Fratelli Perata Winery
Ron’s Carne Asada gift to Fratelli Perata

Our oldest daughter, who is removed from the winery since she works in Seattle, is not influenced by traditional food pairings. She has, through empirical evidence, determined Petit Verdot works with Carne Asada. Here is the version from our friend Ron Tucker of and his excellent cook and wife Pat. It is printed verbatim as received. We used very thin skirt steak that grilled in less than 4 minutes. The recipe seems long, but isn’t very complicated and yes, we used the beer. We drank the Petit Verdot. Yum.

Carne Asada (Grilled Steak) is most commonly a marinated and grilled flank or skirt steak which can be used in a wide variety of ways. Of course, you can eat it alone. However, slicing it for tacos and adding some grilled cambray onions (like green onions, but with a larger bulb), grilled nopales (from the prickly pear cactus), guacamole, pico de gallo, and freshly squeezed lime juice makes it absolutely mouth-watering. Remember, genuine Mexican tacos feature small, soft tortillas, stacking two at a time for each taco. Carne Asada is also featured in tortas, delicious Mexican sandwiches using big telera bread rolls.

For tender Carne Asada, marinating the flank or skirt steak anywhere from 1-8 hours does the trick. Traditionally, the marinade includes freshly squeezed lime juice, garlic, onion, cilantro and black pepper, but you can experiment with other fruit juices, such as orange and papaya. I like to add some hot peppers and a little beer to it as well. And remember, for best results grill the meat over a nice, hot fire.


4 Cloves garlic, minced                                       1 Freshly squeezed orange
1/2 Cup fresh cilantro leaves and stems,               1/2 Cup olive oil
     chopped finely                                               1 Teaspoon cumin
1 Jalapeño, serrano or habanero pepper,              Freshly ground black pepper
minced (optional, if you don’t like it spicy)              Kosher salt (but go easy on it because you’ll salt
Beer (like negra modelo, corona or dos equis),      the steak again just before putting it on the grill)
optional, to taste                                                   2 Tablespoons white vinegar
2 Freshly squeezed limes

Using a mortar and pestle, mash the garlic, hot pepper, cilantro, cumin, salt, and pepper into a paste. Gradually add the
lime juice, orange juice, oil, vinegar and beer, stirring to mix well. Yields about 1 1/2 Cups

Other ingredients:

2 Lbs flank or skirt steaks                                 Additional limes, wedged
1 Onion, chopped                                            Pico de gallo salsa, optional
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper     Cambray onions, whole, optional


Place the steak in a large pan or baking dish and add the chopped onion. Pour the marinade over it. cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate from 1-8 hours.

Preheat an outdoor grill (for best results), or you can use an indoor grill or even the broiler option of your oven. Brush the grill with a little olive oil to prevent sticking. Take the steak out of the marinade and place it on the grill or under the broiler. When the juices begin to rise on the surface, season with salt and pepper. As soon as the salt liquefies on the surface, flip the meat to the other side and repeat. Grilling time is anywhere from a few minutes to 10 minutes each side, depending on the thickness of the meat and your preference for doneness. Remove the steak and let it rest for about 5 minutes to allow the juices to settle. Thinly cut the steak across the grain for tacos. Keep the Carne Asada warm in a covered dish. (If you’re grilling cambray onions and nopales, it’s best to do this before or concurrently with the meat, and set aside, keeping it warm.) You can also sauté the onions used in the marinade in a skillet to add to the tacos.