Carne Asada

Carne Asada

As I was going through my old blog posts this I noticed that this recipe for Carne Asada had fallen by the wayside, with very recognition. I finally got the opportunity to revisit and redo this posting. This one is just in time for Father’s Day coming up on Sunday!

Carne asada is Spanish for “roasted meat,” the phrase is almost always used to refer to a grilled cut of beef, which is commonly a thin cut like flank or skirt steak. Marinades for carne asada often contain lime juice which helps to tenderize the meat. On the grill, it becomes a rich medium brown on the outside and juicy and pink on the inside. When served, it is sliced across the grain, further enhancing its tenderness.

Carne asada can be served as a main dish or as an ingredient in other dishes. It is used in a number of dishes from tacos to fajitas to burritos to salads. Typical garnishes are guacamole, pico de gallo and grilled vegetables.

Carne Asada is probably one of our favorite Mexican recipes to make at home. I must say that once you’ve had it over charcoal, you’ve reached a point of no return. The flavor of the meat has so many levels of flavor. It is truly amazing. This recipe always has me doing the happy dance.

Here’s how we make it:

Carne Asada can be served as a main dish or as an ingredient in other dishes. It is used in a number of dishes from tacos to fajitas to burritos to salads. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Carne Asada can be served as a main dish or as an ingredient in other dishes. It is used in a number of dishes from tacos to fajitas to burritos to salads. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Marinate the steak:
Lay the flank steak in a shallow ceramic or dish just large enough to hold the steak. Do not use metal, it can react with the acids in the marinade and impart off flavors. Sprinkle the steak directly with salt and pepper, to taste.

Carne Asada can be served as a main dish or as an ingredient in other dishes. It is used in a number of dishes from tacos to fajitas to burritos to salads. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Combine marinade ingredients and pour the marinade over the steak. Make sure both sides are well coated.

Carne Asada can be served as a main dish or as an ingredient in other dishes. It is used in a number of dishes from tacos to fajitas to burritos to salads. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours, turning meat occasionally to ensure that the marinade touches as of its surface area as possible.

Carne Asada can be served as a main dish or as an ingredient in other dishes. It is used in a number of dishes from tacos to fajitas to burritos to salads. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Remove the steak in its marinade from the refrigerator 1 hour before grilling. Bringing the steak to room temperature before grilling helps it to cook more evenly.

Grill Prep:
20 to 30 minutes before you start cooking, prepare a charcoal grill with 2 areas of high heat and 1 cooler area.

Remove the grill grate and set it aside. Next, light the charcoal using a chimney starter and let them burn until they are covered with white ash. Pour the coals into the fire bed. Using long-handled tongs, spread the hot coals 2 or 3 layers deep in one-third of the fire bed and 1 or 2 layers deep in another third of the fire bed, leaving the remaining third free of coals.
Replace the grill grate.

Carne Asada can be served as a main dish or as an ingredient in other dishes. It is used in a number of dishes from tacos to fajitas to burritos to salads. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Scrub the grill grate with a wire brush to remove any traces of food. Then, lightly rub the grill grate with paper towels coated with canola or vegetable oil.

Test the grill temperature. Hold your hand about 4 inches above the fire. If you can count only to 1 before pulling your hand away (very high heat), the coals are ready.

Grill the steak:
When the grill is ready, remove the steak from the marinade and let the excess marinade drip off. Discard the marinade. Place the steak over the hottest area of the grill. Be careful the oil will cause the grill to flame up. Allow a few flames to lick the meat and then cover.

Carne Asada can be served as a main dish or as an ingredient in other dishes. It is used in a number of dishes from tacos to fajitas to burritos to salads. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Grill the steak until the underside is browned (the moisture from the marinade prevents a dark brown surface crust from forming), about 5 minutes.

Carne Asada can be served as a main dish or as an ingredient in other dishes. It is used in a number of dishes from tacos to fajitas to burritos to salads. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Use the tongs to turn over the steak and grill until the other side is browned, about 5 more minutes for medium-rare.

Check the steak for doneness:
Insert an instant-read thermometer horizontally into the center of the steak or, if necessary, cut into it near the center. At medium-rare, the thermometer should register 140°F or the color should be deep pink. If the steak is not ready, cover the grill, let it cook for 1 to 2 minutes more and test again.

A rested steak is the best steak:
When the steak is done, transfer it to a carving board and let it rest for 3 to 5 minutes. If cut too soon, the steak will not have its optimal juiciness and the color inside will be uneven. This little siesta before serving allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. The temperature of the steak will also rise about 5 degrees while resting.

Carne Asada can be served as a main dish or as an ingredient in other dishes. It is used in a number of dishes from tacos to fajitas to burritos to salads. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Slice the steak and serve:
Position the steak on the carving board so that the long end is facing you and the direction of the muscle fibers runs horizontally. The fibers of the meat are referred to the meat’s grain because they resemble a plank of wood. Using a thin-bladed carving knife, place the knife perpendicular to the steak at a 45-degree angle and cut the steak across the grain into thin slices about 1⁄8 inch thick. Cutting the meat this way shortens the long, tough muscle fibers and makes the meat easier to chew. Transfer the sliced steak to the warmed plates. Pour any juices from the board over the slices and serve immediately.

Carne Asada can be served as a main dish or as an ingredient in other dishes. It is used in a number of dishes from tacos to fajitas to burritos to salads. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Place a tortilla on the grill directly over the heat. Warm each side until slightly browned and crisp, about 1 minute on each side.

