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Try it for dinner tonight
Here's one carne asada recipe that I hold near and dear to my heart. Serve with warm corn tortillas, salsa, lime juice, shredded cheese, avocado slices or guacamole, chopped red onion, and lime juice.
- 1 Teaspoon minced garlic or a half teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon chopped ginger
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped roughly
- Juice of two lemons, slice and reserve the peels
- 1/2 Teaspoon pepper
- 12 Ounces (one can) Coca-Cola
- 4-6 Pounds skirt or flank steak
- Salt, to taste
Calories Per Serving398
Folate equivalent (total)34µg8%
How to make the Best Carne Asada on Your Grill
Carne asada is a dish that’s ubiquitous on Mexican restaurant menus. The simple translation for carne asada is “beef grilled.” In it’s common form, beef is marinated, grilled, sliced and served in tacos or burritos. In this form it is most often a good, but unmemorable dish.
What’s the secret to making spectacular, flavorful carne asada? We talked with three different culinary experts to discover how to make the absolute best carne asada at home.
Meet the Experts
Jet is a chef, culinary anthropologist and entrepreneur. He is part of the Food Network circle of chefs and has appeared in numerous shows on the network as well as Iron Chef and Destination Unknown. Jet has roots deeply embedded in the industry and ones that significantly establish him firmly in the artform he is most passionate about: storytelling through food. Jet was raised in Los Angeles where his family established the first Thai markets and restaurants in the U.S.
A native from the Napa Valley, Jorge Velazquez has been known for his mastery of butchery and skills as a chef. Jorge cooks for locals and visiting guests as he creates custom dinners at various wineries and private homes across the valley. Jorge has served as a restaurant consultant in butchery, developed recipes for cookbooks and assisted on culinary productions.
Salvador Alamilla was born and raised in Michoacan, Mexico. His first culinary teacher was his mother, who was expert and making amazing Mexican dishes. Sal worked his way into restaurant ownership by working front and back of house and today, along with his wife Becca, is the chef and proprietor of Amano Restaurant in Caldwell, Idaho. His menu shows influences of SoCal, Michoacan, and Oaxacan style Mexican food.
What kind of meat do you use for carne asada?
Carne asada is traditionally made using skirt steak or flank steak. The two cuts are very similar and can be used interchangeably. The two meat cuts do have a few differences. Flank steak is a more lean option and has a great, intense meaty flavor. Skirt steak also has an intense meaty flavor but does have more tough fibers than flank steak. It should only be cooked to rare or medium-rare, otherwise it may become unpleasantly chewy. Both need to be cut against the grain.
PRO TIP: When cutting your meat, be sure to cut against the grain. It is quite easy to see the grain running through the meat in both of these cuts. It looks like lines. Do not cut parallel to these lines, always cut perpendicular to them. The grain provides a natural breaking point in the meat. If you cut against them then you end up with tons of breaking points in each piece which keeps it from being chewy.
What should I serve with Carne Asada?
What You’ll Need to Make Carne Asada
The recipe calls for two pounds of flat iron steak. You’ll likely need to buy two steaks but even if you’re able to find a large one, it’s best to cut it in half — the steaks will cook faster and you’ll have more surface area to char on the grill (my family fights over the charred end pieces!).
The main ingredient in the marinade is soy sauce, which might seem strange for a Tex-Mex recipe. But soy sauce lends that umami — or meaty, full-bodied, and savory — flavor that somehow just makes the meat taste so much better. I assure you, it doesn’t give the dish an Asian flavor.
Making Carne Asada in the Slow Cooker
Because carne asada is traditionally grilled, cooking this dish in the slow cooker changes the texture quite a bit but still gives the meat an amazing flavour and tender texture that is definitely still enjoyable.
In the crockpot you’ll slow cook the meat on low for 7 hours or you can cook using the MyTime™ technology on the “meat” setting which takes a minimum of 6 hours. In order for the slow cooked carne asada to still have a “charred” component to it you can sear the meat in a pan before adding it to the slow cooker along with the marinade liquid, or you can carefully transfer the cooked meat from the slow cooker when it’s done to a pan and broil it in the oven before slicing it.
Both of these methods are totally optional as the meat will still taste wonderful without searing or broiling, but won’t have the charred aspect to it.
Let the meat cool to room temperature, then place it in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. It will also stay good in the freezer for up to 3 months, if you’d like to meal prep it. Yes, that means you can have a quick-and-easy Mexican feast any night of the week!
Lucky for you, I’ve got countless Mexican recipes to keep up your sleeve for your next fiesta!
- : for the juiciest, most tender shredded pork! : enjoy fall-apart tender beef that’s perfectly spicy. : the easiest one-pan skillet recipe loaded with flavor. : mix up your fajitas with sizzling seafood.
- 1 cup cola-flavored carbonated beverage
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish (Optional)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 pounds sirloin steak
Whisk together cola, soy sauce, Dijon mustard, horseradish, garlic, and black pepper in a bowl and pour into a resealable plastic bag. Add steak, coat with the marinade, squeeze out excess air, and seal the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
Preheat the grill to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Remove steak from resealable bag and discard remaining marinade.
Cook steak on the preheated grill to desired doneness, about 5 minutes per side. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 140 degrees F (60 degrees C).
The Best Carne Asada Marinade
Here’s what you need to make a carne asada marinade:
- 2 1/2 lb flank steak
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Juice from 3 limes
- Juice from 1 orange
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- salt and pepper, to taste
Combine olive oil, lime juice, orange juice, cilantro, garlic, cumin, chili, salt and pepper in a bowl or mason jar. If using a bowl, whisk together until fully incorporated. If using a mason jar, secure the lid and shake for 15 – 20 seconds.
Add steak to a large plastic bag, cover with marinade, and seal bag. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, and up to 24 hours. The longer you let it marinade, the better the carne asada will be.
You can cook this on an outdoor grill, or on a grill pan inside.
Outdoor Grill: heat grill to medium-high and lightly oil grate. Cook until desired doneness – about 7 minutes per side for medium rare.
Indoor Grill: Heat grill pan to medium-high. Add olive oil to pan then cook steak until desired doneness – 10 minutes per side for medium rare.
Here’s a guide for internal temp of the meat:
- Rare: 125°F
- Medium Rare: 135°F
- Medium: 145°F
- Medium Well: 150°F
- Well Done: 160°F
Once your carne asada is cooked to your liking, let it rest for 5 minutes, then slice against the grain.
Other Meats for Carne Asada
The authentic Mexican carne asada often calls for skirt steak or flank steak. But you may use sirloin steak, tenderloin steak, or rib steak instead.
I prefer skirt steak over other cuts because it is tastier and more tender than flank steak yet inexpensive when compared with the other meats cited above.
Another advantage is skirt steak contains more marbling (streaks of fat) than flank steak (a leaner cut) which makes the meat more tender, taking less time to marinate.
But all the meats mentioned above make great grilled marinated carne asada.
3 cups left over long grain rice, Spanish or other
2 cups cooked mixed vegetables such as spinach and mushrooms
1 can (16 ounce size) refried beans
2 cups chopped cooked steak, strip, filet, or other
1 1/2 cup medium salsa
1 cup crumbled Queso Cotija, or other crumbling Mexican cheese, or Monterey Jack
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a 13 x 9 inch pan with non-stick spray. Layer rice and vegetables. Top with a 1/2 cup of salsa. Layer beans and meat. Top with remaining salsa. Cover with foil in place in oven, bake for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and raise the heat to 375 degrees F. Remove foil and sprinkle cheese evenly over the casserole. Return to oven for 15 minutes. Serve immediately.