So here I am attempting this age old Mexican tradition, and I feel like I am about to nail it. Everything’s lining up right, the sauce is coming together how I wanted it to, the steak looks great, the salsa is like the cherry on top. Even the weather is perfect. I’m getting cocky (maybe excited is a better adjective) So I call up my Uncle and I invite him over for some Carne. He’s all over it. I’ve never heard him say yes so fast, (even better I don’t have to talk him into it) perfect! I looked back at my steak, and my stomach hits the floor- WHAT AM I DOING. I am overwhelmed with feelings of self doubt, dread, and regret. Who cooks Mexican food for someone from MEXICO…?! There’s no way he’s going to like it- NO. WAY. It’s a common problem among culinary folk to function on instinct as opposed to forethought, usually your gut is right 99.99% of the time. But now I am second guessing every pepper, every spice, every step I have made along the way… I’m right back in culinary school and Chef is about to taste my work.
Bring it in.
I’m pretty sure all my Carne dreams just came true. That, or my Uncle and I just died and went to Carne heaven (for the 10 minutes it to us to finish this steak off). If there is such a thing- if there isn’t, there is now.
The spices are right on with this one, bright and flavorful especially topped with the pineapple salsa and a little sour cream.
It does stain. The evil kind of stains that will get in your cutting board and not come out so use a non-porous cutting board to slice the meat. Hubs was on dish duty that night- we were in a Carne Coma.
He definitely earned that bowl of Coconut Gelato.
Time: 30 minutes (+3 hours)
Yield: a giant pile of meat – invite your friends over. (2ish pounds)
3 Dried Pasilla Peppers
12 Dried Abol Peppers
2 Whole Chipotle Peppers canned in Adobo
Zest from one Orange
3/4 Cup Fresh Juice from 2 Cara Cara oranges
Juice of one lime
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Aminos (or soy sauce)
1 tsp Fish Sauce
6 Cloves Garlic (minced)
1 Small bunch Cilantro
1 Tbsp whole Cumin seed (Toasted & Ground)
1 tsp whole coriander seed (Toasted & Ground)
3 Tbsp Brown Sugar
2# Skirt Steak (cut into 4 manageable pieces)
Pop the dried peppers open and remove seeds, heat in microwave for 30 second bursts until they smell toasty and are plyable. Blend ingredients for marinade in blender until completely smooth. This marinade will stain, basically everything so look out! Add salt to taste. Salt all sides of the meat. Set aside half of the marinade to use as salsa for serving. Using a resealable plastic bag brush the tops of the meat with the marinade, place in the bag, and brush the bottom, add the rest of the meat, then the rest of the marinade. Even out the sauce and the meat in the bag, remove the air- and lay flat in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
Heat the grill on high, well oiled. Drop heat to low- remove meat from bag and any major amounts of excess marinade as you do it (it will just burn). Steaks on the grill, giving them a nice sear- about 5 minutes per side with the lid on. Remove from heat and let them rest for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. Cut against the grain and serve.
Yield: 8 cups
Time: 10 minutes
1 Pineapple (Chopped)
1 1/2 Fresh Jalapenos (Seeded/Chopped)
1/2 Red Onion (Chopped)
1 Bunch Cilantro (Chopped)
1 Tomato (Seeded/Chopped)
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and leave in fridge for flavors to incorporate, but can be served immediately.