Carne Asada: Colombian-Style Grilled Flank Steak

Carne Asada
John E. Kelly/Getty Images
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Marinate: 12 hrs
Total: 12 hrs 35 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
406 Calories
22g Fat
6g Carbs
42g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 406
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 6g 29%
Cholesterol 119mg 40%
Sodium 1418mg 62%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 42g
Vitamin C 16mg 81%
Calcium 50mg 4%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 628mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A dish of marinated, grilled steak known as carne asada is a beloved staple in Colombia. The phrase "carne asada" translates to "grilled meat," but the recipe is much more than that. A cut such as flank or skirt steak is marinated overnight in a mixture typically made of orange juice and/or lime juice, as well as garlic and spices. What distinguishes Colombian carne asada from Mexican recipes is the inclusion of beer, which can be any style you prefer; a richer brew will add more of a caramel flavor while a lighter style beer will contribute a taste more akin to the citrus.

This steak recipe calls for Sazon Goya with achiote, a packaged seasoning mix that adds a unique flavor to the dish; it can be found in the Latin American section of the supermarket. This marinade comes together easily, making this steak recipe ideal for a busy weeknight (as long as you plan ahead for marinating). Serve carne asada with rice and beans and a salsa de aji picante (tomato-based chile pepper sauce) on the side. Or use it as a filling for an arepa sandwich or steak tacos.

Learn what foods you need to stock your pantry with to cook Colombian recipes.


  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  • 1/2 bottle beer

  • 1/2 cup orange juice

  • 3 to 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, from 3 limes

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 (1.41-ounce) packet Sazon Goya with annatto

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 2 pounds flank steak

Steps to Make It

  1. In a bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the vegetable oil, 1/2 bottle of beer, orange juice, lime juice, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce.

  2. Whisk in the garlic, cumin, Sazon Goya, and salt and pepper to taste.

  3. Place the flank steak inside a resealable plastic bag and add the marinade mixture. Seal the bag tightly, then leave the steak to marinate overnight in the fridge.

  4. Heat the grill to medium-high. Remove the steak from the marinade and grill for 5 to 8 minutes on each side, or until it reaches your desired doneness.

  5. Let the steak rest for 5 minutes, then slice very thinly against the grain.

  6. Enjoy with your choice of sides or inside a taco or arepa.

Citrus Tips

There are a few ways to maximize the amount of juice when squeezing citrus.

  • Bring the fruit to room temperature before juicing. This allows for the cell walls to soften and the juice to flow more freely. (You can microwave the citrus for 20 seconds for quicker results.)
  • Roll the limes or lemons on the counter using the palm of your hand; this will also help soften the fruit and make them easier to squeeze.
  • Use a handheld citrus juicer; this tool will maximize the amount of liquid the fruit will yield. If you don't have one, you can use a fork, making sure to move it back and forth inside the flesh to release as much juice as possible.