If you haven’t seen it yet, head over to Variety.com and watch the Ultimate Steak Taco recipe video here. I was flattered and pumped when they asked me to participate in their Binging Bites series and I can’t think of a better go to recipe to share than this Ultimate Steak Taco recipe.
This should be the last Carne Asada, or should I say Khané Asada recipe you will ever need to search for.
Let’s hit it.
There are a zillion marinades and great recipes for Carne Asada out there. So what makes this the Ultimate Steak Taco Recipe? I wanted clarity of flavor. Some recipes add beer, some go with mojo sauces and store bought seasonings. I have had plenty of Carne Asada over the years from legit Mexican Carnicerías, in the hood, that put out a tasty product. But they tend to hit the “overkill” button with salt heavy rubs, MSG, bouillon etc. I’m not against those flavors on principle . . . but I also like the taste of steak, of charred beef without heavy flavor interference.
Enough of my Op/Ed piece . . . let’s start making the Ultimate Steak Taco.
In a bowl large enough to hold your steak, start the marinade with the dry ingredients. A big part of the magic here is taking the time and effort to toast and grind dried chiles. During these Quarantine Cooking times, I went with Ancho chile which you toast, remove the stem and deseed before placing in a spice grinder along with cumin seed to purée. Now this might be a big step for some of you but it is a game changer. If you want to level up . . . add a Guajillo pepper and a Pasilla pepper as well. You could forgo this for pre-ground chili powder but it won’t be nearly as flavorful.
If you like, add some chopped cilantro or in this case, flat leaf parsley into the mix. Then comes, the liquids: orange juice, lime juice and vinegar. Finally add the canola oil and whisk vigorously to incorporate. Get that steak in there and say buh-bye until tomorrow or even . . . THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW. Not the movie though cuz that movie sucked.
Now it is time to kick the tires and light the fires big daddy. Yes that was my second Roland Emmerich film reference. If you are gonna make the Ultimate Steak Taco, you should be ready to light a proper fire. And I’m talking hardwood charcoal and wood too. Yes, you could use a gas grill, match light charcoal and even that grill pan you bought from Macy’s but . . . does any of that live up to the epic line of “kicking tires and lighting fires?” The answer is no, big daddy.
But wait, what about that epic marinade we made? Oh there it is. See, I told you getting a spice grinder was worth the effort(dal recipe anyone?) That color comes from working with whole dried chiles and grinding them on the spot.
With a marinade that flavorful, you would be wise to baste the steak while it cooks. Just make sure you finish the marinade before you pull the steak to avoid that whole cross contamination/ I’m feeding my family bacteria thang. For tacos, I think you are best cooking steak to medium, especially skirt steak as it can be a little chewy.
Now it’s time to make that taco spread and light up the gram with that Ultimate Steak Taco recipe tag. My flank steak came out closer to medium rare which I can easily live with. Also the marinade really, and I mean really makes that flank tender AF. If your steak comes out a bit more red I would advise to give it a chop.
Let’s talk salsas and that layer of guacamole that is CRITICAL. My guacamole is very simple: avocado, onion, salt and lime juice. Spread that over a tortilla that has been toasted on a hot pan. And for the record my tortilla of choice is homemade corn. Hit that steak and go for salsa one: a Tomato-Arbol chile salsa that packs in some heat.
For double trouble go with a green salsa too. This is a jalapeño-serrano salsa that is part of the taco gospel down in here in Austin. Made with corn oil and garlic, the green salsa is creamy-spicy and contrasts well with the bright, slightly tart heat of the red salsa.
And one more time for that ‘gram: Ultimate Steak Taco recipe everyone!! Get at it! I stand by this one like no other!!