Carne Asada is all about how and what your meat is marinated with. Acidity from the citrus based marinade tenderizes the steak and is what makes it so flavorful. Use the meat to eat by itself or as taco filling, with fajitas or a burrito. You name it, carne asada makes it better.
I used skirt steak in this recipe but you can also use flank steak, they are not the same, however in this recipe they are interchangeable. Here is a brief description of each cut of meat and the differences.
Skirt steak is a long thin piece of meat from either the outside of the diaphragm or from the abdominis muscle, it also has a very intense beefy flavor and soaks up marinade perfectly. Although skirt steak contains a lot of tough fibers, it lends it self well for grilling and quick cooking. As with most meats, cutting against the grain ensures a tender easy to chew piece of meat.
Flank steak is located below the loin or the bottom abdominal area. It also has a lot of tough fibers but absorbs marinades well and is best cooked when grilled or cooked quickly over high heat. After cooking allow to rest and slice thinly against the grain of the meat.
A quick lesson on slicing “against” the grain. You will hear this often, and if you are not extremely familiar with meat, this is an important step you don’t want to miss. The grain refers to the long strands of fibers that you can see running through the meat. Both skirt and flank steak have highly visible fibers which make this step easy. Cutting against the grain means that you cut crosswise rather than cutting along them.
Easy and Authentic Carne Asada
Authentic Carne Asada that can be made on your outdoor grill or indoors if needed.
- 2 Whole Limes juiced Roll limes before cutting to get maximum juice
- 6 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1/2 Cup Orange juice Fresh squeezed preferred, you can use store bought if needed
- 1 Cup Fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 Cup Vegetable oil
- 2 Whole Jalapeños, chopped If you don't want any heat, remove the seeds
- 1 Tablespoon White vinegar
- 2 pounds Skirt steak Make sure it is about 1/2 inch thick, sometimes skirt steak can be very thin
In a gallon size zip top bag preferably reusable or a glass pan, combine lime juice, minced garlic, orange juice, cilantro, salt, pepper, vegetable oil, jalapeño, and vinegar. Mix well.
Put the skirt steak into your zip top bag or glass pan and seal. Make sure all of the skirt steak is submerged into the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
Remove the skirt steak from the marinade, throw away extra marinade.
Heat an outdoor grill to high heat.
Cook on the grill for 6 to 10 minutes per side. Depending on your desired level of doneness.
Once done, remove from heat and let rest 10 minutes. Slice against the grain, and serve.
Alternatively, place your cast iron skillet in your oven and preheat your oven to 500°.
After the oven has come to temperature, turn your stove top on high. Place the skillet on the stove and sear each side of the skirt steak 2 minutes per side.
After searing, place the steak in the oven for 5-8 minutes. Depending on how you want your steak cooked, use a thermometer.
Serve your steak with corn tortillas and your choice of condiments. I prefer pickled onions and guacamole. Or you can enjoy as is!