Thursday, April 12, 2012

Grilled Carne Asada

Ryan and I love Mexican food. Unfortunately we have not found a GREAT (authentic) Mexican restaurant in our current city, though we have tried. The first time we tried Carne Asada (and were blown away at how good it was), we were in an unlikely location for finding GREAT Mexican food. We were way up in the mountains of Colorado in Glenwood Springs. Sorry, I can't remember the name of the restaurant, one of our hotel staff (who happened to be Hispanic) suggested it to us. And rather than eating our typical favorites, Ryan decided to ask what the waiter recommended and went with it. It was by far the best Mexican meal we have eaten, in the USA. Since then we have tried the same meal at other Mexican restaurants, but have not had anything nearly as good.

I finally decided to try making it myself. After looking through several recipes online I decided to create my own - none of them sounded quite like what we had in Colorado. The result - quite tasty, if I do say so myself. This was the second time I have made it and each time I learn a little something. If you like Mexican, it is definitely worth a try! This meal can easily be made gluten free by serving with corn tortillas instead of flour. Scroll down past the Carne Asada recipe for two bonus condiment recipes:)

Grilled Carne Asada


  • 1 1/2 lb Skirt or Flank Steak (or Venison), sliced thin
  • 1/2 Onion
  • 1 handful Cilantro
  • 2 + cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Orange, juiced
  • 1 - 2 Limes, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper, 1/2 tsp chili powder, or 1 jalapeno (depending on preferred heat level)
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil


  1. To ensure thin slicing of meat, put in freezer for an hour or so if fully thawed. Meat tends to be easier to slice thin when slightly frozen.
  2. To make marinade, combine onion through Cayenne pepper in a food processor and process until fine. Stir in olive oil.
  3. Place thinly sliced meat into marinade, stirring to coat and refrigerate for at least an hour, but up to eight.
  4. Preheat grill to high. Oil grill grates to prevent sticking. Meat will not take long to cook, about 2 minutes on each side as it is very thin.
  5. Serve with tortillas, refried beans, grilled onions (green or regular), grilled peppers, sour cream and guacamole. Salsa is optional - it doesn't come with the meal in a restaurant, but is always on the table.
Prep Time: 4 h Cook Time: 10 min Ready in: 4 h 10 min
Click to add this recipe to your Recipe Book
Carne Asada courtesy of Jamie Del Balso.

Fresh Salsa
 6 ripe tomatoes, I like to use Romas because they are a bit less juicy, quartered
1/2 sweet pepper, green pepper or jalapeno
1/2 onion
1-2 cloves of garlic
1 large handful of cilantro
1/2 of lime, juiced
salt to taste

Combine pepper, onion and garlic in food processor and process until it reaches your desired consistency. Remove and place in a bowl. Add quartered tomatoes and cilantro, pulse until tomatoes reach desired consistency. Combine tomatoes with onion mixture add salt and lime juice and voila - Fresh Salsa, without all the chopping by hand. You can do the chopping by hand if you prefer an even chunkier salsa. I do it both ways, depending on my mood.

2 avocados, ripe
2 Tblsp fresh salsa (see above)
1 clove garlic, minced
salt to taste

Mash avocados, add fresh salsa, minced garlic and salt to taste. If you want Guacamole for a crowd, double or triple the above recipe. Note: If you don't have the above ingredients for salsa, at least add some lime juice and  potentially fresh chopped cilantro and fresh chopped ripe tomatoes. Oh and I have been known to make guac in my food processor after making salsa - if I need to make a large quantity.

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, It's a Keeper Thursday, These Chicks Cooked, Creative Juice, and Gluten-Free Wednesday.

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