Last Updated on January 14, 2024
Carne asada, hailing from the state of Sonora in northern Mexico, is as much a celebration of the smoky char-grilled beef as it is of gathering outdoors with friends and family.
To make carne asada (which translates to “grilled meat”), you marinate steak–usually flank or skirt–in spices before grilling it over high heat until charred but still tender. Then you slice or chop the steak and serve it with warm tortillas, made from either corn or flour. Other accompaniments include beans, grilled scallions, guacamole and salsas. If it sounds like a flavorful and colorful feat–it is.
Broiling the tomatoes, onions and a jalapeño adds a layer of smoky-char taste to the salsa in this dish, so don’t skip that step. But you can grill them instead, if you prefer to do all the cooking outside.
- Canola oil
- 1½ tsp ground cumin
- 1¼ lbs ButcherBox Flank Steak defrosted and thoroughly pat dry
- Salt and pepper
- 1 bunch scallions
- 5 jalapeños 1 stemmed and de-seeded
- 6 Roma tomatoes halved
- 1 medium white onion cut into thin wedges
- 3 cloves garlic
- 4 tbsp lime juice
- 3 large avocados
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped
- 12 small flour tortillas warmed or grilled
- Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for high heat, making sure to clean grates and lightly slick them with a kitchen rag or brush dipped in oil. Rub the cumin all over the steak, then season generously with salt and pepper. Rub 2 tablespoons oil all over the steak. In a large bowl, toss the scallions and the 4 whole jalapeños with 1 tablespoon oil; season with salt.
- Meanwhile, preheat the broiler and line a baking sheet with foil. Spread the tomatoes, onion, garlic and the stemmed and seeded jalapeño out over the sheet in a single layer. Broil, turning the vegetables occasionally, until the tomatoes are juicy and the onion and garlic have softened and have some charred ends, 10 to 15 minutes (watch carefully to prevent burning). Transfer to a cutting board and chop all of the vegetables into very small pieces. Transfer to a bowl, stir in 2 tablespoons lime juice and season with salt.
- Scoop the avocado into a small bowl, sprinkle with salt and mash into a chunky purée with a fork. Stir in the cilantro and the remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice; season with salt.
- Place the scallions on the grill and cook, turning once, until softened and charred, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Grill the 4 remaining jalapeños the same way; transfer to the plate with the scallions. Place the steak on the grill and cook, undisturbed, until there is some deep charring on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Turn the steak over and finish cooking to your desired doneness, or until an instant-read thermometer stuck into the thickest part reads 145ºF for medium.
- Transfer the steak to a cutting board, tent with foil and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Grill the tortillas until just warm, then wrap in a clean kitchen towel. Chop the steak into small pieces and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed. Serve the steak with the roasted tomato salsa, guacamole, grilled scallions and jalapeños, and tortillas.
- Instead of chopping the vegetables for the salsa, you can pulse them in a blender or food processor, use a molcajete, which is a large mortar and pestle.