Updated: Jul 11, 2022
I love Mexican food. The flavors are so fun, the proteins are versatile, and if you're on a special diet (gluten free, dairy free, keto, paleo, etc.) it is really easy to tailor a dish with minimal effort to make it fit within the diet guidelines.
Now, I'm not claiming for this recipe to be the ultimate, authentic carne asada, but it's damn good and gives me all of the bright, exciting flavors of Mexican food in a yummy protein that I can use several different ways.
This marinade comes together in a snap and the meat just sits in the fridge for several hours while it takes on all of the delicious seasonings. When you're ready for dinner, toss it on the grill and you have dinner ready in less than 30 minutes and very minimal clean-up. What's not to love?
I love this carne asada in a burrito bowl (as pictured) with all of your favorite burrito fixins. It of course would be delicious inside of a warn flour or corn tortilla with some onions and cilantro or whatever you want to add on top. I actually think it's best with quick pickled red onions and a little sour cream. Seriously, I'm drooling just thinking about it. It's so simple, yet so packed with flavor.
Be sure to let the meat sit out on the counter for a few minutes before throwing it on the grill. This allows the meat to come up closer room temperature so it cooks more evenly. And just as important is to let your meat rest after you take it off the grill. Leave it on the cutting board for about 10 minutes before slicing into it. You won't lose any of the heat, don't worry (cover it loosely with foil if you want), but it allows all of the juices to redistribute back into the meat, keeping it juicy, tender, and oh-so flavorful.
This is great to serve a crowd for an amped up taco night because it's so easy to make a lot. And make your cut of meat go further by slicing it really thin. Your guests won't know the difference and you can save yourself a few bucks in the process!
Make this for your next taco Tuesday and you'll be the hero of the day!
Carne Asada (Makes ~ 4 servings) Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 15-20 minutes | Idle time: 4-8 hours
Click below to download and print the recipe
1 lb. skirt, hanger, flank or steak
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 C. orange juice**
1/3 C. oil (vegetable, canola, grapeseed)
1 tsp. minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
1/4 - 1/3 C. chopped cilantro
1 TB white vinegar
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 jalapeño minced or finely chopped***
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
To make the marinade, combine all of the above ingredients except the steak in a medium bowl or larger measuring cup and whisk well to fully incorporate everything.
Place the steak in a baking dish or a zip top bag and pour the marinade over the steak. Move the steak around to make sure it is fully coated.
Seal the bag or cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, though 6-8 is preferred; and up to 12 hours.
After the steak is done marinating, remove it from the refrigerator to rest on the counter while the grill preheats.
Turn on the grill with medium-high flames, preheating to 425°-450°
Remove the steak from the marinade, shaking off excess liquid. Place on the hot grill and close the lid. Let cook for about 8 minutes. Flip and cook the other side for an additional 6 minutes until the temperature is 135° for medium rare or 145° for medium. Cook a few minutes longer if you like your steak more well done. The cook time will be dependent on the thickness of your cut of meat.
Remove the steak to a cutting board and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.****
Slice the meat against the grain in strips as thick as you like.
Serve up in tortillas with your favorite toppings for tacos, or put it over a bed of rice for burrito bowls. Or however else you fancy!
*Recipe notes + Variations*
*The marinade recipe makes enough for up to 2lbs. of steak so if you are doubling the steak, you don't need to double the marinade.
**You can use fresh squeezed or the stuff you drink at breakfast from the carton. Either works!
***If you don't like spicy food, you can leave out the jalapeño or at least remove the seeds and membrane. I don't find it makes the steak overly spicy, but I'm not particularly sensitive to heat. Consider using a less spicy pepper like a poblano. Just use 1/2 of a poblano because it's much larger than a jalapeño.
****It is important to let the meat rest. If you slice it too soon after taking it off the heat source, you will lose all of the juices and your meat will become tough and dry. Trust the process.