Carne Asada a la Plancha with Cilantro Avocado Chimichurri

Cuisine: Latin
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Whether it's winter or summer, I'm always ready to enjoy a tasty carne asada (steak). This easy recipe is budget-friendly and great for entertaining friends. 

Are you craving something simple but filling? Or do you want to impress your guests with a restaurant-quality meal at home? If so, you’ve come to the right recipe!

This versatile, year-round carne asada a la plancha recipe can be made on a comal or griddle and served as a main dish, taco-style with cilantro chimichurri sauce and hot tortillas. You could also enjoy it tapas-style in small plates served with artisanal bread, cheese, smoked cold cuts and olive oil.

Pair with ice-cold beer or your favorite red wine.

Ingredients

  • For the Steak and Marinade
  • pounds skirt steak sliced into 2 pieces
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1 garlic clove sliced
  • 1 jalapeño or serrano pepper seeded and sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 large lime juiced
  • olive oil for cooking steak
  • For the Cilantro Avocado Chimichurri
  • 1 large bunch cilantro washed
  • 8 green onions
  • 1-2 serrano pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 Roma tomato
  • 1 large lemon to juice and zest
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste (for the marinade)
  • 1/4 - 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 avocadoes diced

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Directions

For the Chimichurri
  1. Roughly chop the cilantro, green onions, chile serrano, garlic and tomatoes. Transfer to the food processor and pulse until you achieve a liquid consistency.
  2. If mixture is too thick, add a little bit of water. Press the ingredients into the mixture using a spatula. Pulse, and repeat. Blend the rest of the ingredients into the mix, except for the avocado.
  3. Transfer mix to a bowl and add the diced avocado. Make sure avocado is fully immersed into the chimichurri. Cover tightly and chill for 20 minutes.Transfer mix to a bowl and add the diced avocado. Make sure avocado is fully immersed into the chimichurri. Cover tightly and chill for 20 minutes.
For the Steak
  1. In the blender, add all of the ingredients listed except the cilantro. Pulse to blend, then add the cilantro. Blend until smooth and taste for salt. Pour the marinade over the steak, cover and chill for 2 hours.In the blender, add all of the ingredients listed except the cilantro. Pulse to blend, then add the cilantro. Blend until smooth and taste for salt. 
Pour the marinade over the steak, cover and chill for 2 hours.
  2. When ready to cook, remove the steak from refrigerator and use paper towels to blot off any excess moisture from it.
  3. Wait 30 approximately minutes or until the steak is room temperature. Season with a little more fresh cracked pepper on each side (optional).
  4. After 30 minutes, preheat the plancha, comal or griddle pan to medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes. If using a plancha or comal-style pan, the center is hotter and so cooks quicker than the sides. I cook the thickest part of the steak in the center of plancha.After 30 minutes, preheat the plancha, comal or griddle pan to medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes. If using a plancha or comal-style pan, the center is hotter and so cooks quicker than the sides. I cook the thickest part of the steak in the center of plancha.
  5. Drizzle olive oil onto a pan. Place one steak at a time and cook for 3 1/2 minutes per side for medium/rare. For a medium steak, cook for 30 seconds longer per side. Drizzle olive oil onto a pan. Place one steak at a time and cook for 3 1/2 minutes per side for medium/rare. For a medium steak, cook for 30 seconds longer per side.
  6. Transfer to a cutting board and tent loosely with foil paper. Cook the second steak, adding a little more oil if needed. Let the second steak rest for 5 minutes while you slice the first one against the grain.
  7. Place the steak onto a serving plate, stir the chimichurri and ladle it over the top of the carne asada. Serve with warm tortillas.

Chef Notes

For a lighter version of this recipe, substitute the beef for thinly sliced boneless chicken breast fillets. Make sure to not marinate for more than 2 hours.

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