Carne Asada Clinic

Madison RutherfordJune 25, 2020
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Need something to make with that prime skirt steak you just bought?
This star chef has a few pointers.

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Celebrated Sedona eatery Elote Café picked up a James Beard Award nomination for its refined iterations of Mexican classics, so who better than its owner and executive chef, Jeff Smedstad, to pony up a killer carne asada torta recipe? Pick up a couple pounds of skirt steak from one of the meat markets on the opposite page and put together the perfect summertime torta with these tips from the vittle virtuoso. “Do not limit yourself to just making a torta with this meat,” he says. “It can make a wonderful center-of-the-plate item, a quesadilla or a taco.”

Smedstad Torta

For 2 lbs. skirt steak, trimmed and cleaned:

2 tbsp. orange juice
2 tbsp. lime juice
3/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup onion
1 tbsp. oregano
1 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. chipotle powder
1 1/2 tsp. guajillo powder
1/2 tsp. allspice
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, then pour over the skirt steak and let it marinate for at least one hour, but up to one day.

“Now you will need the rest of the story to make a great sandwich,” Smedstad says.

1/2 cup refried beans, warm
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
4 pickled jalapeños
1 Roma tomato, sliced thin
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 avocado, sliced
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
6 bolillo rolls, cut in half and toasted

On a hot grill or a hot skillet, cook the skirt steak to about medium (roughly three to four minutes per side). Spread a tablespoon or two of refried beans on the bottom half of the sandwich and top with strips of steak. Smedstad says to “liberally” coat with the jalapeños, avocado, tomato, onion and lettuce.
Finish with a layer of mayonnaise on the top end of each slice of bread.

Food styling & Photography by Eric Cox
Food styling & Photography by Eric Cox

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