Sunday, July 10, 2005

Summer BBQ Series, Part II

Folks, as I write this, I am sitting in Justin Kuczynski's living room in Boulder, Colorado, awaiting the rising of the other kids. A dip in temperature last night allowed us to dine al fresco and enjoy some fine barbecued chicken, brats, and summer squash, eggplant, and (gasp!) tofu. And I have to hand it to Vince - the tofu was acceptable, although I doubt I will be made a convert anytime soon. Anyway, I promised barbecue recipes for my constituents a while back, and, after the initial success of Chicken Legs Zevon (sure to be appearing soon at a barbecue near you), I offer for your dining pleasure the secrets of my Carne Asada.

This dish is distinguished by the use of skirt steak, which is, in my opinion, the perfect cut of beef: chewy without being difficult, richly flavorful, not too fatty, and really easy to cut. In addition, perhaps because of the structure of its fibers, it absorbs marinades really well. My marinade gives you a really tangy piece of meat, and also softens it a bit as it soaks.


2 skirt steaks (up to 4 lbs total - Costco sells them in convenient packages).
1 dozen fat, juicy limes
1 bottle tequila (Cuervo will work for the marinade, though I won't be drinking it again anytime soon)
Crushed garlic to taste (at least 2 tablespoons)
1 red onion, diced finely
Red pepper flakes
1 bottle Corona or similar beer
Salt & pepper to taste
1 splash tropical fruit juice (I like Kern's Guava Nectar)
Finely chopped cilantro
Dash of hot sauce (habanero salsas work well)

Squeeze every last drop out of the limes, into a quart-sized bowl. Add tequila - I usually do about 3:2 juice:tequila, but some folks might prefer 2:1, or even 1:1. Stir the crushed garlic throughout. Dice the onion as fine as possible, and stir into the liquid. (If you have a juicer, just run the onion through it and add the resulting juice to the mix). Add a few pinches of red pepper flakes, depending on taste. Open a Corona, and toss a few splashes into the mix as well. Add a similar splash of tropical fruit juice. Then, a dash of hot sauce, by way of contrast. Salt and pepper the meat directly, to taste, then rub on the chopped cilantro. Place meat in double Ziploc bags with the marinade, and turn every hour to ensure even soaking. For best results soak 6+ hours, but even a couple hours in the mix will do wonders for your skirt steak.

Grill the steaks on medium heat for about 6 minute a side (you'll have to adjust this depending on your grill - mine runs rather hot). Carne Asada is great anywhere from rare to medium, but please don't overcook it - nothing is less satisfying than dry Carne Asada, like they serve at that crap Mexican place near Noah Barron's house.

Slice meat however large you like it, and serve with soft corn tortillas and fresh guacamole. I find nothing complements this meal like an ice-cold Coke, but be sure you also have beer on hand. Actually, that goes for just about any barbecue. Enjoy!


Blogger Mithril Gold said...

The steak sounds really good! I should try to make it! Hope everything goes well at your camp!

4:54 AM  
Anonymous Joanie Wellington said...

Dear Gabe,
I am really enjoying reading your blog, thanks to your friend Robby's recommendation! Can't wait to try the skirt steak recipe, though I might add that a brief note about slicing "against the grain" is important. And I had to smile about your statement regarding the "coke" as I remember the many cans you drank at our house and how you always meticulously rinsed out each empty before placing it in the reclycling basket. ("Ants", your mother said.)
Keep up the good work!
Mrs. W.

7:16 AM  

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