Tacos de Carne Asada

In order to show the versatility of our new Santa Maria Steak Seasoning, I thought I’d make some tacos de carne asada (aka: steak tacos).

Tacos de carne asada is a classic Mexican dish that features seared beef steak, sliced thin and placed between two hot fresh corn tortillas with fresh pico de gallo and a shot of fresh lime juice.  I’ve augmented the presentation a bit with the addition of shredded Monterrey Jack cheese and fresh salsa roja.

The two most popular cuts of beef for this dish are flank steaks and skirt steaks.  However, most Spanish folks will tell you, the most authentic cut for this dish is beef skirt steaks.  While flank steaks will certainly work in a pinch, the extra flavor, tenderness and juiciness one gets from using a skirt steak will make a difference in the final product.

The only way I can get skirt steaks here in KC is to buy them through my local restaurant supply company or at a few Spanish grocery stores located in the Downtown area.  I wish more grocers would stock this cut.  They come in 10 – 15 lb. cryovac packs with anywhere from 5 – 7 skirt steaks contained within each package.

Purchased in this format, you’ll be looking at doing quite a bit of butchering in order to get each skirt in a usable form.  Here is a pic of one skirt fresh out of the package…

Tacos de Carne Asada

And, here is a shot post-trimming…  Notice the pile of off-trim in the upper left-hand corner.  Expect to remove this much or slightly more from each skirt steak.  Use a small sharp knife and work slowly so you don’t cut yourself.

Tacos de Carne Asada

Next, grab a package of Oakridge BBQ Santa Maria Steak Seasoning and begin coating both sides of each skirt steak evenly and liberally.  Then, squeeze the juice of two limes over the entire tray.  I only covered the tops of each steak with lime and didn’t bother flipping them to coat the other side.  Make sure to wet each thoroughly with the fresh lime juice.

Tacos de Carne Asada
Tacos de Carne Asada

Then, wrap the entire tray in a couple layers of plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for a minimum of one hour.

It had gotten too dark for good pictures outside at the grill, so I didn’t take any of the cooking process.  However, it couldn’t get any easier…  Basically, fire up your grill using lump charcoal (preferred), and get it VERY HOT.  If you don’t have lump or even a charcoal grill, don’t worry.  Just get whatever grill you have as hot as you can get it.

Before you begin grilling, prepare 6 more limes for juicing by slightly bruising them, then cut each in half across the middle.  Now, place each skirt steak on the grill directly over the hot coals.  Sear the first side, then flip.  Once flipped, squeeze fresh lime juice over each steak thoroughly.  Then when ready, flip them again and coat the other side.  Continue flipping and marinating with lime juice until they are cooked to med-rare.  Remove them to a plate or pan to rest…

Tacos de Carne Asada

After 10-15 minutes of resting time, place a skirt steak on your cutting board and slice it at a 45º angle to the grain on a bias, like below…

Tacos de Carne Asada

Now, it’s time to start building some tacos…  Heat some corn (or flour) tortillas on a hot skillet and put a small handful of carne asada in the middle.  Then, follow that with some fresh pico de gallo, shredded Monterrey Jack cheese and some fresh salsa roja.  Finish them off with a squeeze of fresh lime juice and tear in….

Tacos de Carne Asada
Tacos de Carne Asada
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