I hadn't planned on making Carne Asada and grilled veggies for dinner. But I knew I wanted to cook dinner on the Big Green Egg. With a fresh bag of Jealous Devil Charcoal ready to fire up, It's off to the market to find a skirt steak for a sunny Sunday dinner.
Today, I'm in the mood for intense flavor, robust seasoning, and high heat. A hard-working muscle from the animal’s core would do the trick. Carne Asada with Grilled Veggies on the Big Green Egg should hit the nail on the head.
Shopping for Carne Asada and Grilled Veggies can be tricky
Back when I cooked this recipe we had two Safeway stores in Missoula, Montana. The Safeway stores have since closed and some local grocers took over the locations which are now called Missoula Fresh Market. Missoula Fresh Market is a wonderful place with many of the same or even better grocery offerings than its predecessor.
The local, independent grocery store I prefer to shop at does not carry skirt steak, so I decided to try the nearby Safeway store (now Missoula Fresh Market).
Fortunately for me, I had no such luck. Yes, Safeway did have a wide variety of grill-ables that would have sufficed, but no skirt steak.
Sometimes you have to go with plan B
My fallback, Plan B was to find a nice beef tri-tip which also meets my prerequisites but it also not to be found. Going into panic mode, I rifled through the remaining packages for anything that could salvage my concept of dinner. In reality, meat is just an excuse for me to buy avocados and justify making guacamole. At this point, anything that worked well with avocado would suffice.
I find a pre-marinated beef cut labeled simply as “carne asada”. The ingredients and seasonings sound delicious so I decide to take a chance.
The mysterious carne asada claimed to be from the sirloin flap which I had previously never heard of. Wikipedia tells me that it consists of the obliquus internus abdominis muscle from the bottom sirloin butt which means little to me other than it comes from the really good tasting part of the cow.
When I unpacked the meat, it turned out that the carne asada I had originally thought was a roast, unraveled into large, thin slices.
The peppery seasoning looked and smelled fantastic and I let it come up to room temperature as my Big Green Egg was heating up.
Letting your meat and your grill come up to temperature before cooking is always a good practice
Allowing your meat to come up to room temperature before grilling is a good practice when cooking hot and fast. Usually, I give it about 45 minutes to an hour sitting on the counter. That's about the amount of time it takes to get my Big Green egg fired up and heat soaked. You can learn more about what is heat soaking and why it's important for Kamado grills in this article.
Slowly roast some bell peppers and sweet onion over a raised grate on the Big Green Egg until the sweet flavors intensify. When they are about ready, finish them quickly with a charring sear for some color and additional flavor.
The Big Green Egg had stabilized at around 500 degrees and the cast-iron grate was ready for some hot and fast grilling.
For 90 seconds, I let the thin meat sizzle over the smoky lump charcoal on the Big Green Egg and then turned it 45 degrees for some dramatic grill marks. Without flipping, let the meat cook for another 90 seconds and then put it on a nearby plate to rest. My grill had cooled a bit, so I let it come back up to temperature before reintroducing the meat to the heat for two minutes on side two. The meat went to a neutral corner to rest.
This gave me a chance to slice the grilled vegetables with tomato and grill off some tortillas. Just before serving, I slice the meat thinly against the grain, imagining how a street vendor would cut meat in a tropical paradise. Its rolled up in the tortilla and we enjoy the Grilled Carne Asada with Veggies and Guacamole.
I'm very excited about how the Grilled Carne Asada and veggies turned out. But more excited about how easy it really was to make. Yes, I fussed a bit about some of the temperatures and ingredients. But it's hard not to think about how delicious this dish would be while camping, tailgating, or just picnicking in the park.
If you love grilled meats that taste delicious wrapped in a tortilla check out this Easy Grilled Huli Huli Chicken recipe. It's simple to make and one of my favorites.
Carne Asada on the Big Green Egg
- 1 package pre-seasoned Carne Asada
- 1 bell pepper cored and quartered
- 1 to mato diced
- 1 sweet onion sliced into thick rounds
- Sour Cream
- Flour tortillas
- Prepare your grill for direct cooking
- Remove the Carne Asada meat from the packaging
- Coat the veggies with oil and season with salt and pepper
- Grill the veggies over raised direct heat until the pepper and onion until they have some char and have wilted
- Dice the veggies and set aside
- Grill the Carne Asada meat hot and fast for about 90 seconds per side or until it develops a nice char and is cooked completely
- Grill the tortillas briefly to warm and slightly char. Approximately 30-45 seconds per side flipping often
- Serve the Carne Asada meat in a tortilla with the veggies
- Garnish with guacamole and sour cream if desired