Carne Asada – the entry point for me into the world of authentic Latin-American food. My husband actually was the driving force that brought this into our house. He was introduced to marinated, Latin-American style “carne asada” a few years ago. He was leaving work late, and the school handy man, a Salvadoran immigrant, was in the parking lot cooking up a going-away feast for some visiting relatives. His co-worker insisted that he sit and join them. He was already something of a “steak snob” at this point, but he was blown away by the flavors of this well-done steak served to him on a paper plate in the school parking lot. In the ensuing years, he and Carlos became great friends. We never got the recipe for that steak (turns out it was purchased from a local Central-American butcher shop), but eventually found this one as a pretty close approximation.
Over the years we have iterated on the recipe but the basics of the marinate have stayed the same. We’ve tried this dish with different cuts of cheap steak and sides. However the method we keep coming back to is skirt or flank, rice & beans as a side (usually avocado as well), and cooking the marinade for additional saucy flavor. I really enjoyed our dinner tonight and hope you enjoyed reading about it!
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 cup malt vinegar (any vinegar is fine in a pinch!)
- 1/3 cup lime juice or lemon juice
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons peeled fresh garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon ground white pepper (black pepper will work, too)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 orange, sliced
- 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
- 6 pounds lean skirt steak or lean flank steak
- Sides: Rice & Beans and Avocado
Combine all ingredients (except steak) in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
If using flank steak, score the meat in a crosshatch pattern of about 1/2 inch to 1 inch squares. Place meat in a gallon-sized freezer bag, in the bottom of a shallow baking dish, or a non-reactive (plastic or glass) storage container with a lid.
Pour carne asada marinade on top of the meat, cover dish or close bag, and marinate overnight up to 48 hours in the refrigerator.
Day Of Cooking
Take the steak from the marinade. Put marinade aside.
Preheat the Traeger at 500 F degrees. Clean and oil the grill grates with vegetable oil.
Cook the marinated skirt steak or flank steak for several minutes per side (keep flipping the flank steak) until the center is only slightly pink and 120 degrees F internal.
If you are making rice & beans, start cooking them as directed on the box.
Put Carne Asada onto a cutting board and tent with aluminum foil for about 15-20 minutes.
While the steak is resting, put the marinade into a sauce pan and bring to a boil.