There’s a little taco shop up the street that Jonny and I hit every now and then to fight over split an order of Carne Asada Fries. Let’s get this straight, there is absolutely nothing about french fries covered in meat, cheese and sour cream that’s good for you. Other than the sheer joy it brings as the first forkful hits your mouth.

For the sake of our arteries, I figure it’s high time to perfect a marinade recipe at home so we can indulge on a somewhat healthier level. I mean, let’s face it, carne asada is one of those things you could eat on an old shoe* and it would taste freaking yum.

*No old shoes were harmed in the development of this recipe.

Although I can’t say the same for a warmed stack of soft corn tortillas…


a sliced and toasted mini baguette…

Carne-Asada-Toastsor a giant pile of fresh tortilla strips…

Carne-Asada-NachosNot to mention quite a few fresh avocados and grape tomatoes.

Carne Asada
(makes 4 – 6 servings)
2 lbs flank steak (one large steak cut in half)
1 cup beer (I actually used this seasonal Agave Nectar Ale from Blue Moon and it was pretty fantastic)
2 limes, juiced
2 lemons, juiced
1 orange, juiced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and quartered
1 red onion, chopped
1 jalapeño, sliced and seeded
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
salt & freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup additional beer
1 tbsp light brown sugar

To make the marinade, add all ingredients up to the salt & pepper in a large glass (or other non-reactive) bowl and whisk to combine. Lay the flank steak in a large, flat glass baking dish and pour the marinade over the top…

Carne-Asada-MarinadeCover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 – 6 hours (or overnight). When you’re ready to cook the meat, preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Remove the steak from the dish and pour the marinade through a fine mesh sieve into a heavy saucepan. Toss out the onion/garlic/pepper chunks. Add the additional 1/2 cup of beer to the marinade and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook to reduce to around half the original amount of sauce (around 20 minutes), remove from heat and whisk in the brown sugar. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

While the sauce is reducing, place the meat on the preheated grill and cook 5 – 7 minutes on each side for medium-rare doneness (7 – 10 minutes for medium.) Remove the steak from the grill, cover with foil and allow to rest for 5 – 10 minutes.

To serve, slice the steak in thin strips against the grain, then chop into bite-sized cubes. Place the cubed steak in a glass bowl and pour the reduced sauce over the top. Toss to coat.

I still can’t decide which vessel of carne asada delivery was my favorite. First night classic tacos, second day fancy little french bread toasts with fresh avocado, diced tomatoes and Cotija cheese, or the third morning giant pile of nachos.

All options probably way better than on an old shoe.