Tender and flavorful, this mexican grilled steak recipe can be enjoyed as a stand alone dish or used as delicious filling for tacos, burritos and enchiladas. Top your carne asada with chimichurri — a vibrant sauce packed with fresh herbs and garlic!
When we order dinner at Mexican restaurants in Nebraska, Brittney always goes for the carne asada, regardless of what else is on the menu. It’s definitely understandable! After all, it’s hard to beat a tender and juicy steak fresh off the grill and served with rice, beans, and salsa! Of course it also helps that Nebraska has the best beef that the US has to offer. Now that it’s grilling season, I had the perfect opportunity to make these marinated grilled steaks bursting with flavor at home!
You could probably use almost any beef cut to make carne asada, but I recommend going for a thin and tender cut. Cuts such as flank, skirt and flat iron all work really well! I generally like to use cuts of meat that are as thin as ⅓ inch (8 mm). If you can only find cuts that are on the thicker side, you can butterfly them to the desired thickness. For detailed instructions on butterflying meat, check out this jaegerschnitzel recipe!
carne asada marinade
To give the carne asada its rich flavor, the steak is first marinated in a mixture of beer, orange juice, soy sauce and garlic. Beer provides for a deeper and more complex taste and the orange juice gives the steak some citrusy freshness! When using beer in marinades, I prefer to use light beers that aren’t too bitter, as the bitterness can get more intense during cooking. I generally go for lagers or wheat beers for this carne asada marinade. If you’re unsure about the bitterness of a certain beer, look for an IBU score (bitterness scale) on the packaging. The beer that I used for this marinade had and IBU of 14.
As this marinade has a lot of orange juice I would not recommend marinating the steaks for much longer than an hour. Acidity in citrus-rich marinades will start cooking the meat over time and you’ll end up getting an unpleasantly mushy texture.
If you haven’t yet tried chimichurri then let’s fix that! This sauce, widespread in Argentina and Uruguay, is an absolute treat on grilled meats and a whole lot of other dishes! It’s made with parsley and other herbs, such as cilantro and oregano, yielding a fresh and vibrant flavor. With the addition of garlic and red pepper flakes, you’ll also get a little heat — feel free to adjust to taste!
- flat iron steak 1 lb (500 g)
- orange juice 1 c (250 ml)
- light beer ¼ c (60 ml)
- soy sauce 2 tbsp
- vegetable oil 2 tbsp
- garlic 5 cloves
- parsley ½ bunch
- cilantro ½ bunch
- garlic 3 cloves
- olive oil ⅓ c (80 ml)
- red wine vinegar ¼ c (60 ml)
- salt 1 tsp
- red pepper flakes 1 tsp
- - radish
- - lime
- - tortillas
- Start by preparing the marinade. Mince the garlic and mix it with the orange juice, beer, soy sauce and vegetable oil.
- Place the steak in a shallow bowl or a bag. Pour the marinade over the meat. Leave in the fridge to marinate for 40 to 60 minutes.
- Prepare the chimichurri. Finely chop the parsley and cilantro and mince the garlic. Mix together in a jar or bowl. Add salt and red pepper flakes to taste. Pour in the olive oil and red wine vinegar and mix well. Alternatively, add all ingredients, except for the garlic and red pepper flakes to food processor and blend until smooth. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes. Store in the refrigerator.
- Heat up the grill. Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel. Grill on high, about 2-3 minutes per side.*
- Remove from the grill and let rest for about 5 minutes before cutting into strips.
- cooking: if you don't have a grill, you can sear the steaks on the stove