With Carne Asada street tacos - it's all about the meat.
Usually when I make this for family & friends, they're begging for more LOL!
But before I begin, a little history …
Having been born in 1955 and raised in Southern California, there was no end to authentic Mexican food. Key word, being authentic.
And, having been to Mexico quite a few times during that time, I knew it was a whole different world between what I would consider ‘real’ Mexican tacos and ‘Americanized’ tacos. (As in NOT Taco Bell)
Anyway, having moved to Washington State (where there is a severe lack of any edible Mexican food) I soon realized that if I wanted awesomely tasty tacos, as I was used to, I was going to have to make them myself.
Thus began the journey and many, many experiments. I think I finally got it.
Now, before I get into all the ‘how and to’ of this recipe, I can’t emphasize enough, the importance of the meat.
Since real ‘street’ tacos are lacking of the usual 80% of ‘Americanized’ taco garnishment, the whole deal is in the flavor of the meat.
In other words, it’s all about the meat.
I’ve tried many types of meat, and, as others have beat me over the head with, the best meat to use is Skirt steak.
It is hands down, the best to use.
Now, that being said, you can also use flank steak. Flank has the same flavor and tenderness, but isn’t quite as marbleized as Skirt.
Plus you have to slice it up somewhat, first. Flank steak is a close 2nd, but use Skirt if you can get it.
Here in WA. State, Skirt steak can be hard to find, and certainly isn’t cheap.
(NOTE) Avoid the pre-packaged (and labeled as such) “Carne Asada” meat at Costco.
I have no idea what this cut of meat is, and to be fair, I have tried it on three different occasions. It always turned out like shoe leather.
Rockin Robin Makes Bruce's Street Tacos
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INGREDIENTS For Street Tacos:
Meat (About 3 lbs) Orange juice One large white onion Cilantro Lime juice Ground Cumin seed Garlic Salt Pepper White corn tortillas
This marinade is what’s going to ‘make’ these tacos. It gives them the authentic ‘street’ taco flavor without adding globs of other things:
3-4 cups of orange juice (Enough to fully cover the meat in a freezer bag.
1 tablespoon of lime juice
1 tablespoon of ground cumin seed
1 tablespoon of minced garlic (Fresh is always best, but sometimes I use the stuff that comes in a jar)
1 tablespoon of finely chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Put marinade in a large freezer bag, along with the meat and get enough air out of the bag so the meat is completely in the marinade.
Now, so far as time, I’ve sometimes only marinated the meat for a few hours. Mostly though, I like to let it sit in the refrigerator for two days.
I’ve read that the citric acids break down the meat, and it does seem to be more tender the longer you let it sit.
There is nothing more than white onion and cilantro. Dice up a whole onion and mix in ¼ cup of chopped cilantro.
COOKING THE MEAT:
The only way to go on this is BBQ. Sear the meat on both sides and turn over regularly.
Skirt steak is sliced pretty thin, so it doesn’t take long to cook. Usually, you’ll want to cook till about medium done.
You may like you meat cooked a little more, and that’s fine because after cooking, it does take awhile to chop up the meat (Into fingernail sized pieces) and the meat cools down.
Re-heating the meat, after it’s all chopped, in the microwave cooks it just a tad more. After all, who wants tacos with cold meat?
White corn tortillas (In my humble opinion) are the best for tacos.
There are many ways to heat up tortillas and everyone has their favorite. But for what it’s worth, this is how I do mine.
Tear off two paper towels and fold. Wet the paper towels. Wring enough water out of them so they’re wet, but not dripping wet.
Wrap 4 tortillas up in the paper towels and heat in the microwave (high) for one minute.
They’ll come out hot, moist and very flexible. I use two tortillas per taco, so you’re getting two tacos out of this. Re-wet the towels between tortillas.
So, you’ve got your tortillas all set, just add meat and topping and prepare yourself for some awesomely authentic "Street" tacos! Enjoy!!
Rockin Robin, I made your rice again last night and my wife still can't get over how good it is! There is a picture of it at the top. Thanks.