Weekend food is the best. It’s the food that goes on a smoker for half the day, giving you the excuse to “watch the grill” while doing next to nothing. Or it’s the soup that requires you to sit and stir while reading a book.
If you love to cook, it’s the from-scratch puff pastry dough you’re learning to master, the turkey breast you’re brining, the layered rainbow cake you’re making for a birthday party.
What weekend food takes of our time, it makes up for in deliciousness and in satisfaction.
One great weekend recipe is for carne asada. Try it on warmed tortillas with cotija cheese, avocados and a squeeze of lime juice. You can also use this braised meat on a salad, over rice or in a Mexican-style stew.
Carne asada is good to make when having friends over to watch a football game. Make it ahead and then set out the tortillas and toppings for everyone to help themselves.
This recipe’s adapted from “Love Welcome Serve” by Amy Nelson Hannon. Her kitchen shop, Euna Mae’s, is two hours from Tulsa in Springdale, Arkansas.
Braised carne asada
- 4 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 pounds flank or skirt steak
- Olive oil
- 1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 cups beef stock
- 2 yellow onions, halved and sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
- 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
In a small bowl, combine ingredients for the dry rub. Set aside.
Allow beef to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes, then use a mallet to tenderize and break it down. Cut the meat in half so it will fit in your pot if necessary.
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Rub both sides of the meat liberally with the dry rub. Swirl a little oil in a Dutch oven or braising pan, and heat over medium-high. Sear the meat on both sides until a dark crust forms. Transfer to a plate.
Pour in ½ cup stock, stirring to loosen the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Then add the onions and peppers, stirring to cook for a few minutes. Push the veggies to the sides to make space in the center for the meat. Lay the meat in the pan, nestling it down between the vegetables. Pour in the remaining 1 ½ cups stock. The stock should come up the sides of the meat without covering the top. Cover and bake 2 ½ hours. Turn off the oven and continue to cook for 30 to 60 minutes.
Remove from the oven, and shred the meat in the pan with two forks, stirring the shredded meat and vegetables together in the pan juices. The meat should pull apart easily. If the meat doesn’t shred into tender bites, cover the pan and return it to the oven for 30 minutes more.