Two grilled carne asada tacos on a plate, including cotija cheese, salsa, avocado slices, and red onion.
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Grilled Carne Asada Tacos

Carne asada tacos feature tender grilled skirt or flank steak in the BEST carne asada marinade. Serve them alongside a plethora of your favorite taco toppings and spice up taco night!
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Southwestern
Keyword grilling recipes, steak, tacos
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Marinating Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 35 minutes
Servings 6 (estimated)
Calories 552kcal
Author Alyssa

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs skirt or flank steak, approximate

For the marinade:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, minced (one with seeds and one without)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns, cracked (see note)

For serving:

  • 12 soft taco-sized tortillas, flour or corn
  • Chopped onion, any kind
  • Cheese, cotija, shredded, your favorite
  • Sliced avocado, or guacamole
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Salsa, your favorite

Instructions

  • Place whole skirt or flank steak in a container (it's okay for the steak to be folded over on itself to fit in there if needed). Combine all marinade ingredients and pour in container over skirt steak. Cover and refrigerate for preferably 4-8 hours, but 2 hours will work if you're pressed for time.
  • Brush the grill grates with a neutral tasting, high smoke point oil (corn, vegetable, canola, etc.) before you turn it on. Heat the grill to medium-high heat (in the 400-450°F range). Once heated, add the steak in a single layer and allow it to cook with the lid closed for about 7-10 minutes, before flipping over and cooking for another 7-10 minutes on the other side.
  • To check for doneness, insert an instant read meat thermometer about 1/2" into the thickest part of the steak. You'll want the temperature to reach 145°F for about a medium-rare doneness. Because skirt steak is a thin cut of meat, you don't have to worry too much about the temperature rising after it's removed from the grill.
  • Take the steak off the grill and allow to sit for just a minute or two. Meanwhile add tortillas to the grill and let them heat until grill lines begin to form. Flip and repeat on the other side, and then remove.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut the steak into thin slices diagonally against the grain. You can use these strips as-is for the tacos, or cut into smaller chunks to cut down on any chewiness as you bite into the tacos.
  • Top tortillas with carne asada and all your favorite toppings.

Notes

Prep time contains 4 hours of inactive time (letting the meat marinate).
I used cracked black peppercorns (vs. ground) for a bold flavor. To "crack them", I placed 1 tsp of whole peppercorns on a paper towel and folded the paper towel over a few times to completely enclose them. Then I hit the packet with a meat tenderizer until the peppercorns were 'cracked'. You can also wrap them in aluminum foil and carefully hit them with the flat side of a kitchen knife.
Marinades with acidic elements like this one (citrus juice, vinegar) are prone to messing with the texture of meat if it's left marinating for too long - think all-day or overnight. I suggest sticking to around 4-8 hours to prevent the steak becoming mushy.
Nutritional info is an estimated based upon one-sixth of the steak, 2 taco-sized tortillas, 1 tbsp cheese, and 1 tbsp guacamole per serving. Since recipes that include a marinade are hard to calculate nutrition for, I've included one-quarter of the marinade ingredients into the nutritional calculation as an estimate. For the most accurate nutritional info, I recommend calculating for yourself with all the toppings you use as there's a lot of wiggle room!

Nutrition

Serving: 2tacos | Calories: 552kcal | Carbohydrates: 32.1g | Protein: 46.8g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 8.9g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 969mg | Potassium: 507mg | Fiber: 2.8g | Sugar: 3.3g | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 6.8mg