Carne Asada - the Real Deal

"This recipe has been in my family for many years. Originally, we are from Jalisco, Mexico where this Mexican favorite originated. This is better than anything you'll ever get in a "corporate" mexican restaurant in the U.S. Sorry, El Torito... Prep time does not include marinating time of one hour (min)."
photo by rpgaymer photo by rpgaymer
photo by rpgaymer
photo by JackieOhNo! photo by JackieOhNo!
photo by diner524 photo by diner524
photo by Muffin Goddess photo by Muffin Goddess
Ready In:




  • In a large ziploc bag, place beer, oregano (rub between palms to crush while adding), cumin, orange juice, sugar and garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste, making it a bit on the salty side.
  • Add red pepper flakes and achiote powder, if using. Achiote gives it a nice color and a subtle taste.
  • Zip bag closed and shake or knead to blend all ingredients well.
  • Add flank steak, zip closed and combine to saturate all sides of beef. Refrigerate at least one hour, turning and shaking bag from time to time.
  • Drink rest of beer while meat is marinating.
  • Place meat on hot grill, turning only once, about four minutes per side for medium well.
  • When done to your liking, place meat on cutting board, let rest for a few minutes, then cut into small 1/2 inch pieces.
  • Serve with warm corn and/or flour tortillas, guacamole, salsa and sour cream (or crema fresca). Beans and mexican rice on the side - see my recipe for the rice.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Muffin Goddess
    Due to time constraints, I ended up marinating this for 2 days rather than a few hours, but the meat was so tender and flavorful! I used mostly flap meat in this, but I tossed in about 3/4 lb skirt steak as well (trying to use up leftover meat). Carne asada is a Saturday night staple at my house, per DH's request, so he was pleasantly surprised when I offered him this marinated version instead of simple skirt steak with salt and lime. I served this with fresh guacamole, refried pintos, hot salsa, pickled jalapenos and corn tortillas. This was especially good because DH likes his meats well done, which can dry them out -- he kept commenting on how juicy this was. Thanks for posting! Made for PAC Spring 2012
  2. rpgaymer
    I was only able to marinate this for about 3 hours, but the meat still ended up being the most tender flank steak that I've ever made. It was a bit less flavorful than I'm used to, but I'm sure marinating the meat overnight would fix that. I'll do that next time- thanks for sharing this great recipe!
  3. diner524
    I just loved this marinade for my skirt steak!!! Just so flavorful and tender!!! I bought a skirt steak that had been folded (in package), so looked a lot thicker then it was, and DH over cooked it!! But it still was so delicious with that marinade. Served it with rice pilaf and green beans and garlic bread for a wonderful meal!! Thanks for sharing a wonderful recipe. Made for ZWT8.
  4. JackieOhNo!
    Wonderful, flavorful steak that was so easy to put together. I made the marinade as posted, using the achiote powder and the red pepper flakes. I really didn't notice the red pepper, but I think the achiote really gives this an added "something". I let this marinate for 5 hours or so. I used flank steak, as it's hard to find flap meat here. I will definitely make this again, and even find other uses for the marinade. Delicious! Made for ZWT 8.
  5. Steph.
    This recipe is sooooo easy and sooooo good. I only marinated the meat for about one hour and it was very flavorful. I'll bet a longer soak would be even better. Served with avocado, chopped cabbage and sauteed white onion with anaheim chilies. Definitely a keeper!!


I'm originally from San Diego, California but now retired and living the tranquilo life in Dominical, Costa Rica!
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