Carne asada tacos

(Jonathan Levitt for The Boston Globe)
October 29, 2008

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Makes 8
Carne asada (roasted meat) is a Northern Mexican dish of tough, flavorful beef, which is marinated, charred on the grill, sliced thinly, and heaped onto tacos or burritos. Carne asada is usually served simply on top of soft corn tortillas. Salsas, guacamole, and hot sauces are self-serve. At home, make a rustic and colorful salad of chopped tomatoes, avocado, onion, cilantro, and lime juice. Start with skirt or flank steak. For flavor, and maybe some tenderizing, soak the beef in lime juice and cayenne pepper for 30 minutes. Broil the beef and slice it thinly, warm the tortillas, top with the salsa, and serve with lime wedges and plenty of cold Mexican beer. A taqueria in your kitchen.

1 pound flank steak
Juice of 4 limes
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 avocados, chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped
1 onion, chopped
16 sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped
8 soft corn tortillas, wrapped in foil
Hot sauce, to taste
1 lime, cut into 8 wedges
1. Set the meat on a board. Holding a knife blade parallel to the table, cut the meat in half, making 2 thin sheets.

2. In a large bowl combine the lime juice, cayenne pepper, and vegetable oil. Add the beef and toss it in the mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.

3. In a medium bowl combine the avocados, tomatoes, onion, and cilantro; set aside.

4. Turn on the broiler. Set a rack on a roasting pan; set the steak on the rack. Slide the steaks under the broiler. Broil the steaks for 3 minutes on a side or until cooked through. Transfer the steaks to a board and set aside for 5 minutes. Turn the oven down to 375 degrees. Put the tortilla packet in the oven and cook for 8 minutes, turning the packet once.

5. Slice the steaks against the grain into thin strips. Place beef on each tortilla. Top with salsa and hot sauce. Serve with lime wedges. Jonathan Levitt