Carne asada nachos isn’t the recipe I was expecting to post at this time of year, but here we are.
Veganuary, which you may know or have heard of, has no doubt settled under my skin. My sub-conscious urges me to eat salad after a month of gorging myself (see last month’s confessions of a meat-aholic), so my mind keeps drifting to vegetables assuming that’s what I, and you dear reader, want. However, have I cooked myself a dinner of vegetables? Nope. Instead I made nachos. Covered in steak and cheese.
I think I’ve already said this (maybe a couple of times), I’m a lazy cook. Normally when I bake something sweet it’s only because I’m craving sugar immediately and so that sweet thing is something so basic it’s only one step up from a mug cake (it would be a mug cake if we had a microwave). I resist weighing ingredients unless utterly necessary, and when I do, I weigh everything in the same bowl or pan because washing up is such a bore.
Nachos is certainly a lazy food. To put it in perspective, the most strenuous activity is making the guacamole. Therefore, I really think carne asada nachos is perfect for January.
This is the month where every morning frost glitters on the grass outside, going out without gloves on is considered irresponsible, and you dread stepping out of the steamy hot shower. We don’t need additional daily complications. Instead, we need warmth and fat and love to feel human. Carne asada has that by the bucket-load, it’s practically a zesty, meaty hot water bottle.
What are carne asada nachos?
First, what is carne asada? If you’re looking for bright flavour this winter, I urge you to try this Mexican steak recipe. Juicy tender steak is marinated in fresh garlic, coriander, lemon and lime juice, a dash of cumin, and possibly a touch of spice if you need some extra hot sizzle in your life. It’s flash fried in a searing hot pan and the marinade caramelises and chars yet the centre remains blush pink. It’s perfect as it is.
However, then you can sprinkle those succulent slices of steak over crispy nachos with big dollops of guacamole and salsa, sliced jalapenos, cheese, maybe some pico de gallo and coriander, full of the spicy fragrant flavours of Mexico, and suddenly January is a very happy month indeed.
Good food doesn’t have to be complicated. Good food can be lazy and effortless and, best of all, messy to eat with your hands. Good food can include nachos with citrus-marinated steak and cheese – including that weird plastic cheese which is wrapped in little sleeves which I embarrassingly had to use because we had nothing else, and honestly it was still delicious, melting under the grill right on cue.
The diets and restrictions can wait. Stay warm and eat carne asada nachos this winter.
Carne asada nachos
- 1 large flank steak
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Juice of 1 lime
- 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 large handful fresh coriander stems and leaves roughly chopped
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 200 g tortilla chips
- Pico de gallo
- Cheese choose from easy-to-melt Cheddar, or try feta or queso asadero
- Pickled shallots
- Sour cream
- Salsa I bought a jar of Old El Paso
- Sliced jalapenos
- First, make the marinade. Grab a baking dish – maybe the dish you bake roast potatoes in – and add the oil, citrus juices, garlic, coriander and cumin. Mix it all together, add salt and pepper to taste, then dunk in your steak. Turn it over a couple of times to make sure each side is covered in chopped garlic and coriander, wrestle it around a bit, give it a massage if you want, then submerge it in the marinade. Leave it for an hour as you make your chosen toppings.
- When you are ready to fry your steak, preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/375°F. Scatter your tortilla chips onto a big baking tray, then when the oven is hot, pop them inside for up to 5 minutes until lovely and crispy.
- Meanwhile, heat a frying pan, skillet or griddle over high heat. Once it’s hot and almost smoking, chuck in your marinated steak. It will hiss and sizzle immediately. For a medium pink centre, cook it for roughly 1 minute and 30 seconds on each side. Don’t move it around too much as you want the outside to char a bit.
- Remove it from the pan and set it on a chopping board to rest for up to 5 minutes. Slice it into strips then scatter them over the tortilla chips, along with all it’s delicious meaty juice. Sprinkle some cheese on top then slide the tray back into the oven for a couple of minutes so the cheese can melt and become stringy.
- Garnish with all your favourite toppings, then grab some kitchen paper as this will get messy, sit down and devour.