Carne Asada Tacos with Salsa Roja

Carne Asada Tacos with Salsa Roja

Yellow corn tortillas are filled with tender flank steak marinated in chiles and agave nectar- topped with minced onion, cilantro, and an earthy, warming Salsa Roja. These tacos require some preparation and marinade time, but when it’s time to serve, the tacos come together quickly.

yields 6 “street-style” tacos (recommend 3 tacos per person)

Salsa Roja

This salsa roja is made of toasted New Mexican chiles. It’s lovely condiment to have on deck.

Flank Steak Marinade

  • 1/2 lb - 3/4 lb flank steak

  • 1/4 C olive oil

  • 4 garlic cloves finely chopped

  • 1 C cilantro chopped

  • 1 T agave nectar

  • 1/2 t ancho chile powder

  • 1/4 t chipotle powder

  • 1/4 t cumin

  • 1 lime (juice)

Combine all ingredrients (except steak) into a pan or dish large enough to fit the flank steak. Season marinade with salt and pepper according to personal taste. Add steak to marinade and rub into the flank. Cover dish, and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Carne Asada Tacos with Salsa Roja Assembly

  • salsa roja

  • marinated flank steak

  • 12 6” corn tortillas

  • 1 small white onion minced

  • 1 bunch cilantro- leaves chopped

  • 1/4 C cojita cheese crumbles (can substitute queso fresco)

  • 1 lime quarted

Preheat oven to 250°F. Dampen a clean kitchen towel, and wrap all the tortillas in the towel. Place the towel wrapped tortillas on a small sheet pan, and place into oven. They’ll be kept warm until the tacos are ready to assemble.

Remove marinated flank steak from marinade; pat steak dry, discard excess marinade, and set steak aside. Bring a large cast iron pan to high heat. Score flank steak with a 1/2” diamond pattern on both sides- this prevents the steak from curling up when being cooked on such high heat (so it gets evenly charred). Cast Iron should be just about smoking hot- season steak with salt and pepper, and add to the pan. Add the quartered limes, cut-sides down, to the pan to char. Sear the steak for about 2 minutes, then flip and cook for another 2 minutes. A nice char should develop on both sides, and the internal temperature should be between 125-130°F for medium-rare. Remove steak (and limes) from heat; allow the carne asada to rest for about 5 minutes, then thinly slice.

Remove the warmed tortillas from the oven. Stack two corn tortillas on top of one another for each taco- for a total of six tacos (three tacos on each plate or tray). Fill the tortillas with the sliced flank steak. Spoon some of the salsa roja directly on the tacos. Top with some minced onion, cilantro, and crumbled cojita. Serve each set of tacos with a ramekin of additional salsa roja and charred lime wedges.


cocktail: Prickly Prick

beer: Mexican lager.  Clean, crisp, and chuggable.  A touch of sweetness from the breadiness of the malt, while the carbonation cleanses the palate.  Some beers to look for: 21st Amendment El Sully, Melvin HeyZeus, Flying Dog Numero Uno, Modelo, or Pacifico.