By: Tiffany Haugen (www.tiffanyhaugen.com)
Mexican Cinco De Mayo Celebration!
We don’t need an excuse to make tacos as they are a favorite around here. But with Cinco de Mayo right around the corner, it’s time to make some spectacular Smoked Carne Asada Tacos filled with flavorful, smoked meat and cheese. Easy to smoke ahead and be ready for a crowd or to put together quickly for a family dinner, these tacos are sure to please.
Smoking foods, using the Smoke Chief Cold Smoke Generator and BBQ pellets, prior to grilling or cooking, takes a little time but it’s a great way to infuse smoke flavor. Be it meat, fish, vegetables or nuts, hitting these things with cold smoke will add a layer of flavor to the overall taste profile of any dish.
If you have the Smoke Chief Cold Smoke Generator set up on a grill, it’s simple to smoke meat for an hour or two, then crank up the heat and sear on the hot grill to finish. If you’re cold smoking in another type of unit, meat can be finished on a grill or in a hot cast iron skillet.
2 pounds Flank, skirt or flap steak or short ribs
1/2 - 1 pound cheddar cheese
Optional vegetables to smoke and grill include onions, red bell pepper, jalapeño peppers
Salt to taste
Carne Asada Dry Rub
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Carne Asada Sauce
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1-2 tablespoons minced jalapeños
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
For the meat: Trim excess fat, meat should be no more than 3/4” thick for optimal smoke flavor and quick grilling.
For the rub: In a small bowl, mix rub ingredients until thoroughly combined.
For the sauce: In a small bowl, mix sauce ingredients until thoroughly combined. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
Pat meat dry and sprinkle both sides generously with all of the rub. Place meat, cheese and vegetables on the grill or in a smoker. Cold smoke using the Smoke Chief Cold Smoke Generator for 1-2 hours. Suggested BBQ pellet flavors; hickory for a strong smoke flavor, apple for a mild smoke flavor.
Remove cheese and place in a sealed container or baggie, refrigerate until ready to run through the grinder. The Smokehouse Grinder comes with three plates; small, medium and large. Cheese grinds best when cold. Cheese can be smoked and ground several days ahead of time, keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Remove meat and vegetables from the grill or smoker. Preheat grill on high heat. Salt meat to taste on each side. Sear meat 1-3 minutes per side or until desired doneness. Grill vegetables over medium heat until tender.
Let meat rest 10-15 minutes before slicing. Slice or chop meat and top with Carne Asada Sauce.
Slice vegetables to serve on tacos or on the side. Build tacos to your liking, toppings may include cold-smoked cheese, smoked vegetables, pico de gallo, avocado, lettuce or cabbage.
Recipe Note: Additional Carne Asada Sauce can be used to marinate smoked vegetables prior to grilling.