This Cast Iron Carne Asada Recipe is made with skirt steak olive oil, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, jalapeños, onion, and limes.
This skirt steak is going to be made best in a cast iron skillet or a grill. I prefer to pan sear as it cooks in its own juice and I prefer the taste. This carne asada is so tender and full of flavor. It is so important to let the steak marinate in this delicious juice.
It is best to use the best quality skirt steak for this recipe. You need to cook this steak right or else it could come out chewy, so pay attention! When you heat up your cast iron skillet, it is best to wait a while until it heats up before adding the steak.
Skirt steak gets juicy and tender in a marinade of lime juice and soy sauce, for a meal that can be prepped ahead of time! It’s no wonder, when they are super easy to make and perfect for a quick throw-together meal! The trick to making the perfect skirt steak is in the length of marinating. If you remember to do it the night before, you will get the best outcome for this steak. You can always top this on a tortilla, tostada, or serve on a bed of rice.
- What is Ranchera Meat or Carne Asada?
- What kind of meat do you use for carne asada?
- When to slice the Carne Asada
- Carne Asada Recipe Ingredients
- How to make Carne Asada Recipe
- What should I serve with Carne Asada?
- What if I don’t have a grill? Can I make carne asada indoors?
- What Wine should I pair with Carne Asada?
- Carne Asada Recipe Variations
- Equipment needed to make Carne Asada
- How to Store Carne Asada
- Carne Asada Recipe Top Tips
- Carne Asada Recipe
What is Ranchera Meat or Carne Asada?
Ranchera meat is a type of meat commonly used in Mexican cuisine, particularly in dishes such as carne asada, tacos, and fajitas. It is typically cut from the beef skirt or flank steak, and is known for its bold, beefy flavor and chewy texture. Ranchera meat is usually marinated in a mixture of lime juice, garlic, and spices before being grilled or pan-seared to perfection. It is often served with rice, beans, tortillas, and other Mexican-style accompaniments. In some regions, Ranchera meat is also referred to as Arrachera or Arrechera.
What kind of meat do you use for carne asada?
The traditional meat used for carne asada is either flank steak or skirt steak, which are both flavorful and relatively tender cuts of beef. Other cuts of beef such as sirloin, ribeye, or even tenderloin can also be used for carne asada. It's important to keep in mind that the key to making delicious carne asada is to use a lean and tender cut of beef, and to marinate it well before grilling.
When to slice the Carne Asada
When cooking steak, you want to measure the temperature before you cut it. For rare it is 125°F. If you prefer medium-rare it is 135°F. For medium it is 145°F. For medium-well it is 150°F and well done is 160°F (highly suggest you don’t go to well done). Always let your beef rest after cooking and seal it well. I like waiting 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. When you do slice, cut against the grain, which are the little lines running through the beef, so you will cut in the opposite direction.
Carne Asada Recipe Ingredients
- Skirt Steak
- Olive oil
- Soy sauce
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Onion Powder
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make Carne Asada Recipe
Add the olive oil, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, jalapeno, red onion, lime
juice, orange juice, garlic, cumin, onion powder, oregano, cilantro and salt
and pepper in a mixing bowl and stir well. Add the skirt steak and mix with
your hand. Refrigerate and marinate for 2-4 hours. The longer the better – you
can even do overnight! Alternatively, you can use a large Ziplock bag.
Before searing the steak, dry it with paper towel – keep the marinade. Heat
a large cast iron over high heat for 3 minutes. Once hot, add a bit of pan or
olive oil. Add the steak and press down firmly on the surface. Sear for 2
minutes on each side.
Reduce heat and add ½ cup of the marinade and cook for 2-4 minutes longer. For medium-rare, the internal temperature should be 135°F, and for medium, it should be 145°F. Work in two batches if needed. Work in two batches if needed. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
Slice them into ½ inch slices. Transfer to a serving plate.
Hint: Make sure to let the steak rest before slicing.
What should I serve with Carne Asada?
There are many delicious side dishes and accompaniments that go well with carne asada. Here are a few options:
- Grilled vegetables: Grilled peppers, onions, and zucchini are great side dishes to serve with carne asada. You can grill them alongside the meat for a complete meal.
- Rice and beans: Mexican-style rice and beans are classic side dishes that pair well with carne asada. They can be served on the side or used to make burritos or tacos.
- Guacamole: Fresh guacamole is a perfect complement to carne asada. It can be served as a dip or used as a topping for tacos or burritos.
- Salsa and pico de gallo: Fresh salsa and pico de gallo are both great condiments to serve with carne asada. They add a burst of flavor and freshness to the dish.
- Tortillas: Carne asada can be served with warm tortillas, either flour or corn. You can use them to make tacos, burritos, or simply as a side dish.
- Salad: A simple green salad with a citrus vinaigrette can be a refreshing side dish to serve alongside carne asada.
Olive oil: Try canola oil, vegetable oil or sunflower oil work as a 1 for 1 substitute.
Soy Sauce: Instead of soy sauce you can use Tamari, Worcestershire sauce, Miso, Maggi seasoning, Salt, Coconut aminos, or Liquid aminos.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Feel free to use red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar.
Jalapeno: I have used serrano peppers in place of jalapeños for this recipe.
Onion: I used red onion but feel free to use yellow or white onion instead.
Lime: I love using lime juice for this although lemon juice will work as well.
Orange: The orange juice gives the steak a sweet and tart flavor in the marinade.
Garlic: For best quality, use fresh garlic instead of garlic from a jar.
Cumin: Cumin has a very powerful taste, so feel free to use as much or little as you like. If you like a little spice, try chili powder or red pepper flakes.
Onion powder: I love using onion and garlic powder combined, and feel free to use one or the other... or both!
Oregano: If you can find Mexican oregano, definitely use that! You can use normal oregano as well.
