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A Mexican Delicacy – Carne Asada Tortas Recipe

Written by Luisa Davis on . Posted in food

The Carne asada tortas are absolutely taking the world by storm at the moment. If you can imagine this sandwich as a Godzilla full of juicy, succulent beef, rampaging through the streets of a major city, you wouldn’t be too far from the mark!

Out of pure curiosity, I decided to seek out the truth behind the high demand for carne asada tortas, not to mention the smiles that grace people’s faces upon eating or even simply thinking about the beloved sandwich.

Though I am very particular about my food, my first exposure to the taste of the carne asada tortas was when I ate a carne asada sandwich at a family reunion. You don’t normally expect to have a gustatory revolution in your mouth at a family reunion! But, as it turned out, this cousin of mine happens to share some fundamental values with me, and carne asada is something he’s devoted much of his time to.

My first bite left me speechless. Everyone was waiting for me to give a verdict on the taste, but the only response I could give was a nod because my mind was too focused on the next bite. This later propelled me to a singular aim: a request for the carne asada tortas recipe as well as a plea to be counseled on how to best utilize said recipe. My demands were not made in vain; intimately connected have I become to the carne asada.

One thing I love most about Mexican cuisine is its ability to bring together a lot of different ingredients to produce a memorable dish full of texture and multi-faceted flavor. Although I’ve only gotten to visit Mexico once, it remains one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.

Why? Well, in Mexico, I could have local carne asada tortas as much as I wanted, to say nothing of all the other amazing kinds of Mexican food.

I have since perfected the art of preparing the carne asada tortas, and in just a moment I will show you what I believe is the best carne asada tortas recipe. But first, let’s have a look at what carne asada tortas really are.

What is a Carne Asada Tortas?

Carne asada tortas are sandwiches whose main ingredient is grilled meat steak, usually skirt steak or flank steak. It is common practice to cook carne asada on the grill.

Carne asada has recently earned the name smoked carne asada because of the manner in which it is made.

There are different types of meat for carne asada; for example, some like to use chicken, beef, seafood or pork feet. The slimmer the piece of the meat, the more likely it is to come out juicy because of its ability to fully absorb the flavor. You don’t really need to get a very expensive cut of meat to make this dish. You’ll be able to serve a good number of people without breaking the bank.

Provided it is sizeable to eat.

The Mexican dish known as carne asada is prepared by grilling a piece of meat soaked in a marinade which has been prepared from a combination of carefully-chosen ingredients which are very fundamental to determining the final taste. In the past, it was prepared with just a few ingredients, but over time, many have innovated in the world of flavor, creating amazing combinations of many different flavors.

This recipe was made popular by Mexicans living outside of Mexico. They were looking to prepare a home-based food, and it happened to catch the attention of all kinds of people, and so the recipe started to spread. So many variations have come about that some have even gone so far as to try it on plates of seafood and pork.

The carne asada gives a lot more than just taste.

As Mexican food usually involves a healthy serving of meat and veggies, your body will thank you for the amount of nutrients in this dish. The meat constitutes a large portion of the dish, which carries the protein. A serving of meat has as much as 25 grams of protein.

The nutrition offered by Mexican food truly sets it apart. It’s the kind of food you can eat and enjoy without feeling guilty. A small portion carries more than just flavor and aroma. It carries everything. This is why Mexican food is my favorite cuisine.

How long does it take to prepare?

The first time I prepared carne asada tortas, it took me 6 to 8 hours. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Luckily, I discovered a quicker way, and now it takes about an hour, sometimes less. So you don’t spend an entire day in the kitchen, follow the basic procedure below.

The mistake is in the marinade. People don’t plan ahead, and they marinate the piece of meat (skirt steak or flank steak) during the period of making the Carne Asada tortas, and they consequently have to wait hours for the meat to absorb just a portion of the flavor. No thanks!

Marinate means to flavor by soaking in mixed ingredients. Soaking takes time. So, to eliminate the time spent waiting for the meat to absorb the flavor, start marinating your meat 24 hours in advance.

This involves making the marinade, soaking the meat in the marinade and preserving the remaining portion of the marinade before cooking begins. This will save a lot of time and also make the meat juicy and flavored.

Let’s have a look at what the marinade does and how best to use it. When marinating the meat, three things must be achieved to give the best result and these include:

  •     Imbuing the meat with flavor.
  •     Changing the meat structure.
  •     Making it tender.

To ensure that these purposes are achieved, use carne asada seasoning (oregano, cumin, pepper). These ingredients do a great job of adjusting the flavor and changing the meat structure, while ingredients such as lime juice and orange juice help make it tender. This kind of combination does a great job of penetrating into the meat.

