Carne Asada. Charred Meat.
Simple right? Welllll not exactly. When I thought about doing this cook, I found so many different recipes. Who knew so many people differ on what needs to be in that marinade. I sure didn’t. As I had not had a ton of experience with this marinade I decided that I was going to listen to someone who has never failed me. Kenji Lopez over at Serious Eats. Kenji’s recipe on this explains everything you need to know about the background how he came to this. Im going to take you through this and show you just how easy this is in the Sous Vide for the Home chef. Enjoy!
The first real big decision you have to make is what meat you’re going to go with. Like everything with this cook, its not that simple, many are split on the protein. Your options?
Skirt, Flap, Flank, Short Rib (?), and Hanger.
I cant understate how much I love a good charred skirt steak so that was my first choice (as well as Kenji) but alas, there was none to be found. Kenji’s second choice I actually had no experience with. Flap. For this reason I decided thats the direction I was going to go. I love experimenting and trying new things.
🔪Prep Time 5 minutes
👨🍳Marinade Time 4 hours
🛁Sous Vide Time 1 hour @122F/50C
🥩 Total Time 5 hours
Carne Asada Marinade
- 4lb Flap steak
- 4 Whole Ancho Chilies
- 4 Whole Guajillo Chilies
- 3 Whole Chili Peppers
- 3/4 Cup fresh juice from Oranges
- Juice from 3 Limes
- 3 Tbsp EVOO
- 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 2 Tbsp Fish Sauce
- 6 cloves Garlic
- 1/4 Cup Cilantro
- 1.5 Tbsp Cumin powder (Kenji uses seed)
- 3 Tsp Coriander powder (Kenji uses seed)
- 2 Tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
- Salt to taste (Use double the amount you might think)
The marinade, the heart of this cook. The first and most interesting part is getting those chilies taken care of. I started by removing the stems and heating up the chilies in the microwave so they are pliable and able to blend up into the marinade.
After the chilies are heated up put them in the blender and pulse till fine. Then add in rest of the dry/wet ingredients and blend till a sauce forms.
This is what mine looked like as a finished marinade. Boyyy did it smell good.
Next place the meat and the marinade into any gallon style zip lock bags, place in the refrigerator for between 3hours and up to overnight. I chose 4 hours.
When you reach your desired time for your marinade take the meat out and wipe off excess. Place In plastic bag.
Set your Sous Vide cooker to 122F/50C and place bags in bath. In place of a nicely vacuum sealed bag, you’re going to want to use the water displacement method which is achieved by submerging the protein in the water till most of the air is out of the bag. I then secure the bags to the side of the Sous Vide Container with binder clips.
After an hour, your meat is ready to be seared. After all, carne asada is literally charred meat. Remove the meat from bath and pat dry with paper towels. Right now they don’t look that appetizing but we’ll take care of that in a minute.
For searing this mean I originally thought I would be using the Searzall torch in the end however, I was very surprised. For this meat I only needed the Cast Iron Skillet. The outside charred so nicely. Sear both sides of the steak. I seared for 60 seconds a side.
And there you have it. Just like that, you have a delicious Carne Asada. Ready for you to slice and dig in. Make sure you slice against the grain!
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