Carne Asada

"The spices found in the achiote rojo has a very complex and have a deep flavor. Avoid the urge to taste it before diluting it. You will most definitely get the wrong impression of this Mayan mix. If you have trouble finding achiote rojo in your regular market, try a store that caters to the local Hispanics. I direct grill this recipe with a mix of regular charcoal and mesquite charcoal. But it's your choice... you're the chef! Prep time does not include time to marinade."
photo by breezermom photo by breezermom
photo by breezermom
photo by Chef Jeff S photo by Chef Jeff S
Ready In:




  • Break up achiote rojo into a powder, or as best you can as it is a little moist.
  • Mix remaining ingredients except meat into the achiote rojo. Mix well to break up any large pieces of the achiote.
  • Place meat in a container or your choice to marinade in and pour the achiote rojo mixture on and work it into the meat.
  • Cover and marinade for as long as possible. Time DOES NOT indicate marinade time.
  • Get the grill going, pop a beer and get busy. Remember, the wood charcoal is very hot. I get it so my hand can stand the heat test for 2-3 seconds. Closer to 2 seconds, though.
  • Put the meat on the grill. Let the meat get good and charred then turn over. Grill for a few minutes and the meat is almost done. At this point make a foil sack to put the meat in . Push the coals away from one side of the grill, put meat in foil sack so that all the meat is covered. Then just put the meat sack on the side where no coals are. They will finish cooking in their own juices.
  • When done let the meat rest a few minutes. Cut on a bias and roll 'em up in tortillas and salsa of choice.

Questions & Replies

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  1. I followed gepaza's advice when I couldn't find achiote paste, and used the Sazon Goya seasoning....then I marinated for about 7 hours. I used a sirloin roast, about 1 3/4 inches thick and 10 inches long...1 3/4 lbs. Before marinating, I stabbed the steak with a fork so that the marinade would soak into the meat. Cooked as directed, searing it and then moving it to the "cool" side of the grill. My meat was still very tough even after marinating for 7 hours....but there was nothing in the marinade to tenderize the meat, just to flavor it. I enjoyed this on a flour tortilla with some avocado, sauteed onion, and grilled red peppers. Thanks for sharing! Made for PAC Spring 2010.
  2. This is a fantastic recipe! I have been cooking Mexican dishes for a long time, and we have several family long-time favorites, but this one became an instant #1 for us. I would have said that it is impossible to get flank steak so tender, and the flavor is what fajitas would love to have. For those who can't find the achiote rojo paste, look in your store's Latino foods section for Sazon Goya seasonings. They have one based on "culantro y achiote" which is the powdered version of the achiote paste.



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