In the world of backyard barbecue, there are few things as satisfying as the aroma of marinated meat being seared on an open flame. Today, we invite you to join us in experiencing an array of flavors and textures with our Grilled Carne Asada recipe. This recipe is a journey into the art of grilling, where the simple ingredients meet a hot grill, creating a dish that is both humble and extraordinary. Let's dive into the world of sizzling beef, where every charred edge tells a story.
Grilled carne asada is one of those dishes that is easy to make and so satisfying. But it seems like there are a lot of recipes for grilled carne asada that use skirt steak and flank steak interchangeably. For that matter, there are a lot of Mexican restaurants that use these cuts of meat interchangeably. So which one is correct?
The answer is that it depends, in part, on your personal preference. Do you prefer a thicker, steak-like piece of meat for your carne asada that comes from a flank steak, or do you prefer the much thinner cut that comes from skirt steak? The other variable is what you can find in your market or butcher shop. Flank steak seems to be more readily available in my market.
The preparation of flank steak and skirt steak is the same, but the cook times are very different.
- Flank steak
- Red onion
- Jalapeno peppers
- Garlic cloves
- Adobo chili peppers with adobo sauce
- Olive oil
- Orange juice
- Lime juice
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Worcestershire sauce
See recipe card for quantities.
Marinate the Meat
Let's face it, flank steak can be as tough as an old shoe if it is not prepared properly. The first step to ensure a tender flank steak is to marinate the meat. The marinade will help break down some of the tough connective tissue and add a ton of flavor at the same time. Mix the marinade ingredients in a blender and pour it over the flank steak.
The second step to ensure a tender flank steak is cutting it across the grain and on the bias, but more on that later. Give this six hours in the refrigerator resting in the marinade.
Add all of the marinade ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
Pour the marinade over the flank steak and let it rest in the refrigerator for 6 hours.
Grill the Meat
Take the marinated flank steak out of the refrigerator, transfer it to a plate, and let it warm up for about 45 minutes before grilling. Otherwise, the outside will char and the inside will be cold and raw. Why transfer it to a plate? Well, whatever dish the flank steak was marinating in is about 34˚F when it comes out of the refrigerator. It just makes sense to move the flank steak to a plate that is already room temperature to speed up the process.
Setup your grill for medium heat and grill the flank steak for 3 - 4 minutes per side. Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. For skirt steak, grill for about one minute per side.
Grill the flank steak on both sides.
Grill some green onions and peppers to go with the carne asada.
Cut on the Bias
Flank steak has long fibers that run lengthwise. If flank steak is cut lengthwise, well, save your jaw and just throw it out. It will be tough as nails. Look at the long fibers in the flank steak below.
For tender flank steak, those fibers have to be cut as short as possible. Slice it across the grain in slices no more than ¼" thick. To make it even more tender, cut it across the grain AND on the bias. What does that mean? Hold the knife at a 45˚ angle (to the floor) as you cut across the grain.
The carne asada in this recipe was cooked on a gas grill. Other than that, no special equipment was used.
Store leftover carne asada in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
As the sizzle subsides and the aroma of grilled carne asada fills the air, our journey comes to an end. Grilled Carne Asada is more than just a meal, it's an experience that connects us to the primal joy of cooking over fire. Don't forget to make a batch of homemade corn tortillas to go with it.
Here's to the simple pleasure of good food and good company. Enjoy!
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
These are my favorite dishes to serve with this recipe.
Grilled Carne Asada
- 1 flank steak fat trimmed
- ½ red onion rough chopped
- 2 Jalapeno peppers rough chopped
- 5 cloves garlic peeled
- 2 adobo chili peppers from a can with adobo sauce
- ¾ cup olive oil
- ½ cup orange juice
- 1 lime juiced
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ bunch cilantro fresh
- Mix all marinade ingredients in a blender. Pour over the flank steak and refrigerate for 6 hours.
- Setup grill for direct heat. Grill to medium, about 3-4 minutes per side.
- Remove from heat and cover with foil. Allow flank steak to rest for 10 minutes before cutting across the grain on the bias.
- Serve with hot tortillas and grilled green onions.