Cinco de Mayo is next week and if you are looking for a fun and interactive main course to serve, you can’t go wrong with the Carne Asada Tacos! They are flavorful, filling and fun to eat!
They are also the perfect little nibble to follow my Veggie Quesadillas and Homemade Guacamole appetizer.
What Exactly Is Carne Asada?
Carne Asada is a Spanish term used to describe grilled beef. It can be sirloin, tenderloin or flank steak. It’s usually seared on a grill and then sliced very thin. This makes it a great option for filling tacos!
STEP#1: Make The Carne Asada Marinade
For this recipe I like to use flank steak. Since flank steak is an affordable cut of beef it’s perfect for feeding a crowd. But it’s also a tougher cut of beef, so it’s best to tenderize it by allowing it to marinate overnight in orange juice, vinegar, garlic and spices. This will make it tender and juicy and easy to slice.
The secret to a flavorful carne asada marinade is the spice blend. I like to use a combination of ground cumin, smoked paprika, ground coriander and dried oregano. I think this gives the beef the perfect combination of a smokey, rich flavor with a lot of depth.
WATCH MY CARNE ASADA TACO RECIPE VIDEO BELOW!
Once the marinade is made it’s best to place each piece of flank steak in their own casserole dish and pour the marinade over it. This will allow each piece to soak up as much marinade as possible and not be crowded by the other.
Cover and refrigerate the beef until ready to grill. I find this is best done the day before to allow the beef to marinate for at least 24 hours. But if you are short on time, you could also get away with a minimum of 4 hours.
STEP#2: Grill The Flank Steak
Before grilling the steak remove it from the marinade and pat dry with a paper towel. Otherwise, when you grill the beef it will steam up instead of sear.
Grill the steak on a BBQ or an indoor grill pan on medium-high heat for 7-8 minutes on each side for medium rare.
Then allow the steak to rest for at least 15-minutes on a cutting board. This will lock in the juices and make it easier to slice as well.
STEP#3: Make the Relish
I like to serve these carne asada tacos with a flavorful relish on top. It provides a nice freshness and crunch and also looks beautiful too. You can prepare the relish while your steak is resting.
The relish is a simple combination of diced onion, radish, lime juice and fresh cilantro. Mix it all together and that’s it!
STEP#4: Grill the Tortillas
For me the mark of a great taco is a grilled tortilla. I love to use the corn wheat tacos by La Tortilla Factory. They provide the flavor of a corn tortilla, but with the chewiness of flour tortilla.
It’s truly the best of both worlds. They also hold up better to the weight of the carne asada filling and relish filling. Grill each tortilla for a minute or so on each side and then set aside.
STEP#5: Assemble the Tacos
Next, thinly slice the steak against the grain. Slicing against the grain creates tender slices of beef that will also make your tacos easier to fill. If you slice “with the grain” you’ll end up with chewy pieces of beef that are so tough they’ll be practically impossible to chew!
Place a few slices of beef on each tortilla.
Then top each taco with the relish, being careful not to overfill it. A little goes a long way and you’ll want to make sure you’ll be able to fold them up slightly to serve them.
I think the easiest way to serve these tacos to a crowd is to take a large platter and place a small bowl in the center. You can fill the bowl with extra cilantro and lime wedges.
Then slightly fold each taco and create a display of tacos all around the platter, using each taco to steady the next taco. It gets easier once you have a few tacos on the platter.
The result is such a pretty display that’s so easy to do and helps guests grab a taco easily if serving themselves from a buffet line.
What Goes with Carne Asada?
Personally, I think any kind of corn salad goes great with these carne asada tacos!
And for dessert? You can’t go wrong with my Churro Sundaes!
Please let me know if you make this Carne Asada Taco Recipe recipe by leaving a rating and review below!
- 3 lbs of flap meat or flank steak
- 1 cup red wine vinegar
- ¾ cup fresh orange juice
- ¼ cup Worcestershire Sauce
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- freshly cracked pepper
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, mashed
Onion Radish Topping:
- 1 ½ cups white onion, diced
- 1 lime, zest and juice
- 4 radishes, diced
- 2 tbsp cilantro
- Corn Tortillas
- Whisk together the marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Place the meat in 2 shallow 13 x 9 casserole dishes so they can be single layer. Pour half the marinade in one casserole dish and the other half in the other casserole dish. Cover and refrigerate overnight or a minimum of 4 hours. But overnight is even better!
- To serve whisk together the onion and radish topping. Set aside.
- Heat a stove top grill pan or a barbecue to medium high. Be sure grill is greased. Wipe off marinade from meat and blot with paper towels so no moisture remains and meat is as dry as can be. You’ll get a better sear this wear.
- Grill meat on each side about 7-8 minutes for medium rare. Remove meat from grill and allow to rest for 15 mins. This will preserve the juiciness.
- Meanwhile grill the tortillas on each side.
- Slice meat int0 very thin slices, across the grain, this will make the meat tender.
- Fill each tortilla with a few slices of meat, top with relish and serve with a variety of hot sauces on the side.