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Carne Asada

July 4, 2011

Being married to a Mexican, I often get requests for Mexican dishes. These dishes are often things that I have never ever made before. I have certainly had the pleasure of tasting them before, but I didn’t grow up with them like he did. I mean, I grew up on the Schilling Taco Seasoning packets, ground beef and the pre-shaped hard taco shells. It doesn’t get more guera than that! It makes it hard to know how to reproduce the flavor that’s associated with that nostalgic feeling of eating this stuff growing up.

This weekend, the hubby and I decided that Carne Adada sounded like a great idea, but neither of us had a clue as to how to make it. So, he enlisted the help of some of his friends and family members, and this is what we came up with!

Lawry’s Season Salt and oranges as the part of the marinade seemed to be the common denominator. We jazzed it up a bit with the lime, coriander, cumin, and chili powder.
Carne Asada Cast of Characters

I really wanted to try to get flank or skirt steak, but oddly the grocery store didn’t have that. We ended up having to settle for thinly sliced chuck roast, which was okay. That’s the cut of meat they were using for their own, pre-made carne asada that was ready right there at the meat counter. We didn’t want the pre-made stuff though – we wanted to do this on our own!
Thinly scliced Chuck Roast for Carne Asada

In addition to the seasoned salt and pepper, we added the chili powder,
Chile Powder


and coriander,

making sure that the meat was well seasoned.
Chuck roast seasoned

Then we started work on the marinade, which was really quite simple. Just garlic

and lime and orange juice!
Oranges and Limes
Squeezing the orange and lime juices
Carne asada marinade

We thought adding onions in between the meats as it was marinating might be a good idea.
Chopping onions

So we layered the meat and onions in our marinating dish.
Meat and onions

Layering more meat over the onions

Pour the marinade over the meat and onions

Cover this and let the acid in the citrus juice work its magic! We let it sit for three hours, but next time, we’re going to keep it overnight. I’d say that 3 hours is the BARE MINIMUM for this kind of cooking.

For the toppings, we decided to keep it simple, and top our carne asada tacos with some grilled peppers and onions.
Julienned peppers and onions

This turned out to be quite a bit of peppers and onions, so I sauteed them up in 3 batches, so the pan wouldn’t be too crowded. If you crowd the pan, the veggies will end up steaming in their own juices, so I find that a screaming hot pan with a little bit of olive oil gives you a good sear on the veggies without making them too soggy. We kept the seasoning simple with a little salt, pepper, and Mexican oregano.
Sauteed peppers and onions

Grill the meat, and don’t be afraid of over-cooking it too much! This will probably be the only time you will ever hear me say that, but it really worked out well. We got good grill marks on it, then kept them under the broiler while the other pieces cooked up, checking on them periodically making sure that they didn’t turn into leather.
Grilling the meat

They got close to being jerky-like, but the meat would have been much chewier than it turned out if we didn’t cook it so long.


Carne Asada

By Natalie Wiser-Orozco
Published: July 4, 2011
Authentic & great! Carne Asada Tacos!

1-2 pounds Chuck Roast, thinly sliced -OR-
1-2 pounds Skirt or Flank Steak
Juice of 2 Large Oranges
Juice of 2 Limes
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
3 Teaspoons Seasoned Salt
2 Teaspoons Chili Powder
2 Teaspoons Coriander
2 Teaspoons Cumin
1 Teaspoons Pepper
1 Onion ,sliced

Season both sides of the meat with the seasoned salt, chili powder, coriander, cumin, and pepper. Mix together the citrus juices and garlic; set aside. Layer the meat and onions in a shallow baking dish for marinating, then pour the citrus mixture over the meat. With your hands, massage the meat, making sure that the marinade covers everything. Cover, and refrigerate overnight, or 4 hours at the very least.

Grill the meat to your liking, though I think well done is best in this case, as it tends to be chewier otherwise. If you use the skirt or flank steak, you may be able to get away with medium rare to medium, just make sure to slice thinly before serving. Serve with warm tortillas and your toppings of choice!

Prep time: 10 min
Wait time: Overnight or 4 hours
Cook time: 15 min
Total time: 4 hours, 25min

Carne Asada Printable Recipe


  1. angel
    July 4, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    It was the bomb yo!

  2. George Maurer
    July 5, 2011 at 9:16 am

    I’ve been meaning to try Carne Asada….one of my staples at Mexican restaurants. 🙂

    • Natalie Wiser-Orozco
      July 5, 2011 at 11:18 am

      George, I know, I absolutely LOVE IT! I was telling Angel that if we had an industrial flat top grill and those heavy spatulas, they may have turned out closer to the original that he’s used to. Either way, it was still good, and we’re going to keep trying to perfect it!

  3. Bill
    June 23, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Wow great recipe! Absolutely fantastic carne asada!


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