A blend of chiles, garlic, oil and orange juice marinate this skirt steak only after it’s been soaked in beer first. A quick sear on a scorching hot grill and it get nestled in a grilled tortilla with all the fixings like crumbled Cotija cheese, lime and cilantro. Mojo Carne Asada Tacos, your next dinner BBQ with friends and family.
We had some friends over the other evening and little did I know that the marinade I’ve concocted over the years is called a mojo. A friend was helping me in the kitchen and I asked him to grab the marinated carne asada from the refrigerator. He asked what special sauce the skirt steak was marinating in and I told him a citrus, pepper, garlic and spice blend. I told him I marinated the steak first in beer then the secret sauce. He told me about mojo.
Who knew? I learn something new everyday. Keeps you sharp.
A mojo is a sauce that originated from the Canary Islands and is basically a sauce made from oil, garlic, peppers (from wherever you are) and spices like cumin, coriander and paprika. As people traversed to the Caribbean, Cuba and the South it developed various flavors and recipes where the acid changed from sour orange, to lime to lemon and vinegars.
Be careful with marinating though. If you marinate it too long the acid in the marinade will start working against you, turning the meat a bit on the mushy side, so I don’t marinate for anything longer than 12 hours tops. So you can easily blend this up and marinate the steak overnight and grill the next day. I enjoy the initial marinade in the beer for the flavor it imparts.
Skirt steak is always my first pick for carne asada, but flank steak works beautifully as well. Thinly sliced against the grain and this is just the most tender, tasty carne asada.
- 1 lb skirt steak, or flank
- 1 Corona beer
- 1 orange
- 1 Serrano pepper, sliced, no seeds
- 4 guajillo chiles soaked (reserve ½ cup liquid from peppers)
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 12 corn tortillas
- refried beans
- Cotija cheese, crumbled
- 2 limes, quartered
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped, lightly packed
- Marinate the steak in Corona beer for two hours, covered, in the refrigerator. Soak the guajillo peppers in hot water, covered, for 5 minutes or until soft.
- Juice the orange. In a blender purée the orange juice, Serrano pepper, soaked guajillo chilies and ½ cup liquid from peppers, garlic, cumin, onion powder, salt and olive oil.
- Marinate 3 hours covered, in the refrigerator.
- Start your grill. Use the highest heat possible. I mean smoking, blistering, searingly hot. Grill 3 minutes per side for the skirt and 5 for the flank (depending on the thickness and your liking. Remove from heat, allow to rest for 5 minutes.
- While meat is resting, grill the tortillas on each side until slightly charred. Slice carne asada thin across the grain and serve with refried beans spread on grilled tortillas. Top with crumbled cotija cheese and cilantro with a squeeze of lime.