2 lbs flank steak (skirt works as well) 3 garlic cloves, minced of pushed through a press 1 lime, juiced 2 tbsp olive oil 1 ½ tbsp adobo sauce from can 1 tsp salt 6 flour tortillas 1 cup shredded jack cheese (optional) 2 limes, sliced 1 or 2 avocados, sliced
For the Salsa:
1 medium mango, diced 1 garlic clove, minced or pushed through a press ½ small red onion, finely diced 1 lime, juiced 1 small canned chipotle pepper, minced* 1 tbsp of adobo sauce (juice from can)* ½ tsp salt fresh cilantro, roughly chopped (optional)
Carne asada is
a North Mexican (Baja) dish involving any thin cut of meat (usually
flank or skirt steak) that is marinated, grilled, and then served in
tacos or burritos. It's a pretty general term, and so too are the
guidelines for the marinade (usually involving chili) and subsequent
accouterments (likely including avocado). Ingredient analogies aside, I
like to think of it as the Mexican street stand equivalent of a deli
turkey sandwich. You can stick with my guidelines below, but the
condiments are really up to you.
This recipe can easily be made for more people by buying a larger cut of meat and increasing the number of tortillas.
The night before: whisk together garlic, lime
juice, olive oil, adobo, and salt in a small bowl. Place the steak in a
large ziplock bag and cover in marinade, swooshing the liquids around
in bag to make sure the meat is fully covered. Marinade overnight.
night you'll be eating, heat a grill pan over a high flame
(alternatively, you can use a large skillet and pan sear). Remove the
steak from the marinade and pat dry with a few sheets of paper towel.
Lay steak across pan. Grill on one side for 3-5 minutes, until it has
nice, black markings. Flip steak and repeat. Rotate the meat 90 degrees
and cook for an additional minute or so to gain the cross-hatch grill
mark effect. Repeat on the other side. Remove steak to plate, cover
with foil, and allow to rest for ten minutes before slicing.
Meanwhile, wrap the tortillas in foil and place in a 350°F oven for 5-10 minutes (until warmed through).
serve, slice steak in thin strips against the grain*. Place limes,
cheese, avocado slices, and mango salsa (recipe precedes) in separate
serving bowls and arrange buffet style with the tortillas and sliced
meat on the carving block.
* cuts of meat like flank steak or brisket have
a natural way the fibers of the muscle run. (E.G. When brisket is
cooked down over time, you may notice that it begins to break apart and
become stringy—it is falling apart along the grain.) To create nice
slices of meat that hold together well, you need to slice it in the
opposite direction of the muscle. It will feel tougher and less natural
to make these incisions than if you were going with the muscle, but
that’s how you know you are doing it right.
Chipotle Mango Salsa Makes 6 servings (as an entree condiment)
Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl
and toss to combine. For best results, make the salsa the night before
to allow the flavors to intensify.