Los Angeles chef-restaurateur Bricia Lopez, the author of “Asada: The Art of Mexican-Style Grilling” with food blogger Javier Cabral, says this recipe for Costillitas was inspired by the dried chile and citrus flavor combination found in so many Mexican candies and marinades.
“Now you can make your own,” Lopez says. “You can double or quadruple the yield and keep any leftover spice mix — before adding the (liquid) — in a container with a tightly fitting lid in your pantry for later.”
Chile-citrus powder is amazing on flanken beef ribs — short ribs cut crosswise across the bone, as you would for Korean kalbi — but it’s also wonderful on potatoes, chicken or pork.
Citrus and Spice Costillitas
1 teaspoon guajillo chile powder
1 teaspoon smoked chipotle powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon dried cilantro
¼ teaspoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
Zest and juice of 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
Zest of ½ large orange
Juice of 2 large oranges (about ¾ cup)
2 pounds flanken beef ribs (or Korean-style short ribs)
For serving: warm tortillas, salsa of your choice
In a bowl, add the guajillo powder, chipotle powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, driedcilantro, brown sugar, soy sauce, the lime zest and juice, and the orange zest and juice. Whisk to combine.
Pat the meat dry with paper towels. Using a gallon-size resealable bag, add the marinade andthe meat. Seal and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
Remove the steaks from the fridge to allow them to reach room temperature before grilling, ifpossible. Start a charcoal or gas grill. The gas should be set to high. If using a pellet grill, preheatyour grill to 450 degrees for at least 15 minutes. If using charcoal, the coals should be red butentirely covered with gray ash.
Remove the steaks from the marinade and put them on the grill directly over the fire. Close thelid and cook, turning once, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Transfer the meat to a cuttingboard and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice the meat against the grain. Serve with warm tortillas andsalsa.
— Bricia Lopez, “Asada: The Art of Mexican-Style Grilling” (Abrams, $40)
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