Carne asada

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After many disappointing attempts to make carne asada using marinade recipes I found on the web, I decided to go back to basics. In this recipe, I'm going with a fairly simple rub of salt and the basic Mexican spices, with just a light drizzling of lime. The final destination of my current batch of carne asada is tacos over the coming week, but nibbling on the pieces as I was slicing the steaks confirmed that it would be delicious as a steak dinner, served with rice and beans, or used in burritos or fajitas.
Servings:
Enough for a couple steak dinners or 20 tacos
Preparation Time:
30 minutes
Tools
  • A good hot grill or a large cast iron skillet.

Ingredients

  • 1 flank steak (2-3 pounds)
  • Juice from 1-2 limes

Rub

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Cooking Instructions
  1. Drizzle some lime juice on both sides of the steak. Mix all rub ingredients together, and massage into both sides of steak. Let steak sit for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Start your grill, or put your skillet on the stove in plenty of time to get it nice and hot.
  3. Toss your meat on the hot metal of your choice. For medium-rare I figure on 4-5 minutes per side with my grill.
  4. Let rest at least 15 minutes before slicing. Cut across the grain so you have nice short muscle fibers.

For a carne asada dinner, that's all you need to do. Just serve it up with some Mexican rice, black beans, tomatillo salsa, leaf lettuce and tortillas, and you have a wonderful dinner. For fajitas or burritos I cut the strips into about 2-inch lengths so you don't pull everything apart with each bite.

For tacos or nachos I cut the strips into pieces about 1/4 inch long, and toss them into a hot skillet for a few minutes, till they are browned all the way around, and heated through. I drizzle some salsa juice onto the meat and let it caramelize for a little extra flavor. Just toss the meat onto some soft corn tortillas, lightly heated with a spritz of oil, and top with a little salsa, and you are in taco heaven.

You can freeze up strips of the cooked carne asada by laying them in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Once frozen, you can put them into a freezer bag and you can have taco fixins that should keep for a couple months.