Mexican-Style Grilled Steak (Carne Asada)

From Cook's Illustrated | September/October 2014

Why this recipe works:

To create a recipe for a carne asada platter that satisfies like the original, we started with skirt steak. Since it’s most tender and juicy when cooked to medium, it allowed us to create plenty of char on its exterior without overcooking it. We eschewed the standard lime juice marinade in… read more

To create a recipe for a carne asada platter that satisfies like the original, we started with skirt steak. Since it’s most tender and juicy when cooked to medium, it allowed us to create plenty of char on its exterior without overcooking it. We eschewed the standard lime juice marinade in favor of a dry salting to promote faster browning on the grill and then gave the steak a squeeze of fresh lime before serving. To speed up charring even more and create a large enough area of concentrated heat to cook all four steaks at once, we cut the bottom from a disposable aluminum roasting pan and used it to corral the coals. For heady garlic flavor, we treated the cooked steaks like bruschetta, rubbing their rough crusts with a smashed garlic clove.

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Mexican-Style Grilled Steak (Carne Asada)

Superthin, well-charred steaks define this Mexican favorite. To deliver maximum char as well as tender meat, we created an unusual grill setup.

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Serves 4 to 6

Two pounds of sirloin steak tips, also sold as flap meat, may be substituted for the skirt steak. In addition to Red Chile Salsa and Simple Refried Beans, another nice accompaniment is our Folded Enchiladas (see related content).

Ingredients

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