How-To Recipe: Authentic Carne Asada

June 14, 2013

Carne asada, or Mexican grilled steak, is a delicious dish of thinly sliced flank or skirt steak that's marinated in citrus juices, herbs, and spices, then grilled. This flavorful meat is wonderful on its own with a side of rice and beans, or enjoyed nestled in warm corn tortillas with fresh cilantro, onions, lime juice and salsa.

First, you want to start with your marinade. The video below uses a large mortar and pestle, known as a molcajete in Mexico (check out this one on Amazon), but in a pinch you can simply toss the ingredients in a blender or food processor.   Blend the marinade ingredients, then pour it into a gallon size ziplock baggie. Add the meat, seal the bag, and massage to incorporate the marinade. Refrigerate for at least an hour, but best up to 4 hours.

Carne Asada

The juice of 2 limes
4 cloves garlic, crushed
½ cup orange juice
1 large handful of fresh cilantro (about 1 cup), chopped  (Note: I use the stems too as there is lots of flavor in them as well!)
½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup olive oil
1 jalapeno, minced (leave the seeds and ribs if you want more heat)
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chile powder
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 (2-pound) flank steak or skirt steak

Process marinade ingredients in a food processor or blender, or crush in a mortar with a pestle. Transfer marinade to a ziplock bag, add the meat, and let marinate in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours.

Heat grill to high and cook for 7-10 minutes on each side, or to the doneness of your liking,

Remove from grill and let the meat rest for 10 minutes. Slice meat against the grain and serve with warm corn tortillas, fresh cilantro, avocado, chopped onion, salsa, and your favorite taco accompaniments.

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