My Comfort Food

My family has deep roots in the Americas. On my Dad’s side, the part of America we have been in for more generations back than we can track, is Central America. We come from a mountainous part of Honduras called Santa Barbara. I’ve been told that our family’s land even has a castle on it! I never visited Santa Barbara or the castle. My childhood was a series of moves through out Central America and the US. I lived in Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Florida, Pennsylvania and Texas; all before I was nine.

As a result the food of my childhood is pretty varied. I wasn’t a peanut butter and jelly girl, that’s for sure. I was the kid who loved lobster …and mac and cheese! When I was in the US, I ate any weird thing and grossed other kids out with stories of eating tongue and whole fish (with the eyeballs still there!) When I was in Central America, I enthralled other kids with tales of hamburgers, pizza and Dunkin Donuts. One thing both food cultures have in common is a good steak. A Honduran Skirt Steak or Carne Asada a good ‘ol American Steak both have a place in my heart and on my plate!

The Plato Typico

Some of my very favorite meals are comforting, simple foods. In Honduras you find food on what is routinely called the “plato typico.” This usually consists of fried ripe plantains (maduros), Honduran red beans, or black beans with rice (comunion), some pickeled vegetables called curtido (usually cabbage but sometimes onions or a medley of cauliflower and carrots), tortilla, some queso fresco and the main event is the Honduran skirt steak or carne asada. Versions of carne asada are found all over Latin America. In Honduras though, carne asada means one thing and one thing only: grilled skirt steak or sirloin marinated in a mixture of naranja agria, cumin, salt and oil.

The Naranja Argia Problem

The key flavors in Honduran Skirt Steak are the cumin and the naranja agria (sour orange). So making this dish here in the US can be tricky because… well, when was the last time you saw naranja agria at your local mega mart? A latin or specialty grocer in your city may have it but, even then you are more likely to find it in a bottle. If you do find the fruit, buy it and use it (get yourself some ripe plantains while you are at it!) If you don’t, the problem is simple to solve. Just use a combination of orange and lime. It’s not a perfect replacement, but it’s pretty darn good!

Making Honduran Skirt Steak Paleo

Issue number two with the most common version of Honduran Skirt Steak is that it contains worchesteshire sauce. Which as a paleo-ish eater I try and avoid. The most popular store bought version has quite a bit of sugar added. I am hyper-aware of these types of hidden sugars and try to avoid them. In my first few attempts at this, I skipped the worchesteshire sauce completely. I was dissappointed with the results. I looked for a paleo version and to be honest, while they were delicious umami bombs, they did not taste at all like the original. So I decided to make my own. Check out the recipe for it!

Serve with Chimol, Curtido de Repollo, rice and beans

Tim’s Picks!

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Pairing Considerations

Steak. The easiest pairing to make, right? You could just grab the good ‘ol Cabernet and you’re all set. Look, I like Cabernet. It’s grown everywhere, it packs a ton of flavor, and you can find a good bottle in any shop. However, there is a whole world of wine out there and so many grapes to make wine with, you could have a different wine everyday FOR YEARS! Seriously, why limit yourself?

The Wine

My pairing for Tracy’s Honduran skirt steak is Lioco “Sativa” Carignan out of Mendocino County. Dry-farmed from 70 year old mountain vines, this red is racy and vibrant, with dark berry fruit, hints of herbs, and cocoa. The fruit is fresh and juicy, easily matching the recipe’s citrus marinade and complementing the use of the grill. Enjoy!

Honduran Skirt Steak

Honduran Skirt Steak

A paleo friendly version of this tasty steak! Enjoy with fried ripe plantain and a tangy cabbage slaw.


  • Skirt Steak
  • 2 tbsp Kosher Salt, Diamond Crystal
  • 1/2 cup Orange Juice
  • 1/4 cup Lime Juice
  • 4 cloves Garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt, Diamond Crystal
  • 2 tsp Cumin, ground
  • 1 tbsp Paleo Worchesteshire Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil


  1. Give yourself 2-3 days in advance for this. Both the salting and marinade steps will lead to a more delicious steak. If you skip them, it will be tasty but not nearly as great as it could have been.
  2. Salt steak liberally with salt and place in a covered bowl or ziplock back for 24-48 hours
  3. After at least 24 hours and at least 12 hours before you are ready to grill prepare marinade.
  4. Combine orange juice, lime juice, salt, cumin, garlic, worchesteshire and olive oil and pour over steak. Let it marinade for 12-24 hours
  5. Grill your steaks over high heat for 5-6 minutes per side
  6. Remove from grill and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before serving



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