Honduras - Carne Asada
Oh man, I can say right now, the meat... very flavorful. Marinating overnight in wonderful flavors, yes absolutely yes. I love grilled meats. Grilled chicken, steak, pork, you name it.
However... Grill masters, I need some advice, please! Do you have any tips for a tough flank steak? Maybe the cut was too thick? Or I didn’t marinate long enough 12 hours)? Would love to know any inside secrets on how to go from a tough piece of meat to a tender piece.
I think if I were to eat this again, or whatever I eat of leftovers, I’d probably serve on a plate sans tacos (but who can resist a good corn tortilla?!)... as much as that pains me to say. The tortillas were purchased fresh and warm from Buford Highway Farmers Market. Yummm.
tips from grill master friends
Forget flank steak, try skirt steak. Ask for the inside cut if possible. It’s higher quality meat and has better texture than the outside cut – which is what most grocery stores have on display.
One of the most important things is the raw material. Go to the butcher instead of your standard supermarket. Buy a small cut, which is from a younger animal, which is more tender. Check that the meat has a natural red color. And make sure to cut perpendicular to the muscle fiber. Don’t remove the membrane from the side, and start by cooking with that side facing the fire so that the muscle is not directly exposed to the fire at first. Also, the membrane is good when crunchy. Once that side is cooked, turn it around and cook the other side. PS, no need for tortillas.
I’d recommend marinating for 24 hours!
Use kosher salt, as it has the least salty taste, all over the meat but keep in mind how thick the piece is. Salt makes it more tender and within 12-24 hours, it should do its magic! It makes the meat more tender. Try doing this before you marinade it.
2 pounds flank or skirt steak
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons minced garlic, or half a head
1 jalapeno, minced
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
Radishes, thinly sliced
Lettuce, thinly sliced
Tip: Make sure the steak is a thin piece of steak, or filet it into thin large strips. This will help the meat to absorb more of the marinade and be less tough.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together and whisk all the marinade ingredients. If you are going to just use the mixing bowl, place the steak in the bowl and generously cover the steak with the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. I used a gallon-sized ziplock bag.
Preheat the grill for direct and high heat. And reserve a section of the grill for lower heat to have indirect heat. Take the steak out of the marinade and brush it with oil.
Place the steak over the hot section of the grill and sear it on both sides, for a few minutes each side. You want a nice brown sear with grill marks. No need to cook to well done. When you’ve finished searing on both sides, place on the section of the grill which isn’t quite as hot and cover the grill. You want the meat to cook until it measures 120F for rare, 125F for medium rare. Rare is recommended.
When done, place on a cutting board, and cover it with foil for up to 10 minutes. This is to retain most of the juice. If you try cutting too early, a lot of the juices will flow out.
After 10 minutes, cut the steak into strips AGAINST the grain. If you cut along the grain, it’s very likely the meat will be tough to chew.
Serve on warm tortillas and garnish with your go to ingredients. I used cilantro, freshly squeezed lime juice, avocado and some cotija cheese. Oh yea, and some delicious salsa.
Recipe adapted from Ethnic Foods R Us.
There are also some tips above the recipe section from some grill master friends that I wish I knew before making this.