Carne Asada Steak Tacos

Carne Asada Steak Tacos (or whatever else you'd like to make!)


  • 3 guajillo chiles
  • 3 ancho chiles
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • about 1/2 cup fresh orange juice (from two oranges or the equivalent of orange-like fruit; Cuties are very good in this)
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 4 limes)
  • 1, 2 or 3 or more whole chipotle peppers from a can of chipotles peppers in adobo
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt (divided)
  • 1 to 2 pounds skirt steak (2 to 3 whole skirt steaks), trimmed and cut with the grain into 5- to 6-inch lengths or one or two large New York Strips. Make enough to serve your family and have leftovers, if desired
  • Warm corn or flour tortillas, Pico de Gallo, lime wedges, fresh cilantro, and avocado, for serving


Toast the chiles, cumin & coriander in a hot skillet.

  • First toast the Guajillo & Ancho chiles until fragrant & puffed, turning often. Remove & when cool enough remove the stems & seeds. Place in a small bowl, fill with boiling water & top with a heavy object (bowl or plate) hold the chiles submerged in the water. Leave until soft & pliable, about 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Next, in the still-hot pan, briefly toast the cumin seeds & the coriander, shaking the pan often, until just fragrant. Remove from the pan immediately and set aside.

Make the marinade/salsa:

To the jar of a blender, add the soaked chiles, the cumin & coriander seeds, orange juice, lime juice, one or two (or more) chipotle peppers, garlic, sugar, apple cider vinegar, olive oil,  Worcestershire sauce & one teaspoon of salt. Blend until smooth. Taste & adjust seasonings. Makes about 2 cups.

Divide the marinade/salsa. Place 1 1/4 cup into a small bowl to serve as a salsa for the finished dish and refrigerate. Add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt to the remaining 3/4 cup of marinade/salsa and place in a gallon Ziploc bag. (Yes it will be very salty but that’s what you want for the marinade.) Add the steak and massage to coat with marinade. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to overnight.

When ready to cook, remove the reserved salsa from the fridge so it comes to room temperature by serving time.

Prepare the grill:

  • For a charcoal grill: light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes.
  • For a gas grill: Set half the burners on a gas grill to the highest heat setting, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate.

Remove steaks from the Ziploc and wipe off any excess marinade. Place directly over the hot side of the grill. If using gas, cover; if using a charcoal grill, leave open. Cook, turning occasionally until steak is well charred on the outside and center registers 110°F on an instant-read thermometer, several minutes total.

Rest meat several minutes. Slice thinly against the grain and at an angle and serve, passing the salsa, lime wedges, avocado, Pico de Gallo, cilantro, and tortillas on the side.

Keywords: Bargain Meal of the Week, Beef, Chipotle, Frugal Hausfrau, harissa, Hot Peppers, J. Kenji López-Alt, Lime, Mexican or Southwestern, New York Strip, rick bayless, serious eats, Steak, steak tacos, Tacos, Vinegar

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