How to Cook Carne Asada in a Skillet
Want to learn how to cook carne asada in a skillet? Stick around as we share step-by-step how to do so.
At family gatherings, nights out, and date nights, carne asada is one of the staple entrées.
It’s flavorful and works well with other food options on the table.
For instance, you can serve it with greens, tacos, buttered corn, and even rice or mashed potatoes.
While the meat is commonly cooked on a grill, you can also cook carne asada in a skillet.
In this article, we’re diving deeper into the best carne asada preparation for cooking it in a skillet.
How to Cook Carne Asada in a Skillet
There are a lot of reasons to choose the skillet over the grill.
For one, cooking in a skillet eliminates the time spent setting up the grill and even the production of grill lines.
With stovetop cooking, you can enjoy convenience in preparation and get an even cooking heat.
- Turn on the stove and set to medium-high heat.
- Get the bag containing the sliced steak and discard the excess marinade.
- Allow the skillet to heat before pouring in olive oil.
- Place the marinated meat into the skillet and allow to become golden brown.
- Pan fry until the meat absorbs all the remaining sauce.
- Pay attention to the meat and avoid burning. Flip the meat every 2 to 3 minutes.
- Remove meat from the skillet and place it on a plate for serving.
Standard Carne Asada Recipe
Authentic carne asada combines the intense flavor of seasonings and spices, then absorbed by the meat before grilling or searing.
Here’s how you can prepare the meat before cooking.
- Get a skirt or flank steak, then cut thinly into pieces. The flank variety has a lean option, so it has an intense meaty flavor. Meanwhile, skirt steak has more tough fibers, so it should only be cooked rare or medium-rare. If intensely cooked, the meat can become unpleasantly chewy.
Tip: When cutting, slice against the grain to provide a natural breaking point in the meat. If you try to cut against the breaking points, you are keeping the meat from becoming chewy.
- Create a marinade mixture by combining chopped garlic, shredded lettuce, salt, diced onion, lime or orange juice, cumin, and pepper. Marinate the slices of beef hours before cooking.
Best Side Dishes Served with Carne Asada
Serve this flavorful meat along with sumptuous side dishes to make the meal more filling. Some of the best side dishes include rice, slaw, potato salads, and others.
- Yellow rice with jalapeño pepper for added flavor
- Smoked sweet potato salad with bacon
- Chilled avocado soup
- Mexican sweet corn
- Butternut squash soup with chipotle cream—perfect contrast to sweet squash
- Corned mashed potato for added crunch
What Is Carne Asada?
Simply looking at its name, you can easily discern the Mexican connection of carne asada.
It’s a traditional meat dish that translates to ‘roaster’ or ‘grilled meat’ in Spanish.
While many culinary traditions marinate meat for added flavor, this dish has roots in the Columbus years, when Spanish cattle were brought to the Americas.
Spanish cattle were also brought to different parts of the world, including the Caribbean, then further to the southwest.
Previously, ancient cultures had thinly sliced beef, then crisped it to perfection on a grilling surface.
Over hundreds of years, cooking techniques evolved, and people discovered new ways to enhance the taste of the meat.
In this particular dish, the marinade is the backbone of the flavorful dish.
Pieces of beef or steak are soaked in a combination of spices, bringing out a distinct juicy and flavorful taste in every bite.
Carne asada is common in many Mexican eateries and restaurants, usually served in tacos and burrito, on salads, or as a standalone entrée. Unlike a standard steak, carne asada is sliced thinly for its unique appearance.
Additionally, chefs use skirt or flank steak to bring out that juiciness and tenderness.
But mostly, what makes this meal special is the seasoning—not a lot of people know how to arrive at that distinct flavor that complements the meat.
A spice rub won’t suffice, and the flavor won’t be intense without the glorious marinating process.
Aside from grilling, you can also cook carne asada using the skillet or stovetop.
It requires less preparation, and provides an even cooking heat. Make sure to choose the best type of steak, marinate for longer hours (even overnight), and cook until brown and juicy. Happy eating!
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