How to Make Carne Asada Tortas – The Simplest Recipe and Steps for the Best Taste

Lots of ingredients are used to make the carne asada tortas. These ingredients are important for this dish; they really do give it a lovely taste and aroma.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pound of skirt steak or flank steak
  • ½ cup of orange juice
  • ½ cup of lime juice
  • ½ cup of soy sauce
  • Onion powder or diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon of Ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano
  • ½ cup of diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup of shredded lettuce
  • 2 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 1 avocado (ripe)
  • Carne asada seasoning
  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • Cheese

Directions

Steps to preparing the carne asada tortas are quite easy. Following these simple steps can ensure the right taste is produced.

  • Marinate the skirt streak 24 hours before cooking to ensure the skirt streak is well-flavored. This is done by mixing all of the marinade ingredients in a bowl. These ingredients include; tomatoes, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, lime and orange juice, soy sauce, onion, seasoning, garlic and lettuce. A portion of the mixture can be kept for later use.
  • Open a sealable food-safe plastic bag, place the skirt steak in the bag and pour all the mixed ingredients into the bag. Toss the bag a little to ensure that the skirt steak is well coated with the ingredients to ensure even absorption of the ingredients into the skirt steak.
  • Place the bag in a pan and refrigerate until you’re ready to cook the next day.
  • Cut the avocado in two. Scoop out the required part, discarding the seed. Place in a bowl and mix with orange juice. Stir and place in the refrigerator until ready for use.
  • Once you are ready to make your carne asada tortas, set your grill to medium-high heat.
  • Bring out the bag with the skirt steak and remove the skirt steak and discard the bag with the other ingredients (or keep and use as a side salsa).
  • Place the skirt steak on the table and apply olive oil around it.
  • Place on the grill and heat for about five minutes.
  • Flip the skirt steak and grill for five more minutes without allowing it to get burnt. Flipping will also ensure that the juice distributes evenly.
  • Remove the grilled skirt steak from the grill.
  • Sprinkle some cheese on the carne asada tortas and the carne asada tortas are ready to be served along with the avocado paste.
  • This dish with the number of ingredients listed above can serve four persons and the time required to prepare this dish is 40 minutes.

The right way to serve this dish

Let’s have a look at how best to serve the carne asada tortas.

After grilling, it is important to allow the carne asada tortas to cool for some minutes, usually about 10 minutes. This allows the flavor gathered at the middle of carne asada to be evenly redistributed across the carne asada.

Carne asada tortas usually come with grill lines all moving in parallel. These lines ensure a break point for the piece. It is very important to avoid cutting on these lines, as this will cause the piece to break more easily. The best way to serve carne asada tortas is to cut the piece perpendicular to the grill lines.

Cuttings should be slim or thinly sliced.

Carne asada should be served alongside beans, rice, fries, etc. It can also be made into a sandwich with some sliced bread piece. The avocado paste works really well here, too.

One thing that makes this dish stand out is its unique taste, nutritional value and wide range of uses. It can be applied almost everywhere. It can be used as spaghetti topping, to make the carne asada sandwich or taken with rice or beans.

Each of these dishes are mainly composed of protein from the skirt steak or flank steak. The flavoring on the meat makes it versatile, meaning you can have a protein-rich meal in any way you want. Sliced carne asada should be held down with a fork while cuttings are made into small pieces before taken in.

That is if they are used as toppings for rice, beans or spaghetti.

But when the meat is used to make a carne asada sandwich, there’s no way to eat it but by taking a big, scrumptious bite! To make this easier, cut the meat into smaller piece helps to prevent any break point for the carne asada. It could cause a very big mess at the dinner table.

I used to be a messy eater, so it’s a point of pride for me whenever I leave a table looking spotless. I also respect manners in others, and properly preparing carne asada makes it easy to observe such manners.

Conclusion

Carne asada tortas are going to become your favorite thing to prepare because of their deliciousness and ease of preparation. They require no special expertise; anybody can make them. This Carne asada tortas recipe can be made with a pan, and you really don’t need a big hefty grill.

Carne asada’s nutritional benefits make it worth eating even on a regular basis. Its protein value is off the charts, which will go a long way to improving your health. You’ve got 75-85% of pure protein intake for every portion of serving. That leaves such little room for unneeded carbs and fat! Make a truly positive change by adding carne asada to your diet.

Luisa Davis

Luisa Davis

Luisa Davis is a frelance writer and foodie based in Portland, California. Though raised on her mother's homestyle Italian cooking, she has spent most of the last five years traveling and immersing herself in other countries' cuisines. Her work have been published in various publications, both online and offline.

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