Carne Asada Flank Steak Salad Bowl

When my friend send me a link to a Strip Steak Carne Asada Salad Bowl recipe, I was intrigued. I'd always made Carne Asada with flank steak in the past. In fact, there are several recipes in this blog including grilled and crockpot versions.  As I had flank steak in the freezer, I went with what I had. That said, flank steak is not the tenderest of meats so really needs to be cross sliced super thin. I liked the idea of the salad bowl, but after looking at the other recipe, I just decided to wing the toppings.

The Carne Asada recipe below is from on of my earlier blogs. The Pico De Gallo was thrown together randomly after looking at a few recipes. I guessed at the amounts. I think I would also enjoy a mango/tomato or peach/tomato salsa as an alternative to the Pico De Gallo, They would add another pop of color with a fresh, fruity taste.  But again - going with what I had in the fridge today.  So Pico De Gallo Salsa it was. 

For the salad bowls the basics are the meat, the Pico De Gallo, corn, avocado or guacamole, and cheese - but don't be afraid to make it your own. So many great other toppings such as shredded carrots, shredded jicama, sliced jalapenos (fresh or pickled), ripe olives, sour cream and more.  You could give everyone one  a salad dressed with the basics and have the additional toppings available for them to add on their own. In the picture above, I have avocado slices, corn, beef slices, a mix of grated fresh carrot and jicama combined around the outside. Then scatted a bit of cheese on top along with a a scoop of Pico De Gallo in the middle.  

One note - if you've never cooked with Flank Steak - it's really really important to let it rest for a bit and then gently slice it crosswise across the grain.  And as I mentioned above, it is not the tenderest cut so needs to be sliced as thin as possible. Or you could go with a more tender cut of beef instead.

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Carne Asada Flank Steak Salad Bowl

Flank Steak (Marinate a minimum of 2 hours, prefer all day)

                     Limes, juiced
4 cloves           Garlic, crushed
½ C                  Orange juice, fresh squeezed
1 C                   Chopped fresh cilantro
½ tsp                Salt
¼ tsp                Black pepper
¼ C                  Olive oil
1-2                   Jalapeno, minced
2 T                   White vinegar
2 lbs.                Flank steak

Pico De Gallo Salsa (Mix up at least an hour or more before serving)

1                      Large juicy ripe red tomato
1/8 C               Diced sweet onion (if you like a sharper flavour use white)
1/8 C               Diced orange or yellow bell pepper (optional)
1/4 C               Chopped Cilantro
1                      Clove Garlic finely mined or pressed
1/2                   Jalapeno finely minced (or more if you want it spicier)
1/2                   Fresh lime
salt and pepper

Extras - 

Lettuce mix 
1                      Avocado sliced
1 C                  Cooked fresh or frozen corn, or canned corn drained and rinsed well
Grated Jack or TexMex or Jalapeno Jack Cheese OR a crumbled Mexican Cheese
Chopped Cilanto for decoration
Fresh lime quarters to squeeze over salad

Optional topping - you could add a dollop of sour cream, sliced ripe olives, sliced picked jalapenos, grated carrot, grated jicama and more  But start with the basics above.

Instructions - 

Place your flank steak in the marinade and store in the fridge for a minimum 2 hours, all day, or overnight. The longer it's in the marinade, the more flavors it will absorb. 

1-2 hours before dinner, prepare your Pico De Gallo Salsa by placing all ingredients in a bowl, squeeze the half of lime over, season with salt and pepper and stir well. Store covered in your refrigerator until ready to you.  (Note - I actually like to bring this to room temp before eating, but I don't think that's traditional). 

Heat your barbecue grill.  How hot you want it will depend on how you like your meat. Higher temps and a quick sear of about 3 minutes on a side will leave it pink in the middle.  A medium temp and 7 minutes a side with the lid closed will cook your meat all through. Up to you.  I'm a cook through kind of person. 

After the flank steak is cooked to your taste, let it rest covered on a cutting board for 5-10 minutes.  Sliced across the grain (super important) into thin slices. 

To serve, pace a nice layer of salad mix on a plate, top with slices of carne asada, a serving of corn, avocado slices, a dollop of pico de gallo, a sprinkle of cilantro, some grated or crumbled cheese, a wedge of lime to squeeze over it, plus any extra ingredients you enjoy!