Carne Asada

Flank steak grilling over hot coals to create the perfect char

With Memorial Day Weekend past us now, it’s officially the kick off to summer! I know it’s not “officially” summer, but it certainly feels like it is after Memorial Day Weekend. That means it’s grilling season. I know some of you are like me and will grill all year long, no matter what the weather is. But most people in the Northeast really only grill during the warmer months. Today, I am going to give you a recipe that you will hopefully grilling all season long: carne asada.

What type of steak for carne asada?

If you ask me, there are two main cuts of steak that work best as carne asada: flank steak or skirt steak. Both of these cuts of steak will take on the marinade really well and are great for searing over high heat. The are both tougher cuts of meat that absolutely need to be cut against the grain. When prepared correctly, these cuts are amazing. In fact, they are some of favorite cuts and are highly underrated.

Marinade is key

This carne asada recipe is loaded with flavor. The key to this delicious flavor is in the marinade. You are going to marinade your steak in the following:

  • Avocado oil
  • White vinegar
  • Lime juice
  • Orange juice
  • Garlic
  • Jalapenos
  • Cilantro
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Beer (optional)

This might seem like a lot of ingredients but it’s definitely worth it. The one caveat is that you don’t want the steak to marinate for much more than 4 hours. My rule of thumb is usually the longer the marinade time the more flavor, but this is an exception to the rule. Due to the high acidity in the marinade (lime and orange juices), the steak will actually cook and have a change in texture if it’s left in the marinade for too long (think of our ceviche recipe). Keep the steak in the marinade for around 4 hours for the sweet spot.

Flank steak marinating for 4 hours before we sear on the grill
Steak soaking up all of the marinade flavor

Grilling at high temperatures

When it’s time to cook the steak, light your grill to 500ºF. I like to take the steak out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes or so before grilling to allow it to start to come to room temperature. Once the grill has reached 500ºF, add the steak. Cook for 2 1/2 minutes and flip. Cook for another 2 1/2 minutes and flip again. Continue to repeat this until 125ºF-130ºF internal temperature has been reached (for medium-rare), about a total of 10 minutes. Cook for longer if you prefer a more done steak. Remove from the grill and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Perfectly seared flank steak that's resting before being sliced
Perfectly seared flank steak resting before being sliced

Cut against the grain

As previously mentioned, it’s vital to slice this steak against the grain! If you’re unsure of how to tell where the grain is, just look for lines that are running across the steak (picture below will make it obvious). Once you’ve identified the lines, cut against them and not with them. Cutting against the grain will leave you with tender steak, but cutting with the grain will leave you with very tough steak (almost inedible). While this is true with all steak, it is especially true with flank and skirt steak cuts.

Seared flank steak ready to be cut against the grain
The lines running across the steak are exactly what you want to cut against

Enjoy in many different ways

Once sliced, this steak can be enjoyed in many ways. Chop the steak up for some tacos, burritos, or fajitas. You could also enjoy it my favorite way: as is with some corn, beans, and avocados. This steak will have so much flavor that it’s not necessary to eat it any other way (although it is perfect for tacos too)! You really can’t go wrong with how you decide to enjoy it. Give this one a try real soon. You’re going to want to make it all grilling season, which is just now getting started.

Flank steak grilling over hot coals to create the perfect char

Carne Asada

Looking for a delicious steak recipe to add to your grilling line up? Carne asada is always the way to go. Marinaded in citrus and Latin flavors, every bite is as tasty as the next. Impress all of your friends and family this grilling season with this easy recipe. Perfect for tacos, burritos, fajitas, or as is, you're going to have this dish on repeat this summer.
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1.5 lbs Flank steak or skirt steak
  • 1/3 cup Avocado oil or any neutral oil
  • 1/3 cup White vinegar
  • 4 Limes juiced
  • 1 Orange juiced
  • 5 Garlic cloves minced
  • 1-2 Jalapenos sliced
  • Handful of cilantro roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup Beer (optional)
  • 2.5 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black pepper
  • 1 tsp Chili powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin

Instructions
 

  • Combine and mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. Add the steak, cover, and refrigerate for no more than about 4 hours.
  • Take the steak out of the refrigerator (it can stay in the marinade) about 30 minutes before you plan on grilling.
  • Preheat your grill to 500ºF.
  • Once the grill has reached temperature, add the steak and grill for 2 1/2 minutes. Flip and grill for another 2 1/2 minutes. Continue to flip and grill for 2 1/2 minute periods until an internal temperature of 125ºF-130ºF is reached (for medium-rare), about 10 minutes total cooking time. Cook for longer if you prefer a more done steak.
  • Remove from the grill and allow the steak to rest for 10 minutes. Slice the steak against the grain.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!
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