Dutch oven Carne Asada
12” Dutch oven
25+ coals below
2-3 lbs very thin sliced beef steaks
juice of three limes
4-6 cloves garlic
3 medium onions
2 green peppers
juice of 2 limes
flour or corn tortillas
I started in the morning, putting all of the first set of ingredients into a zip-top bag and shaking, to evenly coat the steaks with the marinade. I put that into the fridge and went to church.
Later that afternoon, I lit up some coals, and while they were heating up, I prepared the veggies in the salsa. I cut the tomatoes and the onions into wedges, like in sixths or eighths. The peppers I simply sliced into long sticks, like a big julienne.
I put a lot (about 25+) of fresh coals under my 12”, and drizzled some olive oil in the bottom to heat up. Once that was heated, I started with the veggies. I started with just the tomatoes, because everything has different cooking times. I put the wedges in, skin down. Immediately, it started sizzling. I didn’t stir it. The idea is to get a good sear going on and carmelize it. Originally, I put the lid on, with a spacer to allow for moisture to escape, but I don’t think I’ll do that next time. It’s OK to soften up the tomato flesh a bit, too.
Once the tomatoes are all seared, I pulled them out and set them aside, and let the heat build back up. Then, I did the same thing with the peppers, onions and jalapenos. The onions, I laid on their sides, instead of the back of the wedge.
Once they’re all seared and cooked (but not sauteed), I put them all on my chopping block and just went at them with my chef’s knife, using a mince cut to chop them into coarse chunks. The tomatoes, of course, sort of fell apart, and provided a lot of liquid to the party. When they were all cut up, I tipped them all into a bowl, and added the lime juice, the cilantro, and the seasonings.
This ended up with a really delicious charred/smoky sort of flavor. The onions got a bit sweet, too, and it just had a richness that I hadn’t found in normal pico de gallo. It was delicious!
Then, I got some fresh coals under the Dutch oven again and got it heated up. I wanted it good and hot, so I used new coals, not the half-burned ones that were left. I spread out two pieces of the meat and let it sear and sizzle. Only a few minutes on each side, so that it’s still got a thin sliver of pink in the middle. When each one was done, I brought them in. I cut them into long, thin slices and we served them up with the salsa in tortillas, with guac and sour cream. I also made rice and refried beans (from scratch) for side dishes. All in all, it was a delicious Mexican meal!
Mark has discovered a love of Dutch Oven Cooking. Mark also has other sites and blogs, including MarkHansenMusic.com and his MoBoy blog.