Saturday, September 28, 2013

Carne Asada

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...School is out and Father's Day is just around the corner. That means that like it or not, ready or not, barbecue season is officially here and it's time to fire up the grill. I have a recipe for a steak that's so consistently good, and so easy to make, that the line that separates one made by a rank amateur from that of seasoned grill master is hard to distinguish. While I've changed it a bit, the original recipe, called Carne Asada Brava, was developed by Rick Baylis for his book and television show, "Mexico One Plate at a Time." This is an almost fool-proof dish. Two cautions. The steak needs an hour to marinate and you'll want to make sure your pan or grill is screaming hot when the steak first hits the surface. Ribeye steaks were originally used to make the dish. I use one or two flatiron steaks in the version I make for my family. Try to find a local source for flatiron steaks. They are wonderful for grilling and are still inexpensive. High restaurant demand makes them difficult to find in some areas, but these flavorful and fork tender steaks are worth seeking out. I promise you won't be sorry. You can find information about the steaks here. The recipe calls for pan roasted garlic and jalapeno chiles and the aroma they exude as they blacken and bubble is quite amazing. Served with or without tortillas, I think you'll love this one. Here's the recipe.

Carne Asada...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, courtesy of Rick Baylis



6 large garlic cloves, unpeeled

2 fresh jalapeno chiles, stemmed

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the steaks

1-1/2 teaspoons salt or salt to taste


2 pounds flatiron steak or 6 1-inch thick ribeye steaks


1) To make marinade: Roast unpeeled garlic and chiles over medium heat in a small ungreased skillet, turning occasionally, until both are soft and blackened in places. Chiles will be ready in 5 to 10 minutes. Garlic will require about 10 to 15 minutes. Cool. Peel garlic and place in jar of a blender or food processor along with chiles, lime juice and oil. Process until mixture is as smooth as possible. Add salt. Place marinade in a dish large enough to hold steaks. Smear mixture over both sides of steaks, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2) To grill steaks: Preheat a gas grill or heat a grill pan over high heat. Scrape off marinade and spray or brush both sides of steak with oil. Place steaks on grate or in grill pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes without moving steaks. Turn steaks and cook until medium rare, about 2 to 3 minutes longer. Remove pan from heat. Tent with foil and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Slice steak and serve with fresh salsa or a hot sauce. Yield: 6 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes:

North African Steak Pimenton with Harissa Sauce - One Perfect Bite

Asian-Style London Broil - One Perfect Bite

Stuffed Flank Steak Spirals - One Perfect Bite

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