Carne Asada

Missing Mexico right about now, so these Carne Asada tacos were just perfect!

Carne Asada 4

Carne Asada is one of those quintessential Mexican dishes …. pretty simple really, meat and a tortilla shell.  Make it exceptional by adding pickled onions and a fresh pico de gallo, and I promise – everything will look bright and cheerful!

Ingredients

  • 2 limes juiced
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 jalapeno minced
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 pounds flank or skirt steak

Instructions

  • In a large resealable bag, combine lime juice, crushed garlic, orange juice, cilantro, salt, pepper, vegetable oil, jalapeno, and vinegar. Squeeze it around to mix it up.
  • Put the entire flank steak into the resealable bag. Seal it up tight. Make sure all the meat is exposed to the marinade, squishing the bag around to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  • Heat an outdoor grill to high heat.
  • Remove the flank steak from the marinade, and discard excess marinade. Cook on the grill for 7 to 10 minutes per side.
  • Once done, remove from heat and let rest 10 minutes. Slice against the grain, and serve.

We love to serve this with fresh, homemade flour tortillas (my flour tortilla game is way stronger than my corn tortilla game ….. so far)

Carne Asada

You won’t believe it, but the rib eye steak was on sale, not the flank …. so that is what I used.  It was incredible.  All the citrus shows up in the marinade, and you can still taste it in the grilled steak, but it doesn’t overpower the meat.

Carne Asada 1

Grilled to perfection, moist and juicy inside – this steak is the best bite.  Just hope some gets to the table for the tortillas.

Carne Asada 2

Just look at how moist that steak looks.  Yum.

carne Asada 3

Place it all out on the table, and let the family make their own plates.  Smiles all around!

 

The “stay at home chef” adapted this recipe from one of my favourite chefs – Rick Bayless.  This is so easy to do at home and gives you the flavour you might expect from sitting in a Mexican cantina ….. not only that, it is easy!

Flour Tortillas with bacon fat

Flour tortillas 1

Sunday dinner.  Warm, fresh tortillas. Life is good.

Yes, that’s right.  BACON FAT.  So good, you will wonder why you haven’t done it before.  In Mexico pork is featured in so many ways, all good.  (Ever had carnitas??). Well, these tortillas are so darn good Stella told me that I needed to get them on the blog right away, as this is the 2nd time (in her 6 L O N G years) that she has been instrumental in the whole rolling/cooking process and if a 6 year old can do this – so can you!  Effort vs reward is huge.  Stella gets the rolling going and Sloan (at 9) is in charge of the stove and cooking them.  They both know just when to turn the tortillas with the right amount of bubbling and browning going on.

SO EASY!

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup bacon fat (cold)\
  • 1 cup warm water

Stir flour and salt together, then work in the cold bacon fat with your fingers.  Slowly add the water and work until a cohesive dough forms.  Not sticking together?  Add a bit more water.  Too sticky?  Add a bit more flour …. You get it.  Knead until you have a soft but firm dough – cover and allow to rest for 30-60 minutes.  (or as long as you need it to)

Divide this into 12-14 pieces and roll into balls.  Let sit for a few minutes to allow the dough to rest – this makes it much easier to roll.  (keep covered)

Roll until super thin – and cook on a dry hot skillet.  Every stovetop is different and you may sacrifice the first couple to the frypan, but thats okay, once you realize your perfect temperature you are good to go.

Cook for approximately 1 minute on the first side and you will see bubbles form.  Only flip when you peek underneath and see brown spots appearing.  Flip it over and continue cooking until you get more of those lovely brown spots.  On my stovetop (flat ceramic) I can’t cook it higher than 5 (or medium) otherwise things burn before cooking through but experiment with your own surface.

Keep warm in a covered container as the steaming also helps with the cooking process.

This recipe serves 6.  If you aren’t feeding 6, then just keep the dough in the fridge and pinch off enough to make yourself a couple tortillas a day!

