Thursday, December 15, 2011
There is an episode of American Dad! where Stan Smith hires a family of Mexican illegal immigrants to manufacture teddy bears out of his basement. In the episode, INS is onto him, so he has to sneak them out in his van in order to get his shipment of bears out on time. Before he leaves, Francine warns him, "If you stop for more than five minutes, they'll have a barbecue." You guys, it's true. It's so true. We love to barbecue. I distinctly remember stopping on the side of the 405 freeway in L.A. to barbecue. If there's grass and enough room to set up some chairs, then you bet we're gonna fire up the grill. We are a resourceful people.
Typically, at our barbecues, we serve "carne asada." It's either flank or skirt steak, marinated or spice rubbed, and cooked on a grill. If you don't have a bbq-happy Mexican family or access to an outdoor grill, fear not! I present to you a stove-top recipe for carne asada!
2 lbs skirt or flank steak
2 garlic cloves
1/2 an onion, roughly chopped
2 oranges, juiced
2 lemons (1 juiced)
1 tbs worcestershire sauce
4 sprigs of Cilantro
Salt & pepper
Place garlic, onion, orange juice, lemon juice, and worcestershire sauce in a blender and liquefy. Place steak in a glass baking dish and season both sides, generously, with salt and pepper. Place cilantro sprigs over the meat. Pour the onion-orange mixture over the meat. Cover and let marinade for at least 3 hours.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Remove meat from marinade (do not clean off) and place on skillet. Brown on both sides for about 3 minutes per side. Only turn once! The more you move it, the more the juices run. After you turn it the first time, squeeze a bit of lemon and sprinkle with salt and pepper and finish cooking. Remove from skillet and let rest for about 5 minutes.
You may or may not be Mexican, but now that you have five minutes, you can have a barbecue! Serve the carne asada with a side of rice and beans or chop it up into small pieces for tacos or quesadillas.
For tacos, I like to sauteé the chopped meat a bit in some oil (or lard for you crazy people) and provide some toppings for delicious taco making. Topping suggestions: Diced onions & chopped cilantro, salsa, grilled spring onions or scallions, guacamole, radishes.