Taco Tuesday: Carne Asada Tacos

Let’s be honest, any day can be taco day at my house. I will wrap anything in a tortilla, throw some salsa on it and call it a taco!

When you start with great ingredients you really don’t need to do much to make them shine. To me that’s especially true when you are working with good quality, local, grass fed meat like the steak in this Carne Asada. I threw together a quick spice rub, let it hang out on the steak for about an hour, and seared it hard and fast in a cast iron pan. Now that’s what I call quick and easy! And delicious!

This steak is great for tacos but would also be awesome as a rice bowl or sliced up on a tostada or with some crispy potatoes with a fried egg on top.

Carne Asada Tacos
Serves: 4, Prep time: 1-4 hours, Cook time: under 30 minutes

1 lb. top sirloin steak, trimmed of any access fat
½ teaspoon ancho chile powder
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon onion powder
Kosher salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
Juice of 1 lime
3-4 dashes liquid smoke
Olive oil
Splash of mezcal or tequila
To serve: corn tortillas, smashed avocado, pico de gallo, cotija cheese, crema, lime wedge

Pat both sides of steak dry with a paper towel. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix together chile powder through black pepper. Sprinkle evenly on both sides of steak and rub in a bit. Put steak in a gallon zip top bag, add lemon juice and liquid smoke. Let marinate in the fridge for an hour or up to 4 hours. I wouldn’t do any longer than that because the acid of the lime will start to cook the beef and it will become mushy.

Remove steak from fridge about 30 minutes before cooking to take a little of the chill off.

Heat a large cast iron pan over medium high heat. Add olive oil and heat until it just starts to smoke. Add steak to the pan and cook 3-4 minutes to get a good seer. Flip the steak and cook another 3-4 minutes or until about medium rare. Turn off heat, remove steak to a cutting board and rest for about 5 minutes or so.

After steak has rested, put the pan back on medium heat. Cut the steak into 1-inch pieces and add back to the pan. Deglaze with a splash of mezcal and cook just until liquid has almost completely evaporated. You still want the steak to be pink (medium).

Serve steak in corn tortillas with your favorite taco toppings!

Source: Ruth’s Table, 2021.

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