When I visited my family in Mexico in 2011, I was treated to one tasty restaurant after another. All I wanted and longed for was a good grilled carne asada. I ate more carne asada on that trip than I had eaten in 10 years, LOL! On this one particular evening, my cousin Patricia and her husband invited me to a popular restaurant named “La Arrechera.” I was told, by my cousin Patty, that it was one of the best places to enjoy an authentic grilled steak taco. She was right! I have thought about those tasty tacos since my trip and as soon as I purchased my charcoal grill this year, I knew I had to try and recreate those wonderful flavors. This is a wonderful marinade that really adds deep flavors to the meat. You can prepare the recipe with or without Mexican beer, but I think that the beer really helps to tenderize the meat and gives it some nice background flavors.
Yields 4 servings
For the Marinade:
1/2 cup white onion, diced
8 to 10 cloves garlic, minced
4 serrano peppers, diced
1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon salt separated
Juice of 1 orange
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon chile ancho powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon pepper
10 ounces Mexican beer
You Will Also Need:
1 1/2 pound skirt or flank steak, filleted in half, so it’s thin
1 cup radishes, diced
1 cup pickled red onions (see recipe: http://hispkitchen.wpengine.com/lime-pickled-red-onions)
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup of your favorite salsa
1 lime, sliced into wedges
12 warm corn tortillas
Above: Start any recipe by measuring all your ingredients… Below: My molcajete is an important tool for preparing salsas and marinades.
While I was in Mexico, my cousin Ismael explained to me how using a molcajete, a Mexican variation of a mortar and pestle, really adds intense flavors to your marinades, salsas and guacamoles. I trust his opinion, he has been using it to prepare dishes for many, many years.
1. In a mortar or molcajete, add the garlic, onions, and serrano peppers. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and grind it with the pestle until it becomes like a coarse-looking paste. If you don’t have a mortar or molcajete, you could roughly chop in an electric mini chopper as well. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
2. Add the remaining ingredients, minus the steak. Stir well to combine and taste for salt. Transfer the steak to a heavy plastic storage bag. Pour the marinade over the beef, seal bag and marinate for at least 6 hours.
3. When ready to cook, remove the steak from the refrigerator about 30 to 40 minutes before cooking. Drain off all the marinade and transfer steak to a plate.
4. Preheat heat your grill to medium/high heat while the steaks comes to room temperature. Cook the steak on the direct heat for 5 minutes per side. Move to cooler side of the grill and continue cooking for another 5 to 6 minutes. Remove beef from the grill and let it rest for 5 to 6 minutes before slicing. Always slice against the grain for a more tender cut. It’s best to keep a meat thermometer on hand to reach the desired temperature. Steak doneness: rare 130 to 135 degrees F., medium rare 140 degrees, medium 155 degrees, well done 165 degrees.
Beautiful colors on the flank steak right off the grill!
One of my favorite tacos, with flank steak.