Since my last post was all about the frijoles, why not make this one all about the meat! Carne Asada is what we’ll be cooking up this week, and it’s yet again another piece of gold pulled from the treasure chest of my days slanging tortillas for the Tamayo Family.
One could make a pretty good guess that since I worked for a Mexican-owned company that made a Mexican staple food product when it came time to shut the tortillas press down and come together for a celebration, there would be some Mexican food and a lot of it.
During my upbringing at La Tortilla Factory, I made friends with one of the shift supervisors; her name was Rebecca. She was the resident caterer for the factory, and damn, could she get down! We had over 100 employees to feed at a typical event, but that was no problem for Rebecca, who was all but maybe 5’2″. The day before a party, she would get one of those large plastic storage bins and fill that sucker up with carne asada swimming in a bath of all kinds of goodness to marinate overnight.
The next day I’d be at the grill pulling an endless stream of carne asada out of its bath and onto the grill—the aroma-filled smoke from the grill watering my mouth and eyes at the same time. I’d keep my head down and continue cooking until all are fed, and the only thing left swimming in the marinade are slices of citrus, onion, and jalapeños.
You can play around with this recipe as you wish, even the one shown below is not exactly what Rebecca taught me, but it’s got the major parts covered. If you can’t find thinly cut carne asada at your local market, you can use a skirt steak just as well. Grab some tortillas or make your own, grill up some carne asada and get down Mexican style. Let’s cook
- 2 lbs carne asada steak
- 12 oz cola (I like using Olipop shown below)
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 1 tsp salt
- 5 garlic cloves smashed
- 1 bunch of green onion, 1 shallot, or 1 small onion
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 lemon
- 1 lime
- 1 orange
Method (The day before cooking)
- Olipop is a sugar-free cola that actually tastes like coke.
- Slice the shallot or onion, or trim the ends off the green onions
- Slice the citrus fruit into 1/4″ slices
- In a big bowl, add all the ingredients except the meat and stir to combine.
- Add the meat to the marinade and toss to cover. Press the meat into the liquid, then cover and place it in the fridge.
- Before going to bed, turn the meat over. Then when you wake up, turn it over again.
- Take the bowl out of the fridge 1 hour before you’re ready to cook it.
- Heat your grill and set your bowl next to the grill.
- Depending on how thin cut the steak is, cooking times will vary. I usually go with the sweat method. When the meat starts sweating (pushing juice up to the surface on top), it’s ready to flip. I tend to like my carne asada a little pink inside, but I used to catch hell doing that at the Tortilla Factory. They wanted well done and well done only carne asada. But, it’s your house, and you get to choose how you want it.
- If you have a warming rack on your grill, then transfer the steaks up to there as they finish on the grill until you are done. If you don’t have an upper rack, heat your oven to 200 and keep finished steaks there on a covered plate until ready to eat.
- When the meat is done, you can throw the green onions and peppers on the grill to serve alongside the carne asada
- Cut the carne asada up into little pieces and serve with your favorite taco accompaniments or just on a plate with some grilled veggies with rice or beans or both.