Carne Asada and Guacamole
Let's make carne asada! Plus, bonus guacamole to go with it. You'll need to buy skirt steak, and only skirt steak, no other meat will do. You may need to call your local grocery store to see if they carry it, or visit an honest to goodness meat market. Do NOT get flank steak!
- A grill
- 1 lb skirt steak
- sea or kosher salt
- fresh peppercorns + grinder
- 1 large lime
- olive oil
- cheap Mexican beer
- good beer for you to drink
cutting board a large knife container for marinating the meat
Chop your garlic and cilantro. We're also making guacamole, where we'll also use garlic and cilantro, so chop extra.
Make sure you're drinking your beer!
Now add add a few cloves of garlic, a few tablespoons of cilantro, a splash of olive oil, the juice from half a lime, salt and pepper, and your Mexican beer to the meat. Rub it all into the meat (don't poke) and let it marinate in the fridge for about 6 hours.
Now we make guacamole. You'll now need 1 nice, large ripe avocado, cumin, coriander, chili powder, red pepper flakes, 1 good tomato, a shallot (optional), habanero sauce (also optional), and a serrano pepper which is not pictured. I prefer heirloom tomatoes, they're very expensive but infinitely better than typical tomatoes and have much more meat and a much much better flavor.
Look for avocados that are large, heavy for their size, free of blemishes and ever-so-slightly soft to the touch. To cut, slice in half around the pit, then WHACK a large heavy knife into the pit. Twist the pit and it will pop out on the knife.
Slice through the avocado lengthwise then widthwise, and you'll get nice cubes that come out very easily.
Peel, seed and chop about half a tomato. To peel, score the skin, blanche in hot water and then dunk in cold water. The peel comes off easily, but it also comes off easily on good, ripe tomatoes. Then cut in half and scoop the seeds out with your finger. Now you have lovely tomato meat without skin and without watery seeds!
Finely chop your tomato and shallot, and mince the hell out of about 1 clove of garlic. Also seed, remove the ribs and finely chop your serrano pepper (not shown). I highly suggest wearing gloves when chopping hot peppers, especially if you wear contacts as soap and water cannot and will not remove the capsaicin and you will burn the hell out of your eye. I am speaking from personal experience, unfortunately.
Mush up your avocado so it's pretty smooth, but leave some chunks. Now, add everything else: shallot, garlic, cilantro, juice of 1/2 lime, tomato, red pepper flakes to taste, serrano to taste (1/4 for mild, 1 for quite spicy), chili powder (about 1/2 tsp), coriander (a pinch), cumin (about 1/2 tsp), salt, pepper, and a dash of hot sauce.
Now cover it up and refrigerate it to let the flavors meld until you take out the carne asada to grill. Guacamole tastes best when it's cool, but not refrigerator cold. To prevent browning, put plastic wrap in contact with the guacamole. The browning is caused by oxidation, so cut out the access to oxygen, and viola, green guacamole! Putting in the pit to prevent oxidation is an old wives tale.
6 hours later, take out the marinated carne asada. Let it come to room temp for 20-30 minutes before grilling. During this time, heat up the grill. You'll want to cook quickly and directly on the hottest setting, or on some hot hot coals.
Done! It should be still a little pink in the middle, but charred and crispy on the very ends. Cover with foil and let rest for 5-10 minutes so the meat can reabsorb its juices.
Slice AGAINST THE GRAIN (this is very very important) into thin strips and serve with tortillas, your tasty guacamole, and whatever else you like (lime, cilantro, sour cream, salsa, etc.)