Carne Asada is my favorite way to eat skirt steak! It’s beautifully seared steak that’s sliced thin and turned into street tacos by serving it atop warmed corn tortillas with diced white onion, avocado, radishes, and lime wedges.
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Folks, grilling season is upon us! When the temperature outside heats up, I try to avoid heating up my kitchen at all costs! I usually turn to pasta salads or grilling when it comes time for summertime dinners!
Some folks are intimidated with making Carne Asada, but rest assured it’s super easy to make. It does, however take a bit of planning because marinating the meat for at least 1 hour before you grill it is a must!
Here are some of the most common questions about Carne Asada answered:
What is Carne Asada?
Carne Asada literally translates to roasted/grilled/broiled meat or beef. The meat is cooked at a high temperature to impart some searing with a delicious charred flavor.
What cut of meat is used for Carne Asada?
You can use either flank steak, skirt steak, or flap meat (this is the name that skirt steak is sometimes called).
I personally like using skirt steak when making Carne Asada, because I feel that it cooks up the juiciest and it stays tender when it’s cooked on the grill.
How to Make Carne Asada?
Generally, Carne Asada is made by marinating thin cuts of flank or skirt steak and then grilling it over high heat to get nice browning on the outside with a little bit of pink on the inside.
Afterwards, you let the steaks rest for 5 minutes, rub them all over with a garlic clove, and slice them thinly against the grain.
Finally, you serve the meat by itself or on corn tortillas with the optional toppings of diced white onion, sliced radishes, diced avocado, and lime wedges.
Cook’s Note – Carne Asada Street Tacos:
- Sorry, you won’t be able to cook this meat to medium-rare, and let me explain why. The char on the outside of the meat is this dish’s signature. In order to get that char, you will not be able to cook the meat any less than medium. If you only cook to medium-rare, then you’ll miss out on the signature char.
- It’s important that you do not marinate the steak for more than 8 hours. If you do then the fibers in the meat will break down too much and the meat will get mushy.
- In order to get a beautiful sear on your steaks, you need to make sure that your grill is preheated properly. Each grill is different, so times will vary, but as a rule of thumb, charcoal grills will take about 5 minutes to preheat, and gas grills about 10-15 minutes.
- If you do not have a grill, you can use a grill pan on the stovetop instead. You’ll need to preheat your pan and cook the meat on high to sear it, and then lower the heat and cook the meat until the internal temperature registers 130 degrees F. ***Just remember to open a window, there will be a bit of smoke. You’ll also need to cook the meat in batches.
- I always serve these tacos alongside my Slow Cooker Refried Beans! Seriously, they’re SO good and they taste like they came straight from your favorite Mexican restaurant!
- I also love serving this alongside my Confetti Corn Salad (you can see a peek of it in one of the pictures above).
Cook’s Tools – Carne Asada Street Tacos:
ONE YEAR AGO: Refried Beans
TWO YEARS AGO: Smoked Sausage Breakfast Burritos
THREE YEARS AGO: Tex-Mex Stuffed Squash
Carne Asada Street Tacos Recipe
- 1 2 pound flank or skirt steak (sometimes called flap meat)
CARNE ASADA MARINADE:
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/3 cup lime juice
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped canned chipotle pepper
- 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 Tablespoon paprika
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1 Tablespoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large garlic clove
- 10-12 warmed corn tortillas
- diced white onion
- sliced radishes
- diced avocado
- lime wedges
PREPARE THE STEAKS:
Prepare the steak for the marinade by trimming it of excess fat. Then, use a meat mallet to pound the steak until it is 1/4-inch thick. Finally, cut the steak into 4 equal pieces by cutting it with the grain. Place the meat in a 9x13-inch pyrex dish.
MAKE THE MARINADE:
In a large glass measuring cup whisk together all of the marinade ingredients except for the olive oil. Pour in the olive oil and whisk until well incorporated. Ladle 1/4 cup of the marinade into a small bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and reserve for later. Pour the remaining marinade over the steaks in the pyrex dish. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour, but no more than 8 hours.
COOK THE CARNE ASADA:
Cover and preheat your grill to medium-high until hot (about 5-15 minutes depending on your grill). Right before putting the steaks on the grill, clean and oil the cooking grates so the steaks do not stick.
Place the steaks on the grill and cook uncovered until the steaks are well browned, about 3-5 minutes. Flip the steaks and cook until the steaks are browned on the second side and a meat thermometer registers 130 degrees F, about an additional 3-4 minutes.
Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and tent with foil. Let the steaks rest for 5 minutes, and then rub both sides of the steaks with the cut side of a garlic clove. Cut the steaks against the grain into 1/4-inch thick slices. Serve the Carne Asada meat on warmed corn tortillas, with diced white onion, sliced radishes, diced avocado, and lime wedges. You can also serve the meat alongside the reserved marinade. Just drizzle a teaspoon or two over the meat right before eating.
If you do not have a grill, you can use a grill pan on the stovetop instead. You’ll need to preheat your pan and cook the meat on high to sear it, and then lower the heat and cook the meat until the internal temperature registers 130 degrees F. ***Just remember to open a window, there will be a bit of smoke. You’ll also need to cook the meat in batches.
I recently updated this recipe the photos. It was first published on Food, Folks and Fun in 2011.