By Jennifer Dorsett
Happy Taco Tuesday, or whatever day of the week you’re reading this on! We’re bringing the beef this week with a classic Mexican dish, carne asada.
The sliced steak is loaded into corn tortillas and topped with pico de gallo for some delicious street taco flavor without too much fuss.
Just remember to get that meat marinating the night before, and you’ll be on your way to an evening flavor fiesta in less than 30 minutes!
Carne asada tacos
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
1 lb. beef flank or skirt steak
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
1 lime, juiced
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 TBS chili powder
1 TBS cumin
1 TBS dried cilantro (sometimes called coriander), optional
Salt and pepper to taste
16 small corn tortillas
Pico de gallo or salsa of your choice
Wash fresh cilantro thoroughly. Set aside half the bunch to dry and chop later for topping. Roughly chop or break up the other half, stems and all. I usually grab it, break it in half, then break in half again.
Pour oil, lime juice, garlic and spices into a gallon-sized plastic storage bag or other sealable container and mix well. Add cilantro and mix again. Then add meat, turning to coat thoroughly. Store in refrigerator for at least one hour but preferably overnight for best flavor and tenderizing.
Cold meat will stick to the grilling surface more readily, so set the meat out at least 30 minutes prior to cooking to allow it to come to room temperature.
When ready to cook, heat either grill or a heavy pan to medium-high heat for about three minutes. If using a pan, heat up a teaspoon or two of cooking oil to help get that nice char on the meat’s surface.
Tip: A pan is ready when the oil is shimmering but hasn’t turned dark. If the oil turns dark, it’s burnt, and it would be best to start over to avoid any “off ” flavors.
Cook the steak over medium-high heat for about five minutes per side for medium to medium-rare doneness. Add or subtract cooking time depending on the thickness of the cut—more for thicker pieces, less for thin cuts. A meat thermometer can help to more precisely determine the level of doneness your family prefers.
While the steak is cooking, warm tortillas. I use two of the smaller corn tortillas per taco to catch all the delicious juices while keeping the taco structurally sound.
Allow the steak to rest for at least six minutes before slicing thinly against the grain. Aim for slices about 1/4 inch thick.
One pound should be enough meat to fill about eight small tortillas, so adjust the recipe to fit your family. Serve warm with lime wedges, pico de gallo, sour cream, cheese and any other toppings your family loves.