Oh boy! I’ve been waiting (who knows why) to make this for a long time. Without further ado; carne asada.
I ended up doing a ton of research before making this dish. I wanted a reasonably authentic taste (Safeway-brand taco seasoning? No thanks), and it is surprisingly hard to find authentic Mexican recipes. I synthesized about 5 recipes to get the ingredient list I have here.
Carne Asada (literally translated “roasted meat”) is a very popular dish in Northern Mexico (and in the Southwestern USA). Carne Asada is synonymous with a social BBQ here in the USA. Check out the Wikipedia entry for it here.
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro (chopped, remove large stems)
1 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. Cumin
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. Mexican oregano
1/4 tsp. ground clove
4-8 cloves of garlic (chopped)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 bottle of dark beer
1 orange sliced latitudinally
1 lime quartered into wedges
3 lbs. skirt steak
This one is pretty easy. Combine everything but the steak, orange, and lime slices above, in a bowl. Slice the steak thin (or if it is already less then about 1/2 thick, skip this step) and then put it into your marinade in your ziplock. As you can see in the photo, I sliced my larger steak (1.84 lbs) into strips about 1″ x 0.5″ strips. The thinner steak (0.37 lbs) was thin enough that it did not need to be sliced at all.
Grab your oranges squeeze them into the bag, then drop them in. Do the same with the limes. I am adding this section in from a wise comment posted by Buster. If you leave the top of your bag open and submerge it in water you will force the air out. This helps the marinade break down the enzymes in the meat, which improves flavor penetration and makes the meat more tender! Put the bag into your fridge and let it sit for between four and eight hours.
After marinating for several hours its time to fire up the grill. I got mine as hot as I possibly could and grilled the sliced pieces for about 5 minutes each. Your temps and times will vary, so keep a close eye on it as you cook. I left the larger steak on for about 5 minutes per side. Carne asada is typically served well done, even a little charred.
After I took the meat off the grill, I shredded some mozzarella sprinkled it over a couple of flour tortillas and threw them on the grill for a few minutes to melt the cheese. After that it is as simple as applying meat and any other toppings you like (we had avocado and salsa verde) and consuming it.
This was amazing. Next time I would consider marinating it for the full eight hours, but regardless it turned out great. I will definitely be making this again. The only real change I would make is to prepare some sides (pica de gallo, and grilled onions, anyone?) to enhance the meal.
Have a good night!