Tacos Carne Asada

Happy Cinco de Mayo, everyone! As my younger daughter kindly reminded me this morning, Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexican Independence Day, but a celebration of Mexican defeat over the French in a battle ending May 5, 1862. I am proud of the fact that she knows far more than I, but also a bit embarrassed. I mean, she is SEVEN after all. (Sigh…) And in another strange twist of fate (as these things often go) Cinco de Mayo is perhaps more widely celebrated here in the US than in its country of origin. Americans, always looking for an excuse to party! Thankfully the Food Network knows how to PAR-TAY and today’s adapted recipe suits the occasion perfectly. The flank & skirt steak are delicious cuts of beef, lean but flavorful. The only downside? They’re pretty expensive. The budget conscious momma in me took over, thankfully, and a quick word with my friendly local butcher found a tasty, cost effective alternative in bottom round. Further proof, it’s always good to ask. So get ready for a super low sodium fiesta! ENJOY!

Yields 16 tacos.

SODIUM CONTENT: 53 mg per taco served w/ ample Pico de Gallo


4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded (if desired) and minced
1 large handful fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 limes, juiced
1 orange, juiced
2 T. white vinegar
1/2 c. olive oil

2 pounds flank or skirt steak, trimmed of excess fat
Olive oil, for coating the grill
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pico de Gallo:
4 vine-ripe tomatoes, cored and chopped
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
2 green onions, white and green parts, sliced
1 Serrano chile, seeded (if desired) and minced
1 handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lime, juiced
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil

16 (7-inch) corn tortillas


First make the mojo. In a mortar and pestle or bowl, mash together the garlic, jalapeno, cilantro and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the lime juice, orange juice, vinegar, and oil. Whisk vigorously to combine.

Place the steak/s in a large 9 x 13-inch baking dish and pour the mojo over top. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to marinate. Let the meat steep from 1 to 8 hours, but NO MORE than that or the meat will start to break down and turn to mush! UGH.

Preheat an outdoor grill, ridged grill pan over medium-high flame, or your oven broiler. If using a grill or grill pan, brush the grates/pan with a little oil to prevent the meat from sticking. Pull the steak out of the mojo marinade and season both sides with freshly ground black pepper. Grill (or broil) the steak for roughly 7-10 minutes per side, turning once. Remove the steak to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes to allow the juices to settle. Thinly slice the steak across the grain on a diagonal.

To make the Pico de Gallo, combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir well to combine. Let sit at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to marry.

Just before serving, warm the tortillas for 30 seconds per side in a dry skillet or on the grill, until toasty and pliable.

To make the tacos, lay slices of beef down the center of each tortilla and top with a generous spoonful of the Pico de Gallo salsa. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Serve immediately, garnished with sour cream, if desired.

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8 Responses to Tacos Carne Asada

  1. Well, I don’t like tomatoes, but I love red onion enough to make up for that. And the sear on that steak–insanely crave-inducing. Plus, I just like the word mojo when not used by Austin Powers.

  2. This dish does look like a party!
    (Makes my drive-through burrito look pretty sad – even after springing for a supreme)! 🙂

  3. Shambo says:

    Great minds think alike! I made something very similar a few days ago with some carne asada meat that was on sale. I made lower sodium flour tortillas to enfold the meat strips. I marinated the meat in olive oil, lime juice, and a combination of Penzeys Adobo seasoning and World Market’s Fajitas seasoning. I like your marinade, though, and will have to keep it in mind for next time.

    It’s lunch time here, and I wish I was eating a couple of your tacos.

  4. Christy says:

    Katie, I also love the word mojo (but not the Austin Powers movies) !

    Those drive-thru burritos are gonna make you regret your decision, Inky! Hahah — kidding, I love Taco Bell bean burritos.. sadly don’t eat them any more. (don’t cry for me Argentina)

    Shambo, your low-so flour tortillas sound DELISH! I bought fresh white corn for this meal, but I must confess neither of my daughters care for them (and to be honest I much prefer flour). If your recipe is on your site, I will have to try it!

  5. CherylK says:

    Have been exploring your site and it looks amazing! Thanks for tweeting me in response to my plea for salt free recipes! My daughter’s boyfriend has high blood pressure and they’re trying to help lower it by dramatically changing the way they eat. I, too, am really looking forward to trying your creations 🙂 I really love salt so I need all the help I can get!

  6. Christy says:

    Cheryl, you are SO welcome!! Hope you find some recipes you’ll all really enjoy. Check the “links” page too for more sites. Lots of people out there dealing with the same low-sodium diet issues, though we may be on a salt-free diet for a variety of reasons: high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney failure, Meniere’s disease. We’re all stronger working together as a team! 🙂

  7. Rossy F says:

    Escribiré en español pues es mi idioma… El día de hoy me puse a buscar recetas bajas en sodio y llegué a éste blog desde pinterest…. y no imaginan lo feliz que me hace sentir que les guste nuestra comida Mexicana y además escriban un poco de nuestra historia…. Gracias por esos tacos de carne asada 🙂

    • Christy says:

      Hola Rossy! Muchas gracias por escribir! Estoy tan feliz de que has encontrado el sitio web y espero que encuentre algunas recetas bajas en sodio para disfrutar. Es maravilloso saber que estoy ayudando a los hispanohablantes también! ¡Salud ! Christy 😀

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