Grilled Adobo Marinated Skirt Steak

The Guajillo (wha-hee-oh) chile is the most common dried chile in Mexico after the Ancho. The flavor of the Guajillo is distinct, slightly fruity with a strong piney, berry under taste. Guajillo flavors dished easily so a little goes a long way. This chile is between a 2-4 on the heat scale of 1-10. Guajillo, combined with the Passilla and Ancho, form the holy trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces.

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For the Pasilla-Guajillo Adobo

  • 2 ounces pasilla chiles (about 6 chiles), stemmed, deseeded, and deveined
  • 2 ounces guajillo chiles (about 8 chiles), stemmed, deseeded, and deveined
  • ¼ cup distilled white vinegar
  • ¼ cup light Mexican beer
  • ½ cup chopped white onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt, or 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 5 whole cloves

For the steak

  • 2 pounds skirt steak, cut into four 8- to 9-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt, or 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ cup Pasilla-Guajillo Adobo
  • About 1 tablespoon mild olive oil or vegetable oil


To make the sauce:

  • Heat a comal, griddle, or heavy skillet over medium-low heat, and toast the chiles 2 or 3 at a time, turning them over and pressing down on them with tongs frequently, until the chiles are fragrant, about 1 minute per batch. Soak the chiles in enough cold water to cover until they’re soft, about 30 minutes. Drain and discard the soaking water.
  • Put the vinegar and beer in the blender jar with the chiles and the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth, at least 3 minutes, adding a little water if necessary to puree. If you like a silky, smooth texture, strain the adobo through a medium-mesh sieve.
  • This adobo keeps in the refrigerator for up to five days or in the freezer for up to one month.

To make the steak:

  • Pat the steaks dry, season them with the salt, then coat them generously with adobo. Let them marinate in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
  • Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Lightly oil the grill or grill pan and cook the steaks, 3-5 minutes on each side for medium-rare, depending on their thickness. Let the steaks rest for 5 minutes before slicing for tacos or serving as whole steaks.
  • Serve it with corn tortillas, salsa, rice, beans, or any other side dish you like.

Recipe adapted from The Daily Meal, 2011