Mexican Food is a favorite at our house! And at the top of the Mexican Food favorites is Carne Asade tacos! Easy Carne Asada Tacos with delicious juicy marinated meat, in a lightly grilled corn tortilla, topped with onions, cilantro and some fresh squeezed lime juice are the best street tacos! It is simple, fresh but so tasty!
The Meat and Marinade
The meat is definitely what can make or break Easy Carne Asada Tacos! The Butcher Man always has the best meat for me and for this Carne Asada I use Sirloin Flap Meat. Traditionally Carne Asada is made using Flank Steak, Skirt Steak or Sirloin Flap Meat (you can even use thin sliced brisket). The Butcher Man will tell you that Sirloin Flap Meat has better flavor and the cost is usually pretty close to Flank Steak. Give it a try….I think you will love it!
The marinade is a pretty basic marinade. I use canola oil (Olive Oil works too but for some reason I can’t really stand the residual taste of Olive Oil and with Canola Oil there is no residual flavor…but use whichever you like best), fresh squeezed lime juice and orange juice and cider vinegar for the acid that you need in a marinade. Then I use brown sugar to give it a bit of sweetness, some seasonings with some fresh jalapeño and cilantro and green onions. I blend it up in my blender, rub it on the meat, place the meat and any leftover marinade in a zip top bag or plastic or glass dish. It is left to marinate overnight in the fridge.
Remember that when marinating beef, especially cuts like Carne Asada, the marinade is only for a surface/just below the surface application. The marinade will not seep through all the fibers of the meat reaching the center. You need a good marinade to flavor the outside of the meat and a good cut of meat and you will still end up with an amazingly seasoned Carne Asada. Another option, if you are worried about the meat soaking up enough of the marinade flavor, is to cut the beef into smaller pieces (cut against the grain) so the marinade reaches more of the surface on each piece, giving it a stronger flavor.
After my meat has marinated overnight, I remove it from the zip top bag/dish and I wipe off any excess marinade (a paper towel works great for this). Make sure to get the bigger pieces of herbs and seasonings off of the meat so they don’t burn/char on the outside of the meat on the grill. I then lightly season the meat with a season salt or salt and pepper (lightly) on both sides.
Grilling the Carne Asada Meat
Onto the grill it goes for a fast grill on each side. I grill mine over medium heat. Carne Asada is typically cooked pretty fast so it is still a bit pink in the center and so it doesn’t get tough. But you can cook it as long as you like. I grill mine for about 8 to 10 minutes on each side. I take mine off usually when it reaches an internal temperature around 140 degrees. You can see in the pics below that mine has the perfect amount of pink in the center.
Cutting the Meat (yes, it it matters)
After it is cooked to your liking remove it from the grill let it rest for about 10 minutes and slice it against the grain. Against the grain means you going opposite of the fibers in the meat. I cut my long strips of meat into smaller pieces for tacos (there is no right or wrong, cut them as thin, or thick and as small as you like). The Butcher Man always tells me to slice it thinner…ha! So you can take his advice and slice it thinner!
Serving the Carne Asada Tacos
Carne Asada can be enjoyed on it’s own or can be served in a lightly grilled corn tortilla and topped with fresh toppings like cilantro and onion and some fresh squeezed lime juice (this is a typical carne asada taco). You can also add some shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole and salsa or anything you wish! Easy Carne Asada Tacos are always a hit for game days and for potlucks, BBQs and picnics.
Try this Carne Asada meat in burritos, enchiladas or on nachos!
Hope you enjoy!
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Delicious Carne Asada
- 2-2 1/2 lbs. Sirloin Flap Meat, trimmed have your local butcher trim if for you
- 1/4 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/4 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce, low sodium
- 3 tbsp canola oil olive oil works great too
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 4 tsp minced garlic
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp ground oregano
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 medium to large jalapeno, rough chopped, seeds removed
- 1 bunch cilantro, rinsed and stems cut off the bottom some stems left are just fine
- 1/2 bunch green onions, rinsed, roots removed, chopped to the top
For Carne Asada Tacos
- Corn Tortillas, or flour lightly grilled
- Cilantro, chopped
- White onion, chopped
- Lime juice, fresh squeezed
- Any other toppings you may like: shredded cheese, sour cream, gaucamole, salsa, lettuce, tomato
Seasoning the meat after Marinating
- Season Salt or Salt and Pepper for a light seasoning after the meat marinades, right before grilling
Carne Asada Marinade
- Mix the juices, oil, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar and spices toghether and whisk/mix well.
- Rough chop your jalapeno (if you leave the seeds the marinade will have more heat), cilantro and green onions.
- Add the wet mixture with seasonings to a blender or food processor and then add the fresh chopped jalapeno, cilantro and green onions.
- Blend until full incorporated and blended to a smooth sauce.
- Take your trimmed Sirloin Flap Meat and rub the mariande all over both sides, massaging into the meat.
- Place meat in a zip top bag or plastic or glass container. Pour any remaining marinade in with it. Refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours in the fridge. Check on it half way through and flip the meat over so it can be evenly marinated.
Grilling the Meat
- Heat your grill to medium heat.
- Remove your Sirloin Flap Meat from the marinade. Using paper towels wipe off any excess marinade the best you can. Then lightly season both sides of the meat with Season Salt or salt and pepper. Discard the marinade.
- Place the meat on the grill and grill for 8-10 minutes per side. A pink center is the best for Carne Asada, but grill to your liking. I usually let mine reach an internal temperature of 140 degrees in the thickest part of the meat.
- Remove from the grill when done, tent with foil, and let rest for a 10 minutes.
- Slice the meat against the grain and enjoy!
- You can eat the meat by itself or eat it as tacos (street tacos). We serve ours in a corn tortilla with cilantro, onions and fresh squeezed lime juice, but you can add any toppings you wish.