Carne Asada can be served as a main dish or as an ingredient in other dishes. It is used in a number of dishes from tacos to fajitas to burritos to salads. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Top the tortilla with a few slices of steak. Top the steak with cheese. Roll into a burrito or eat like a taco. Top with more cheese, poblano strips, jalapeños, guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream and cilantro.

Carne Asada can be served as a main dish or as an ingredient in other dishes. It is used in a number of dishes from tacos to fajitas to burritos to salads. | TheMountainKitchen.com

The toppings are limitless!

Carne Asada can be served as a main dish or as an ingredient in other dishes. It is used in a number of dishes from tacos to fajitas to burritos to salads. | TheMountainKitchen.com

This meal was one of the first meals that David and I have been able to enjoy on our freshly stained deck. The weather just hasn’t been all that great this spring. I sure have missed nights like this one.

I hope you love this grilling recipe and it inspires you to fire up your grill for dear ol’ Dad this Sunday for Father’s Day.  If he needs to spruce up his grill, head over to my friend David’s site www.QualityGrillParts.com and let him help you get the replacement grill parts your dad may need this Father’s Day.

My Signature

Carne Asada can be served as a main dish or as an ingredient in other dishes. It is used in a number of dishes from tacos to fajitas to burritos to salads. | TheMountainKitchen.com
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Carne Asada

Carne Asada can be served as a main dish or as an ingredient in other dishes. It is used in a number of dishes from tacos to fajitas to burritos to salads.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword Carne Asada, flank steak, Lime, mexican
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Marinating Time 24 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 380kcal
Author Debbie Spivey

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds flank steak

Marinade

  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper seeded and diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ cup cilantro fresh, leaves and stems, finely chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 limes zest one lime and juice both
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon sugar (or honey)
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions

Marinate the steak

  • Lay the flank steak in a shallow ceramic or dish just large enough to hold the steak. Do not use metal, it can react with the acids in the marinade and impart off flavors.
  • Sprinkle the steak directly with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Combine marinade ingredients and pour the marinade over the steak. Make sure both sides are well coated. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours, turning meat occasionally to ensure that the marinade touches as of its surface area as possible. Remove the steak in its marinade from the refrigerator 1 hour before grilling. Bringing the steak to room temperature before grilling helps it to cook more evenly.

Fire Up The Grill!

  • 20 to 30 minutes before you start cooking, prepare a charcoal or gas grill with 2 areas of high heat and 1 cooler area.
  • Remove the grill grate and set it aside. Next, light the charcoal using a chimney starter and let them burn until they are covered with white ash. Pour the coals into the fire bed. Using long-handled tongs, spread the hot coals 2 or 3 layers deep in one-third of the fire bed and 1 or 2 layers deep in another third of the fire bed, leaving the remaining third free of coals.
  • Replace the grill grate and scrub the grill grate with a wire brush to remove any traces of food. Then, lightly rub the grill grate with paper towels coated with canola or vegetable oil.
  • Test the grill temperature. Hold your hand about 4 inches above the fire. If you can count only to 1 before pulling your hand away (very high heat), the coals are ready.

Grill the Carne Asada

  • When the grill is ready, remove the steak from the marinade and let the excess marinade drip off. Discard the marinade. Place the steak over the hottest area of the grill. Be careful the oil will cause the grill to flame up. Allow a few flames to lick the meat and then cover. Grill the steak until the underside is browned (the moisture from the marinade prevents a dark brown surface crust from forming), about 5 minutes. Use the tongs to turn over the steak and grill until the other side is browned, about 5 more minutes for medium-rare.

Check the steak for doneness

  • Insert an instant-read thermometer horizontally into the center of the steak or, if necessary, cut into it near the center. At medium-rare, the thermometer should register 140°F or the color should be deep pink. If the steak is not ready, cover the grill, let it cook for 1 to 2 minutes more and test again.

A rested steak is the best steak

  • When the steak is done, transfer it to a carving board and let it rest for 3 to 5 minutes. If cut too soon, the steak will not have its optimal juiciness and the color inside will be uneven. This little siesta before serving allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. The temperature of the steak will also rise about 5°F while resting.

Slice the steak and serve

  • Position the steak on the carving board so that the long end is facing you and the direction of the muscle fibers runs horizontally. The fibers of the meat are referred to the meat's grain because they resemble a plank of wood. Using a thin-bladed carving knife, place the knife perpendicular to the steak at a 45-degree angle and cut the steak across the grain into thin slices about 1⁄8 inch thick. Cutting the meat this way shortens the long, tough muscle fibers and makes the meat easier to chew. Transfer the sliced steak to the warmed plates. Pour any juices from the board over the slices and serve immediately.
  • Place a tortilla on the grill directly over the heat. Warm each side until slightly browned and crisp, about 1 minute on each side.
  • Top the tortilla with a few slices of steak. Top the steak with cheese. Roll into a burrito or eat like a taco. Top with more cheese, poblano chile strips, jalapeños, guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream and cilantro. The toppings are limitless!

Notes

Adapted from SimplyRecipes.com

Nutrition

Calories: 380kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 82mg | Potassium: 552mg | Vitamin A: 1.6% | Vitamin C: 12.2% | Calcium: 4.6% | Iron: 15.7%
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