Flour tortillas 3

Stella is 6 and she’s already done this a couple of times, at her insistence this recipe is going on the blog so we all remember it.  Big sister Sloan is making the guacamole in the background before stepping over to the stove to keep the cooking going.

Flour tortillas 4

Just look at those bubbles forming – we all get excited!  (yes, I know, kitchen geeks)

Flour tortillas 2

This is exactly what you are looking for.  Heaven in a wrap.

Tonight we served carne asada with these tortillas, and it was amazing.

Honestly …. you really don’t like pork?  (sorry Meg & Amy). Use store bought lard or shortening.

Tacos al Pastor

When in Mexico, one of our favorite street foods is Tacos al Pastor. We can’t equal the flavour at home without an upright spit to grill it, but this is a close second!

A plate of pork, seasoned with Tacos al Pastor flavours and just waiting for fresh corn tortillas!

A plate of pork, seasoned with Tacos al Pastor flavours and just waiting for fresh corn tortillas!

1-4 lbs pork “butt” or blade roast (just make sure it is a cheaper cut, well marbled)
1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped
2 ancho chiles
2 guajillo chiles
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce
1 Tbsp adobo sauce
5 clove garlic, peeled
A few sprigs of oregano (or 1 tbsp dried oregano)
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
1 large onion, sliced
Slices of pineapple
4 – 6 carrots, peeled and kept whole

1. Put the ancho and guajillo chiles in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and allow the chiles to steep until they are rehydrated, about 30 minutes. Discard the seeds and stems and toss the chiles in a food processor along with the remaining ingredients, except onion.

2. Slice the roast into 3/4inch thick slices, but not all the way through.

3. I usually put on plastic gloves for this part – the marinade REALLY stains …Slather the marinade between each layer until all the meat is covered. Stack the onion and pineapple slices in between the slices of meat. Tie the roast back together. Cover it and allow it to marinade for at least 3 hours or overnight.

4. Preheat oven to 245 °C (475 °F). Put the roast on a row of carrots in the bottom of a roasting pan and add water to the bottom of the pan (this is to keep the drippings from smoking). You can use a meat rack if you want, but those carrots will be incredibly delicious if you use them for a roasting rack! Roast for 30 minutes at this temperature then turn down the heat to 160 °C (300 °F). Roast until the meat is very tender (about 3 hours).

5. After removing the meat from the oven, cover it with foil and let it rest for at least 20 minutes.

6. Pull or shred meat apart

Out of the oven, and ready to rest for 30 minutes or so before shredding.

Out of the oven, and ready to rest for 30 minutes or so before shredding.

Serve with:

fresh corn tortillas
minced white onion
roughly chopped cilantro

Barbacoa (Mexican Beef Tacos)

If you love beef tacos, don’t look any further than this recipe.  We have enjoyed more than our fair share of Mexican street tacos, and these fit right in there.

6-8 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp mexican chili powder

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup cider vinegar

3 chipotle chiles, in adobo sauce

1 tbsp mexican oregano

2 tbsp tomato paste

1/2-3/4 cup chicken stock

Blend all ingredients together in food processor – be sure to taste it and adjust seasonings.  You really want it tangy and full of taste – if you are cooking this the next day put roast in a ziplock bag with the adobo sauce and marinate overnight.

Taste the sauce before putting it over the beef – if necessary you may have to adjust a bit – keep tasting for balance of flavour!

3 pound bone in chuck roast – MAKE SURE YOU USE A CUT WITH SOME FAT RUNNING THROUGH IT – a leaner cut of beef won’t give the same result!

Put roast in the bottom of a slow cooker, and then pour adobo sauce over.  Add enough water to come half way up the roast.  Put lid on and cook on slow for 6 hours.

Remove liquid from cooker and reduce in saucepan until sauce has thickened and is deliciously rich.  Shred beef with two forks.  When liquid has reduced by about half, return liquid to meat.

Serve with fresh tortillas, cole slaw, pickled red onions, and slices of avocado.  You will think you are on the streets of Mexico City!