Carne asada tacos made with tender marinated skirt steak and piled with all your favorite toppings including roasted pineapple habanero salsa.
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Let’s talk about tacos, because well…..TACOS. Enough said.
When it comes to food Mexican cuisine tops my list. It incorporates some of my favorite ingredients like cumin, onions, peppers, and cilantro. And let’s not forget the salsa!
My inspiration for this dish began with this roasted pineapple habanero salsa. If you are like me you can’t bear to eat tacos without salsa or hot sauce (or both!!); preferably one that brings the heat. And beings it’s a whopping 20 degrees today in Kansas, I’ll take all the heat I can get. The roasted pineapple habanero salsa is a harmonious balance of sweet and spicy which complements the carne asada beautifully.
On to the tacos!! Let me start by telling you how excited I am to start off my Taco Tuesday series (which runs through the end of 2019) with this recipe. If, like me, you are a lover of Mexican food you’ve probably encountered carne asada before. If not you may be wondering what the heck it is. Carne asada is a marinated steak that is grilled and thinly sliced. It is so flavorful and succulent. Seriously, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Ingredients (+ notes & substitutions)
- Skirt steak: Flank steak would be a suitable alternative. They are both naturally flavorful cuts of beef and good for marinating.
- Lime juice: Fresh is best, but bottled would work just fine.
- Olive oil
- Hot sauce: Choose your favorite. I do recommend a verdé (green) hot sauce though.
- Kosher salt
- Soft corn tortillas: Either white or yellow OR sub for soft flour tortillas, if preferred.
- Roasted Pineapple Habanero Salsa: For the salsa, you will need tomatillos, fresh pineapple, habanero peppers, apple cider vinegar, and salt.
- Your choice of toppings: Top your tacos however you choose. Recommendations include sliced avocado or guacamole, diced red or white onion, cilantro, crema or sour cream, and crumbled queso fresco.
How to make carne asada tacos with roasted pineapple habanero salsa (+ tips)
Marinating the skirt steak is a must to prevent toughness and to enhance the flavor. I recommend allowing it to marinate for at least four hours, but no more than 24 hours. To make the marinade simply combine lime juice, olive oil, garlic, hot sauce, cumin, coriander, and salt.
Place the skirt steak in a Ziploc bag or a shallow dish with a lid or plastic wrap, add the marinade and refrigerate.
On to the salsa, which can be made days or hours in advance or just prior to preparing the tacos.
Turn broiler on high at least five minutes prior to use. Arrange the tomatillos, pineapple, and habanero peppers on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and broil for ten minutes on the middle oven rack flipping the habaneros after five minutes.
Remove from the oven and transfer to a food processor or blender. Pulse until smooth and set aside.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet to medium-high heat. Add just enough oil to lightly cover the skillet. Cook skirt steak for 2-3 minutes on each side. It should have a nice sear once complete. Remove from heat and allow to rest for five minutes.
Slice the skirt steak into vertical strips against the grain and then cut the strips into bite-size pieces.
Return cast iron skillet to medium-high heat and add one tablespoon of lime juice to deglaze the pan. This allows all the flavors to be released from the pan and adds additional flavor to the meat. Transfer the skirt steak back to the skillet, stir to coat, and allow to cook for one to two minutes depending on the desired doneness. Remove from heat.
Heat a skillet to medium heat and warm both sides of the tortillas. Fill with carne asada and top with roasted pineapple habanero salsa and your choice of toppings.
Refrigerate steak in an airtight container for up to four days and salsa in an airtight container for up to one week.
What to serve with these tacos
- Creamy Poblano Rice: This Mexican-inspired rice incorporates a creamy roasted poblano sauce, onion, garlic, and corn. It’s a great side dish to serve alongside your next Mexican meal. Simple prep, naturally gluten-free, vegetarian option, and just the right amount of heat.
- Salsa Verde Pinto Beans: Slightly spicy and full of flavor these simple salsa verde pinto beans bathe in a rich and creamy broth that will leave you longing for more. Naturally vegan and gluten-free.
- Cilantro Lime Spinach Rice: This healthy spinach rice with Mexican flavors like lime and cilantro is a simple and delicious way to get in an extra serving of greens. It works great as a side or served up in a burrito or wrap. Naturally vegan and gluten-free.
If you make these carne asada tacos w/ roasted pineapple habanero salsa I’d love your feedback. Please leave a comment and/or a rating below as I greatly value your opinion. Or snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @taoofspiceblog. Love, light, and happy cooking ya’ll ♥
- 1 pound skirt steak
- 5 tablespoons lime juice, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce (see notes)
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
Roasted Pineapple Habanero Salsa
- 1 pound tomatillos, husked and halved
- 1/2 cup fresh pineapple chunks
- 2 habanero peppers, destemmed
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
For the Tacos
- Corn tortillas, white or yellow
- Your choice of toppings: Suggestions include sliced avocado or guacamole, diced red or white onion, cilantro, crema or sour cream, and queso fresco.
Roasted Pineapple Habanero Salsa
- Preheat broiler to high heat at least five minutes prior to use.
- Arrange tomatillos, pineapple, and habanero peppers on a baking sheet and broil for ten minutes, flipping habaneros halfway through.
- Transfer to a food processor or blender, add the apple cider vinegar and salt, and pulse until smooth. Set aside.
- For the marinade: In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup lime juice, olive oil, garlic, hot sauce, cumin, coriander, and salt. Transfer to a large Ziploc bag or a shallow dish/bowl that can be covered with a lid or plastic/bees wrap. Add the steak and refrigerate for a minimum of four hours, but no longer than 24 hours.
- Heat a cast-iron skillet to medium-high heat and cover with a small amount of oil. Transfer steak to skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until it has a nice sear.
- Remove from heat and rest for five minutes, then slice steak against the grain creating strips. Cut the strips into bite-size pieces.
- Return cast-iron skillet to medium-high heat and add one tablespoon of lime juice to deglaze the pan. Transfer steak to skillet, toss to coat, and cook for one to two minutes or until desired doneness is reached.
- Heat a separate skillet to medium heat. Warm both sides of tortillas.
- Divide carne asada, spoon on roasted pineapple habanero salsa, and top with your choice of toppings. Serve warm.
Storage: Refrigerate steak in an airtight container for up to four days and salsa in an airtight container for up to one week.
- I recommend a verdé (green) hot sauce. El Yucateco Chile Habanero Green works really well. You could also opt to leave out the hot sauce altogether.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 646Total Fat: 43gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 1095mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 8gSugar: 14gProtein: 38g
The nutritional information provided is computer generated. It is only an estimate and intended for informational purposes only. Nutrition details may vary depending on various factors such as origin, freshness of ingredients, etc