Chipotle Carne Asada Steak Tacos
If you have never had it before, carne asada steak tacos are amazing! Whether it’s for Cinco de Mayo or just another good time dinner at home, this combination of flavors and textures is incredible and sure to make for a great mouth-watering meal that everyone will enjoy. Feel free to file this one under easy recipes!
Although the name sounds exotic, it is simply Spanish for grilled meat. Carne asada is a Mexican dish with authentic Mexican flavors. It is steak that has been grilled, then sliced thinly. The brightness of citrus mixes with the heat of peppers to make a memorable meal. Many recipes also incorporate a marinade. If you have the time and the marinade ingredients, it greatly enhances the flavor. Practically any cut of beef can be used to make this tender, flavorful carne asada recipe. Flank steak, skirt steak, sirloin flap meat, or flat iron steak are all favorites that can all be used with great results, so if you have any trouble finding one of these locally, another should work just as well. It is very easy to make and you may have some of these simple ingredients on-hand already.
Before selecting your steak, know that a leaner cut of meat may be considered drier when it is cooked to a higher doneness. Lean steaks should be left rare or medium rare to remain juicy. Steaks with marbling will remain juicier when cooked well-done. No matter which cut you choose, this will be one of those steak recipes you keep!
Carne asada can be eaten several ways- in a tortilla as a chipotle steak taco, as a lettuce wrap, by itself as a main dish, on top of nachos, or in a bowl with beans and rice. There are multiple carne asada recipes that you can make using this core recipe and just changing up the items served with it.
All of the ingredients in this recipe should be relatively easy to find in most large grocery stores. Some may be in the international aisle/Mexican section if you grocery store has that sort of layout. Anything that you cannot find at a major grocery store will be available either online or at a Mexican grocery store near you.
Chipotle Carne Asada Marinade Ingredients
• 2 tablespoons lime juice
• Chipotle peppers (as many as you want)
• 2 tablespoons orange Juice
• Adobo sauce, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon chili powder
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 1 pound flank steak/flat iron steak/sirloin flap meat/skirt steak pieces
• 1 cup white rice
• Cotija cheese
• 1 15.5 ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
• 2 green onions, sliced
• 1 red onion, chopped
1. Start by combining all dry ingredients in a large bowl, then add the wet ingredients and whisk to combine. Whisk until everything is mixed well and the marinade is smooth.
2. Add the steak to a resealable zipper bag and pour the marinade into the bag as well. Slowly squeeze out any air as you zip the bag closed. The meat should now be covered in marinade. Place in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Although the steak will be ready to cook after several hours, longer is better. Allow to marinate overnight if possible. Flip bag occasionally.
3. When you are ready to cook the steak, there are multiple great ways to cook it. There are not any best ways as they all give great results. Heat up your outdoor grill or cast iron pan on the stove to medium high heat. Allow the steak to come up to room temperature while you preheat your grill or small skillet.
4. Cook on a hot grill or pan to desired doneness. A common technique is to directly sear the meat over a hot fire on one side of the grill until the meat gets a nice sear and then move it off the fire to finish cooking indirectly. Use a meat thermometer to hit your target temperature (120F for rare, 125-130 for medium rare, 140 for medium, 150+ for well-done). If you are using a pan indoors to cook the meat, open a window nearby as a good sear is very smokey while meat is being cooked.
5. Allow meat to rest after cooking for about 10 minutes, tented with foil on a cutting board. Resting helps the meat relax and for the juices to redistribute inside for a tender and juicy cut.
6. Cut into thin slices or thin strips against the grain. Use a sharp knife with a long blade to cut the meat without tearing it. The knife should be cutting perpendicular to the grain of the meat. Cut on an angle to get wider slices.
7. Drizzle with lime juice and sprinkle some finely chopped fresh cilantro. You can also pulse the cilantro in a food processor for easier cutting.
8. Place meat in warm tortillas or taco shells and top with your favorite toppings like lettuce, cotija cheese, onions, or anything else you like for carne asada street tacos.
Alternately, you can make a carne asada bowl by adding the steak to a bowl of white rice and black beans or anything else you prefer. Feel free to add some tortilla chips or avocado for a delicious twist. No matter what you put in your bowl, these ingredients make for an excellent base to experiment with.
Carne asada also works great as a burrito or lettuce wrap. You can use the same ingredients but wrap them in either a tortilla or large lettuce leaf for a delicious change of pace with a great recipe like this