Carne asada is a fiesta for the tastebuds! Serve tender marinated steak slices with pico de gallo and warm tortillas for the ultimate Spanish-style feast.
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To make the marinade, place the onion, garlic, chilli, orange and lime rind and juice, vinegar, cumin, oregano, pepper, and chopped coriander roots and stalks in a large shallow bowl. Season. Add steaks to the marinade and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour to marinate.
To make the pico de gallo, place the tomato, garlic, chilli, onion, chopped coriander, lime juice and oil in a medium bowl. Stir to combine. Season. Cover and place in the fridge for 1 hour to develop the flavours.
Heat a barbecue grill or chargrill on high. Scrape excess marinade off steaks and spray with olive oil spray. Cook on the grill plate for 2½ mins each side for medium-rare or until cooked to your liking. Transfer to a plate. Loosely cover with foil. Set aside for 5 mins to rest.
Thickly slice the steaks along the grain and arrange on a platter. Serve with pico de gallo, avocado, radish, tortillas and lime wedges on the side.
If you prefer, you can make the marinade in a small food processor, pulsing until everything is finely chopped and combined.
Pico de gallo can be made several hours ahead or even the day before. The texture will become softer, but the flavours more developed.
COOK. STORE. SAVE
Clever storage: Store leftover tortillas in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. To freeze, place baking paper between the tortillas and place in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Use it up: Use the leftover 1/2 fresh jalapeno from the pico de gallo in jalapeno margaritas! They’re a fabulous, on-theme accompaniment for this recipe. The remaining ½ bunch of coriander can garnish many different dishes (tacos, curries, stir fries) but we love it in this guacamole recipe.
Carne asada is a steak dish hailing from northern Mexico that is marinated, chargrilled and sliced. Chuck, skirt or flank steak is used in a traditional carne asada, but we’ve opted for scotch fillet or porterhouse steaks for their tenderness and meaty flavour in this recipe. The marinade is the star here. Lime juice, garlic, coriander, olive oil, vinegar, orange juice and jalapenos are the key components of carne asada marinade. As well as infusing flavour into the steak, the marinade also acts as a tenderiser. You can eat carne asada as a steak on its own, or add it to burritos, tacos or rice bowls for lunch or dinner. It can also be served at breakfast in a hash or together with fried eggs. Its impressive flavour and versatility makes carne asada one of the best steak dishes to serve for dinner guests or at celebrations and parties.
For clean, even strips, slice the steak across – instead of along – the grain once it has rested. The grain refers to the lines you see all over the meat.
Bring the beef to room temperature before grilling. Remove it from the fridge half an hour prior to cooking to allow the muscle fibres to ‘relax’. This is how you achieve a perfectly cooked, juicy steak.
You can have the best carne asada marinade, but if you overdo it (marinate longer than 12 hours), the meat can end up with a mushy texture that’s not very enjoyable to eat.
If you’re not a fan of coriander, leave it out of the marinade rather than replacing it with another herb, as it can drastically change the flavour.
Allow leftover carne asada to cool before placing it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, microwave in 30-second bursts, covered with a damp paper towel, so the meat heats through without becoming tough. If you want to freeze before cooking, place the raw meat and marinade in a resealable freezer bag and pop it in the freezer immediately. It will keep for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before cooking.
Now that you’ve nailed a classic carne asada, try your hand at some of our other favourite Mexican-inspired recipes. Curtis Stone’s Mexican-style chilli beef stew with street Corn, Mexican spiced chicken drumsticks, Mexican-style seafood soup and crispy fish tostadas are all flavoursome, hearty meals that will hit the spot.