Cilantro: You can never go wrong with a little cilantro. Feel free to use parsley instead too.
What if I don’t have a grill? Can I make carne asada indoors?
Yes, you can still make delicious carne asada indoors if you don't have a grill. Using a grill pan to make carne asada indoors is a great option if you don't have access to an outdoor grill. Here are some advantages of using a grill pan:
- Convenience: A grill pan is easy to use indoors and doesn't require you to go outside to grill the meat.
- Versatility: A grill pan can be used to cook other types of food besides carne asada, such as vegetables and seafood.
- Control: With a grill pan, you have more control over the cooking temperature and can adjust it as needed to prevent the meat from overcooking or burning.
- Flavor: While a grill pan may not impart the same smoky flavor as an outdoor grill, it can still create a nice sear on the meat, which adds to the overall flavor and texture of the carne asada.
What Wine should I pair with Carne Asada?
When it comes to pairing wine with carne asada, you'll want to choose a red wine that can stand up to the bold flavors of the meat and the marinade. Here are a few wine options that would pair well with carne asada:
- Malbec: This full-bodied red wine from Argentina has bold flavors of dark fruit, spice, and smoke, which make it a great match for the bold flavors of carne asada.
- Cabernet Sauvignon: This classic red wine is full-bodied with flavors of blackberry, cassis, and cedar. It has enough tannins to stand up to the richness of the meat and the marinade.
- Zinfandel: This medium-bodied red wine has flavors of blackberry, raspberry, and spice. It's a great match for the smoky, spicy flavors of carne asada.
- Syrah/Shiraz: This full-bodied red wine has flavors of blackberry, blueberry, and pepper, which complement the bold flavors of carne asada.
- Tempranillo: This medium-bodied red wine from Spain has flavors of red fruit, leather, and spice, which make it a great match for the smoky flavors of carne asada.
Carne Asada Recipe Variations
- Spicy Ranchera Meat: Add some heat to your Ranchera meat by adding diced jalapeno or serrano peppers to your marinade. You can also sprinkle some red pepper flakes on the meat before cooking.
- Citrusy Ranchera Meat: Instead of using lime juice in your marinade, try using a mixture of orange and lime juice for a brighter, more citrusy flavor. You can also add some orange zest to the marinade for an extra punch of flavor.
- Sweet and Tangy Ranchera Meat: Add some sweetness to your Ranchera meat by adding a tablespoon or two of honey or brown sugar to your marinade. You can also add a splash of apple cider vinegar for a tangy finish.
- Garlic and Herb Ranchera Meat: For a more savory flavor, add some minced garlic and chopped fresh herbs like oregano, thyme, or rosemary to your marinade. You can also add a few tablespoons of olive oil to the marinade for added richness.
- Smoky Ranchera Meat: Add some smoky flavor to your Ranchera meat by adding a teaspoon or two of smoked paprika or chipotle powder to your marinade. You can also grill your meat over charcoal or wood for a smokier finish.
Check out my Carne Asada Mexican Sopes Recipe.
Equipment needed to make Carne Asada
To make carne asada, you will need some basic kitchen equipment. Here is a list of the equipment needed:
- Grill or Grill Pan: You can use an outdoor grill or an indoor grill pan to cook your carne asada. If you don't have a grill pan, a regular non-stick pan or cast iron skillet will work too.
- Mixing Bowl: You will need a mixing bowl to prepare the marinade.
- Measuring Spoons and Cups: You will need measuring spoons and cups to accurately measure the ingredients for the marinade.
- Ziploc Bag or Container: You will need a Ziploc bag or container to marinate the carne asada.
- Tongs: You will need tongs to flip the meat on the grill or grill pan.
- Meat Thermometer (Optional): While not necessary, a meat thermometer can be helpful to ensure the meat is cooked to the desired temperature.
- Sharp Knife: You will need a sharp knife to slice the carne asada against the grain.
How to Store Carne Asada
If you have leftover carne asada, here are some tips for storing it:
- Let it cool: Allow the carne asada to cool down before storing it.
- Wrap it: Wrap the meat tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out.
- Store in the fridge: Store the wrapped carne asada in the refrigerator for up to three to four days.
- Freeze it: If you won't be able to eat the carne asada within a few days, you can freeze it for later use. Wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil or use a freezer bag to prevent freezer burn. It can be stored in the freezer for up to two to three months.
- Reheat it: When you're ready to eat the carne asada, you can reheat it in a skillet or on the grill. Make sure to reheat it to an internal temperature of at least 145°F (63°C) before eating.
Carne Asada Recipe Top Tips
Here are some top tips to keep in mind when making carne asada:
- Use flank or skirt steak: These cuts of beef are commonly used for carne asada because they are flavorful and tender. Other cuts can also be used, but may not be as tender.
- Marinate the meat: Marinating the meat for at least a few hours, or even overnight, will help to tenderize it and infuse it with flavor. Don't skip this step!
- Grill over high heat: Carne asada is traditionally cooked over high heat to get a nice char and crust on the outside while keeping the inside tender and juicy. Make sure your grill is hot before adding the meat.
- Let the meat rest: After grilling, let the meat rest for a few minutes before slicing it against the grain. This allows the juices to redistribute and keeps the meat juicy.
- Serve with fresh toppings: Traditional toppings for carne asada include chopped onions, cilantro, and lime wedges. Adding fresh toppings will brighten up the dish and add a burst of flavor.
- Don't overcook the meat: Carne asada is best served medium-rare to medium. Overcooking it can make the meat tough and dry.
- Slice against the grain: To ensure the meat is tender, slice it against the grain. This means cutting perpendicular to the lines of muscle fiber in the meat.
By following these tips, you'll be sure to make delicious and flavorful carne asada every time.Print