Carne Asada prepared with a deliciously easy and authentic marinade just in time for your Cinco De Mayo menu planning!
Juicy, tender grilled flank or skirt steak full of incredible Mexican flavours makes this homemade Carne Asada recipe better than any restaurant! Perfect for stuffing tacos, burritos, salads, nachos…or serve it with Avocado slices and the best Pico De Gallo!
Authentic Carne Asada Marinade
The most crucial thing about a good Carne Asada is the marinade. A really good marinade not only tenderises your meat but adds incredible flavour with every bite. Most carne asada marinades on the inter-webs call for so many ingredients, but we find a simple marinade yields the best result. You want the flavour of your beef to shine through, right? YES.
Our citrusy/garlicky marinade is so easy and full of ingredients you quite possibly already have in your kitchen. We marinate ours for a good 2-3 hours before cooking, but for the BEST and most flavourful result, marinate your steak overnight! You will go crazy for the melt-like-butter results.
- Lime juice — freshly squeezed, please!
- Garlic — minced or crushed.
- Ground cumin
- Dried oregano
That’s IT! Nothing complicated, and possibly the best combination to soak into your beef!
Best cut of beef for Carne Asada
In Central and South America, we call pretty much any barbecued or grilled meat asado (or carne asada). The BEST cuts for the Mexican version of the dish we all know and love are either skirt steak or flank steak. Personally, I prefer skirt steak (pictured). It’s more tender and flavourful than flank and can be cooked well done (for those who prefer well) without getting tough and chewy. Flank steak is a leaner cut and is better cooked rare — medium.
Barbecue, grill or skillet!
Yes, I said it! Although Asado is always barbecued in our part of the world, we also cheat sometimes and use grill pans or well-seasoned cast iron skillets over stove top! Make sure you heat your pan/skillet over high heat, get it smoking hot, then add your meat to sear first (you will need to turn the vent on to reduce the amount of smoke about to hit your kitchen)! Then, lower the heat to finish cooking.
As pictured above, the best direction to slice your steak is against the grain — meaning through the lines you see on top of the steak.
Looking for more Mexican recipes? Try these!
Carne Asada Recipe
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (about 3 limes)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1 pound (500g) skirt or flank steak*
- Whisk all of the ingredients together in a large shallow bowl or plastic container. Add the meat, rotating to evenly coat, and cover with plastic wrap (or lid if using container).
- Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
- Heat barbecue (or grill) on high heat. Note that lean flank steak is best cooked rare, while skirt steak can be cooked well without losing moisture or flavor because it has more fat marbling.Remove the flank steak from the marinade, and discard excess marinade. Grill for 5-7 minutes per side, or until desired doneness is reached.
- Transfer to a plate and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.
- To serve, slice against the grain into thin strips.