Instructions

* 1 tsp. salt, plus more for the meat
* 8 limes
* 2 cups pico de gallo style salsas
* shredded cabbages (for garnish)
* 3 tbsp. canola oil – plus 1/4 cup for frying the tortillas
* freshly cracked black pepper
* 12 corn tortillas
* 1/2 lb. queso cotija (aged Mexican cheese) or mild feta cheese
* 1 1/2 lbs. beef skirt steak, trimmed of extra fat and sinew
* 15 oz. refried beans

Making the Carne Asada

1. Cut the limes in half crosswise and squeeze the juice into a glass bowl.
2. Cut the meat into lengths about 4 inches long. Place the meat in the bowl, making sure the juice covers a good amount of the meat’s surface.
3. Let the meat marinate in the lime juice for a minimum of 1 hour and up to 4 hours. If possible, turn the meat every 20 minutes.
4. Remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Liberally sprinkle the meat with the salt and pepper.
5. Heat 3 tbsp. oil in a heavy-bottomed sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is quite hot, add the meat, without crowding the pan, one piece at a time.
6. Sear the meat for 1 to 2 minutes per side depending on your preference for doneness. 1 minute will give you rare; 2 minutes will give you medium.
7. Remove the meat from the pan and place on a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with any remaining uncooked pieces.
8. Once the meat is cool enough to handle, place it on a cutting board.
9. Cut the meat into thin strips. Cut across the strips so the meat comes out in small pieces.
10. Keep the meat warm on a plate in the oven at the lowest setting while you prepare the beans.

Assemble the Tostadas

11. Heat the beans, 1 tsp. salt and 2 tbsp. water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally to prevent the beans from sticking.
12. Heat the remaining oil in a small sauté pan over high. Using tongs, fry each tortilla until golden and crisp.
13. Quickly sprinkle a little salt on each tortilla as soon as it comes out of the oil. Put the tortillas on a plate lined with paper towels to remove excess grease.
14. Put 1 1/2 large tbsp. beans on a tortilla and spread evenly, as if you were buttering bread. Next, sprinkle 2 large tbsp. carne asada on the tostada. Garnish with the cheese first and then the cabbage and salsa.
15. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

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