In this Mexican-inspired steak recipe, dried chiles are toasted, soaked and pureed to make a flavorful marinade. Toasting the chiles in a heavy, dry skillet is the key to unlocking their flavor (not just their heat). Look for dried chiles in the produce section of many markets. Serve with rice, beans and a green salad.

Roberto Santibañez
Source: EatingWell Magazine, May/June 2015




Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Remove stems, seeds and membranes from chiles. Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add chiles and toast, using tongs to turn and press down on them frequently, until very fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and add enough cold water to cover. Place a plate on top to keep them submerged and soak until very soft, about 30 minutes. Drain. Transfer the chiles to a blender and add 1/2 cup fresh water, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, vinegar, sugar and cumin. Blend until very smooth, gradually adding a little more water, if necessary, to make a smooth sauce.

  • Place steak in a large shallow glass dish and season with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Add the marinade and turn to coat well. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

  • To grill: Preheat grill to medium-high.

  • Lightly oil the grill rack (see Tip). Grill the steak, turning once, 6 to 7 minutes total for medium-rare skirt steak or 9 to 12 minutes for medium-rare flank steak. Transfer to a clean cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before thinly slicing.


Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the marinade (Step 1) for up to 5 days; marinate the steak (Step 2) for up to 1 day.

Oiling a grill rack before you grill foods helps ensure that the food won't stick. Oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.)

Nutrition Facts

211 calories; protein 24.9g 50% DV; carbohydrates 4.6g 2% DV; exchange other carbs 0.5; dietary fiber 1.9g 7% DV; sugars 0.1g; fat 10.1g 16% DV; saturated fat 3.6g 18% DV; cholesterol 73.7mg 25% DV; vitamin a iu 1737.4IU 35% DV; vitamin c 0.3mg 1% DV; folate 13.8mcg 4% DV; calcium 15.6mg 2% DV; iron 3.5mg 19% DV; magnesium 33.7mg 12% DV; potassium 625.5mg 18% DV; sodium 290.2mg 12% DV; thiamin 0.1mg 13% DV.

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Rating: 3 stars
I was positive this was going to be the best thing I've ever eaten but it wasn't as flavorful as I had hoped. I will make this again but with a different chile. I used ancho and din't care for it. This recipe needs more salt in the marinade and then more salt added to the meat when you cook it. I tried to find a good cut of meat but the flank steak that I found was so grisly. I would try this with a roast next time or chicken. Lastly the marinade was very thick and not like marinade at all. I love this idea and will try it again. Read More