Carne asada or “grilled steak” is one of the classic Mexican steak dishes. Carne asada is cooked by first marinating the steaks in a spicy and flavorful marinade and then they are grilled to desired doneness.
It is a very delicious food, which can be eaten as a part of meal with refried beans and chambray onions or as a light snack by wrapping up the steak slices in tortillas.
Difficulty Level: Easy
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Time Required For Peparation: 1 hour
Time Required For Cooking: 8-12 minutes
1 charcoal grill
1 large bowl
1 mortar and pestle
1 sauté pan
2 lbs. of skirt or flank steak
½ cup of fresh chopped cilantro (leaves and stems)
2 tablespoons of white vinegar
Salt, to taste
1 teaspoon of ground cumin seeds (toasted and ground)
4-5 large cloves of garlic, peel and minced
1/3rd teaspoon of lime zest
1 bottle of beer (optional)
A pinch of white granulated sugar
1-2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
Freshly squeezed juice of 2 limes
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper
1 small onion, chopped
½ cup + 1/4th cup of olive oil
Corn tortillas, for serving
Pico de Gallo, for serving
Chopped avocados, for serving
Chambray onions, for serving
Method of cooking
1. First, chop up the vegetables that will be required for the marinade. For that, take the cilantro bunches and cut off their roots. Then chop the entire cilantro bunches pretty finely to use both the leaves as well as the stems. The stems have lot of flavors in them and so they are very good for using in marinades.
Then take the onions and cut them in halves. Snap of the roots and tips of the onions and then peel off their skins. Then chop the onions finely. Next, take the jalapeño peppers and slit them lengthwise. Cut off the ribs and discard the seeds from them. Once done, cut the jalapeño peppers into thin slices.
2. Peel and mince the garlic cloves and then extract the lime zest and lime juice from the limes. Make sure that you don’t have any lime seeds in the extracted juice. Once everything is done, take a sauté pan and place it on the stove. Light up the flame and set it on medium low.
Wait for the sauté pan to heat up and then put the cumin seeds in it, once the pan starts smoking. Shake the pan to toast the cumin seeds. Toast the seeds for 1-2 minutes, while shaking the pan frequently to prevent the seeds from burning. Once the seeds start popping, turn off the flame and remove the pan from the stove to cool down the cumin seeds.
3. While the toasted cumin seeds are cooling down, take the steaks and put them on your counter. Next, lay a parchment paper on your working table and put the steaks on it. Cover the steaks with the remaining half of the parchment paper and then pound the steaks lightly with a mallet.
Once the cumin seeds cool down, put them into a mortar and grind them with the pestle. Once the seeds are grinded into a fine powder, add the chopped chilies and a pinch of salt. Grind the mixture again to convert the chilies into a paste and then finally, add in the minced garlic and the finely chopped onions.
4. Pound the mixture to get a rough paste and then transfer the paste to a large bowl. Add the sugar, lime juice, lime zest, vinegar, beer, ½ cup of olive oil, ½ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon of salt, chopped cilantro and the dried oregano to the paste and then stir to mix everything nicely.
Once done, put the steaks into the marinade and coat them nicely with the marinade mixture. Then cover the bowl with plastic film and insert it into the refrigerator to marinate the steaks for one hour.
5. Once the marinating time elapses, set up the charcoal grill. Then take out the steaks from the marinade and brush off excess marinade from them. Grease the grates of the grill with some cooking oil and then place the steaks on the grill once it turns very hot.
Grill the steaks for 5-6 minutes or until they are slightly browned and then flip them to grill the other sides as well. Grill the steaks for 10-12 minutes if you want them medium rare or longer if you want your steaks well done. Once all the steaks are done, remove them from the grill and set aside.
6. Then take the corn tortillas and warm them up slightly on the grill. Next, take the steaks and cut them into thin slices. Finally, put 3-4 tablespoons of the steak slices and Pico de Gallo on each tortilla and fold the tortillas over the filling. Finally, serve the carne asada with the chambray onions and the chopped avocados.