Monday, August 11, 2008

What the heck is Carne Asada Anyway?

It's been a little while since I've done a "what the heck is that anyway" post so I figure it's high time to do some. I hear the term "Carne Asada" thrown around quite a bit by the likes of taco bell and other restaurants. I have often ordered it because it sounded good, but not really having any idea what made it different from a regular grilled steak.

Well, carne asada translates literally into "roasted meat." Not quite as spectacular as it sounds in Spanish. Thinner cuts of beef such as flank or skirt steak are generally used and are rubbed down with salt and pepper before being grilled or broiled. Now here is the tricky part. Since the term carne asada is so broad, there are many recipes for carne asada that are entirely different from each other.

Some recipes are just meat rubbed with some spices. Others involve much more complex marinades such as this one from Simply Recipes. One theme I noticed was that a lot of recipes use lemon and lime juice as part of the marinade. The sharp acidic taste of citrus sounds like a pretty good pairing for some juicy steaks. With that said I will attempt to conquer carne asada via the crockpot. Stay tuned for the recipe.

I think it's safe to say that if Pacman had the option, he would opt for tacos over dots.


That Girl said...

If you have a good carneseria by you, no additional marinade is necessary, each one has their own recipe but you'll never find a thinner, more flavorful cut!

Anonymous said...

Down here in Texas the Mexicans make Carne Guisada for parties-stewed beef. We put a family pack of stew meat in the crock pot, salt and pepper, then a jar of salsa or Rotel. They cook it in the slow cooker for 24 hours! I usually do 12. Then leave on the counter at parties to spoon into warm tortillas. I am so spoiled with this recipe that if a crock pot recipe is more involved than this I complain. By the way I love your site.