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Carne Asada

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Recipes from the past:

Carne asada literally translates to “roasted meat,” but it is so much more than that.  Good carne asada starts with an economy cut of meat (typically skirt or flank steak) that is marinated in a mixture of citrus and spices to break down the chewy muscle before being grilled over an open flame or, preferably, real wood coals.  The meat is then sliced very thin across the grain, and may be served with sauteed and roasted veggies as fajitas, wrapped in a “tortilla” as tacos or burritos, or all by itself.  The result is full of flavor, and goes a long way to prove that even low-cost cuts of meat can be turned into a great tasting meal.

Carne Asada_01

Gather Up:

  • 2 lbs skirt or flank steak (we’ve got elk today)
  • juice of two limes
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 Anaheim chile, minced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coarse ground black pepper

Carne Asada_02Combine all of the ingredients (except the steak) in a medium prep bowl and mix well.

Carne Asada_03Start with a shallow glass or ceramic dish (a baking pan works great, but avoid metal because it can react with the citrus) and pour about half of the liquid from the marinade into it.  Arrange the steaks on top of the liquid, then pour the remaining liquid over top and spread the solids from the marinade over the steaks as well.  Cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to about 6 hours.

Carne Asada_04Start your grill (remember, real wood is preferred) at low indirect heat with some smoking chips.  To make this even easier, I fire up the pellet grill to about 200 degrees.  Place the steaks directly on the grill, with the marinade solids on top, and smoke for about 7 to 10 minutes.

Carne Asada_05Raise the temperature to medium-high heat (about 400 degrees) and continue to cook another 15 to 20 minutes, turning once halfway through.

Carne Asada_06Transfer to a cutting board and immediately slice about 1/8-inch thick across the grain.  Serve warm with a little extra lime squeezed on top or some guacamole on the side.

Carne Asada
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Beef & Venison
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs skirt or flank steak
  • juice of two limes
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 Anaheim chile, minced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, minced
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp coarse ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients (except the steak) in a medium prep bowl and mix well.
  2. Start with a shallow glass or ceramic dish (a baking pan works great, but avoid metal because it can react with the citrus) and pour about half of the liquid from the marinade into it.
  3. Arrange the steaks on top of the liquid, then pour the remaining liquid over top and spread the solids from the marinade over the steaks as well.
  4. Cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to about 6 hours.
  5. Start your grill at low indirect heat with some smoking chips.
  6. Place the steaks directly on the grill, with the marinade solids on top, and smoke for about 7 to 10 minutes.
  7. Raise the temperature to medium-high heat (about 400 degrees) and continue to cook another 15 to 20 minutes, turning once halfway through.
  8. Transfer to a cutting board and immediately slice about ⅛-inch thick across the grain.
  9. Serve warm with a little extra lime squeezed on top or some guacamole on the side.
Notes
The minimum marinade time is included in the prep time for this recipe.