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Sous vide Asada Tacos

By definition, most carne asada tacos feature carne asada which is grilled or pan-seared skirt or flank steak. I didn’t have any and as much as I love flank steak I tend to take sides with the less popular tougher cuts when cooked sous vide. Why? because they can be transformed into something that’s quite possibly superior in flavor and texture via sous vide. And you’re still within rare to medium rare range… which is just amazing. 

Now having said that.. there’s always the issue of time. You know, cooking tough cuts of meats takes time. This preparation takes days in the making. Hey, if you’re a sous vide cook, this should’t come as a surprise. This is what we do… low and slow. Roughly 2 days brining and 2 days cooking. But as you can already tell, you don’t have to be there for most of it. Brining prep takes say.. 20 mins plus post-cooking sear which takes about another 20 minutes. Taco prep… give it who knows… 10 minutes all together. So under an hour of actual hands-on work. During the rest… no need to worry, just resume life, work up appetite and get ready to experience the best carne asada you ever had.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Round tip. 2-5 lbs
  • hot sauces and taco garnishes of your choice
  • corn or flour tortillas
  • 10 grams of salt per pound of brine
  • 10 grams of brown sugar per pound of brine
  • 20 grams of instant coffee per pound of meat
  • 10 grams of garlic powder per pound of meat
  • Water as needed
You’ll need to make enough brine to cover the meat and that depends on the amount of meat and the size of the tub used to hold the brine and meat. The salt concentration will be roughly 2% but feel free to adjust it to your liking.
Preparation:
  1. Combine the water, salt, and sugar and mix well until everything is dissolved.
  2. Place the meat in the brine and make sure it is submerged. Brine for 24-48 hours in the fridge. Note that this time can be significantly decreased when using one of your Vacuvita containers as vacuum sealing the meat in the brine will speed up the process.
  3. Remove the meat from the brine and pat dry with paper towels.
  4. Combine the instant coffee and the garlic and rub the meat evenly.
  5. Vacuum seal the meat using your large vacuvita bags.
  6. Cook sous vide at 55C for 32 hours.
  7. Sear over high heat on all sides until beautiful. Use a heavy bottomed pan and plenty of high smoke point oil like safflower oil.
  8. You’re done! Slice the meat and have fun making those tacos.
  9. Sauce and garnish to your liking or visit the full article on my blog for more information on how to make your own hot sauces! 
Paul Palop