !

  3. Anthony says:

    Oh, my these look good, as well as being quick to fix after getting home from work. Now, if I only had some for lunch, today. :)

  4. Jen says:

    Anything with caramelized onions in it is a-okay in my book!

  5. Kirsten says:

    My boyfriend’s favorite food ever is Carne Asada Burritos, so i think he will love this! I believe that the one spice you ever really need is pepper. My grandmother used to keep baked potatoes on the stove top, and then slice them up and fry them in oil and lots of pepper for breakfast. Yum!

  6. Memoria says:

    Yum! I want some!! I love beef tacos of any variety. I’m also a fan of queso fresco. Ummm.

  7. Barbara says:

    Love tacos and these look divine! Caramelized onions are a favorite with my family and we don’t like our tacos too hot so the queso fresco really tones things down. Super photos!

  8. Meridith says:

    I haven’t had much of an appetite for beef lately, but these tacos look delicious. They remind me of a Philly cheese steak, which I love.

  9. Joanne says:

    These sound amazing…totally rife with flavor. I love the caramelized onions. A very nice touch!

  10. ingrid says:

    My kids would love this. They love anything with caramelized onions and one twin in particular loves queso fresco (& blanco).

    Btw, I made your stir fry and the kids really enjoyed it. No complaints, which is nice. Thx!

  11. Jen says:

    These look so good!! Making them this week x
    -Jen from SS :)

  12. mihail says:

    Love your style. You probably should use very high heat to sear up the steak and not fry too many at a time, not to lose the heat. But I’m not a chef, only guessing. Interesting recipes and a blog well worth reading. thänks! Congratulations on the marriage.

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