Saturday, October 8, 2011

Carne Asada

Carne Asada made with flank steak.  YUM!

Juicy, spicy, tender, and meaty, carne asada is another perfect way to indulge in the joys of Mexican cuisine.  When I first started shopping at SuperTarget, they sold this "Mexican Grill Seasoning for Beef" under their Archer Farms label.  It made the BEST carne asada I think I've ever had.  As happens with LOTS of awesome finds for me, they don't sell the product around here anymore, and I assume it's been discontinued.  Fortunately, I had stocked up when they were on clearance, so I had time to come up with my own version.  I don't think it's exactly the same, but it's delicious anyway.  I use the same ingredients every time, but I never write down the proportions, so that's why I'm doing it now.  Hopefully I've gotten it right; if not, I will revise, as always.
The recipe below makes enough seasoning to use 4-5 times, depending on how much steak you're fixin'.  I just mix it up and keep it in a handy Ziplock or Glad plastic container (small size).
If you're going to bother with making this, I strongly recommend you buy the freshest, most delicious tortillas you can find, along with some great guacamole.  I usually try to make my own guac, but Wholly Guacamole makes a darned-good store-bought guac.

Carne Asada Seasoning

  • 2 tablespoons garlic salt
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano leaf
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Place all ingredients in a small bowl and stir.  Store in an airtight container.

Carne Asada

  • 1 1/2 pounds flank steak, tri-tip (I cut mine into 3-inch chunks), skirt steak, or top sirloin
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons Carne Asada Seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
Place meat in a large zip-top bag and sprinkle as evenly as possible with the seasoning.  Zip bag and place in refrigerator 2-8 hours.
Preheat your grill on high heat for at least 30 minutes.
Coat the meat with the canola oil by pouring it into the bag and smooshing it around the meat from the outside.
Grill meat over medium-high to high heat, turning once after about 4-5 minutes.  Check the temperature with a probe thermometer.  (I like my steak medium rare, so I cook to 145 degrees.  My handy Williams-Sonoma meat thermometer does most of the work for me by beeping when my steak reaches that temperature.)  When meat has reached desired doneness, move to a plate to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving/slicing.
If you're using flank or top sirloin steak, slice meat on a diagonal.  I serve the long slices of flank steak, and sirloin will chop into smaller pieces sometimes.  Tri-tip chunks get served as-is, and the meat-eater gets to cut it himself/herself.
Serve with warm corn or soft-taco sized flour tortillas, fresh salsa, & guacamole.  Heck, throw on some shredded cheese if that's what makes you happy.
Serves about 4-5 normal people who aren't starving.

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