Photo by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Carne Asada Brava With Roasted Salsa

Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
The chile serrano marinade and delicious roasted salsa elevate this quick and easy carne asada, and gives it a spicy bite!

Carne asada brava: if that doesn't get your full attention, top that grilled steak with a roasted salsa! This recipe for carne asada brava was adapted from chef Rick Bayless.  I enjoy serving my grilled steaks sliced and garnished with a fresh made salsa. This way, I can serve it with a salad or with warm tortillas for tacos. I've prepared this marinade (salsa) many times and simply used it as a garnish for tacos. Either way, it's delicious. It's grilling season and I'm always looking for an easy way to add more flavor to my carne asada. The word brava is used to describe the spicy chile serrano marinade, meaning it has a bite! But don't let that discourage you from trying this delicious recipe.


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For the Marinade
  1. Place the serranos, garlic and chile de árbol on comal (griddle) over medium heat. Toast the chile de árbol for just a few minutes and remove as soon as they become aromatic and blacken in spots. Dry roast the other ingredients, turning as needed, for another 15 minutes. Remove from comal. Transfer the serranos, garlic (remove skins), chile de árbol, peppercorns, lime juice and oil to the blender. Season to taste with salt. Blend on high until very smooth. Set aside.
For the Salsa
  1. On that same comal or griddle over medium heat, add the tomatoes, serranos, onion and garlic. Dry roast for 15 to 22 minutes, removing garlic after 15 minutes. Turn as needed. Remove once tomatoes are mostly blackened and a little soft. Let cool for a few minutes. Remove skins from tomatoes and garlic. Roughly chop the onion. Place all of the ingredients for the salsa in a food processor except for the cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pulse to blend. Transfer to a serving dish and fold in the cilantro.
For the Steaks
  1. Pour the serrano marinade into a plastic bag. Add the steaks and make sure the marinade coats them evenly. Marinate for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. Preheat grill to medium/high heat for 10-15 minutes with the lids closed. Shake off excess marinade from steaks and place onto a plate. Add some fresh cracked pepper to the steaks.
  3. Brush grates with oil and place steaks onto hot side. Grill for 4 minutes without turning. Turn and grill for 3-4 more minutes or until internal temperature reaches 130 degrees F (medium-rare). If steak is charring too fast, move to the cooler side of grill and continue cooking until you reach the desired temperature.
  4. Remove from grill and transfer to cutting board. Let rest for 5-6 minutes before slicing thin against the grain. Garnish sliced steak with roasted salsa or serve on the side. Serve steak with warm tortillas, rice and beans.

Chef Notes

This marinade can also be served as a salsa for those spicy food lovers. Prepare the marinade a day in advance for extra flavor! To speed up the recipe a bit, you could dry roast the ingredients for the marinade and the salsa at the same time using two different pans.

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