Recipe of the Week!January 27, 2010
Carne asada literally means “roasted meat.” But when you use the Spanish terminology, it means juicy, flavorful steak. It’s so tasty that it stands on its own – maybe a little dollop of various salsas to accompany it. The key to good carne asada is the type of beef – flank or skirt steak work best, but rib-eye or strip would be ok too. The only true way to make carne asada is to grill it – you have to get that nice charred sear on the outside, and let the meat soak in that smoky flavor. There are many different ways to flavor the meat prior to cooking, be it with a spice rub or a marinade, but the best I’ve found comes from – guess who – my platonic fantasy lover and Mexican food god, Rick Bayless. This rub is highlighted by fresh garlic and brown sugar (the sugar caramelizes just a bit when grilled). Most supermarkets will carry some sort of “hot” chili powder in the spice aisle, but if you can only find regular chili powder, add some cayenne so you get a little heat in the rub. This recipe makes enough rub for about 2 lbs. of steak – if you’re making less, you might as well still make the whole rub recipe and save the extra for another time. I serve this with warm corn tortillas and a variety of salsas (spicy chipotle, tomatillo, etc.) and guacamole. Grilling some onion slices along with the meat couldn’t hurt either. Please enjoy this week’s Recipe of the Week!
Carne Asada with Rick Bayless’ Garlicky Chile Rub
(serves 4 hungry adults)
2 ¼ lbs. steak, flank or skirt
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1/3 cup hot chili powder
4 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon oregano, preferably Mexican
½ teaspoon ground cumin
4 teaspoons ground black pepper
5 teaspoons salt
Heat grill on medium-high heat. Combine rub ingredients until well blended – use a small food processor if available. Sprinkle half the rub on one side of the steak and pat firmly all over. Repeat for other side. Let steak rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Grill steak 10 minutes over direct heat, then turn and grill until it reaches desired doneness. Let steak rest 5-10 minutes, then slice into strips across the grain. Eat!