Carne Asada Bison Tacos with Garlic Lime Crema

Serves: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes (+4 hour marinating time)
Cook time: 4 minutes
Method: Grill

Take Taco Tuesday to the next level with this delicious recipe for Carne Asada Bison Tacos. The rich, lean flavor of the bison flank steak combined with the creamy tang of the Garlic Lime Crema creates a truly memorable taste experience. Pro tip: make extra because you’ll definitely be craving seconds. Decadent enough to feel special, easy enough to become your go-to! 

Recipe & photographs from Modern Farmhouse Eats.

Recipe notes from Modern Farmhouse Eats

Easy jalapeño citrus marinade adds incredible flavor to bison flank steak while also making it insanely tender and juicy! Aside from marinating time, these Carne Asada Bison Tacos come together with just 20 minutes of prep time. Serve the delicious steak in warm tortillas with your favorite toppings and homemade garlic lime crema.

This post is sponsored by The Honest Bison, who I am so excited to partner with! The recipe, photographs, thoughts and opinions are all my own.

If you’ve never made Carne Asada Bison Tacos, you absolutely have to try this recipe!! Although it sounds kind of fancy, it’s incredibly easy to make and requires little hands-on time. The bison flank steak takes on the bold citrus flavors of the marinade, creating the perfect steak taco. Even better, the steak is super tender when cooked right. I highly recommend bison for this recipe, but you can most definitely substitute beef flank steak if need be. Bison has a rich, clean flavor that I love. It’s also higher in protein and nutritionally superior to beef. If you’re looking to give bison a try, The Honest Bison has 100% grass fed bison that you can order online, and it’s shipped right to your door. I’ve now tried their bison and elk, and I really enjoy both!

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Tender, juicy & flavorful steak. Simple marinade that works wonders! It adds so much flavor while also helping to tenderize the steak.
  • Garlic lime crema. In my opinion, tacos always need a special sauce! This easy homemade sauce is fresh and flavorful.
  • Easy to make. Everything comes together so quickly and easily for these Carne Asada Bison Tacos, using simple ingredients. Waiting for the steak to marinate is the most difficult part!

Best internal temperature for bison steak

I highly recommend using a meat thermometer when cooking meat to ensure you don’t overcook it, resulting in dry, tough meat. For bison steak, here are the temperatures for degree of doneness

Rare: 125 degrees F.

Medium-rare: 125-130 degrees F.

Medium: 130-135 degrees F.

Medium-well: 135-140 degrees F.

Well: 140-150 degrees F.

I like to cook bison steak to around 130 degrees. As it rests off the grill for 5-10 minutes, it comes up in temperature to around 135 degrees for medium doneness. It’s still pink and juicy in the center, but not raw, and browned around the edges.

Pro tip! Always consider that the meat will continue to cook once it’s removed from the heat source. The residual heat left in the meat will continue to cook the meat, and the temperature will continue to rise 5-10 degrees. So, for example, if you want the bison steak cooked to medium (130-135 degrees), remove it from the heat source at 125-130 degrees and let it rest for 5-10 minutes until it reaches 130-135 degrees.

Recipe: Carne Asada Bison Tacos with Garlic Lime Crema

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Bison Flank Steak
  • corn tortillas for serving
  • optional garnishes: mashed avocado,
  • finely chopped onion, finely chopped
  • cilantro, queso fresco or cotija cheese, hot sauce (for serving)

For the Marinade:

  • 1 orange, juiced (about ½ cup)
  • 1 lime, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

For the Garlic Lime Crema:

  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons mayo
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lime juice lime zest from ½ lime
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. In a shallow dish, mix the marinade ingredients together. Add the steak and ensure that both sides are well coated in the marinade. Marinate in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Remove the steak from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Grill over direct heat for about 2 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 135-140 degrees F. Remove from the grill, and let the steak rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing. The internal temperature will continue to rise from carryover heat bringing the steak closer to 145 degrees F for medium doneness.
  3. While the steak rests, mix together the garlic lime crema ingredients. 
  4. Thinly slice the steak at an angle against the grain. From there, cut the strips into small pieces, if desired.
  5. Warm the corn tortillas, then spread with smashed avocado and top with steak. Garnish with onion, cilantro, queso fresco and garlic lime crema. Finish with a few dashes of hot sauce, if desired.

Recipe tips:

  • Grill quickly over high heat. Bison flank steak is both leaner and thinner than beef, meaning it cooks much faster. Make sure you keep a close eye on the bison flank steak so you don’t overcook it. It will only take 3-4 minutes to grill the steak.
  • Use a meat thermometer. I can’t stress enough how important it is to use a meat thermometer. It’s the absolute best way to ensure you don’t undercook or overcook the meat.
  • Don’t cook the steak past medium doneness. Overcooking will result in tough steak. I like my steak with a pinkish but not bloody center. I cook the steaks until they reach an internal temperature of 135-140 degrees F for medium-rare, but as the steak rests, the internal temperature will rise to about 145 degrees F for medium doneness.
  • Plan for carryover cooking. When grilling any meat, you must always plan for carryover cooking. Meaning, for 5-10 minutes after the steak is removed from the grill, the internal temperature of the steak will continue to rise about 5-10 degrees.
  • Let the meat rest before slicing. Let the steak rest on a plate for 5-10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat before slicing, ensuring a juicy steak. This also allows for carryover cooking.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have some questions about this recipe, how to cook bison meat, or even what it tastes like? Take a peek at these FAQS. If you still have questions, contact us, and we’ll do our best to answer them!

What does bison steak taste like?

When cooked properly, bison steaks are incredibly tender and full of rich flavor. Bison tastes similar to beef but is cleaner and almost sweeter. It also has zero gamey flavor.

Is bison healthier than beef?

Bison has more protein and less fat compared to beef, making it the healthier option. Bison is very lean meat that is high in protein and packed with healthy vitamins and minerals.

How should bison steaks be cooked?

The thickness of the steaks will determine how bison steaks should be cooked. Since tomahawk steaks are thick, I recommend first grilling low and slow over indirect heat to ensure even cooking, as well as a tender and juicy steak. Next, finish cooking the steaks over high, direct heat to get a nice char. If grilling thinner bison steaks, such as ribeye, I recommend grilling quickly over high and direct heat.

How long should you cook bison steaks? 

When grilling thicker bison steaks, such as a tomahawk steak, I recommend grilling low and slow for about 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 120 degrees F. Finish the steak over high direct heat for about 5 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees F for medium-rare. If you’re grilling thinner bison steaks, such as ribeye, I recommend grilling quickly over direct heat for 3-4 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees F for medium-rare.

Why is it important to let your bison steaks rest before cutting?

Cooking meat draws all of the juices to the surface of the meat, so when you cut into the meat without letting it rest, all of the juices will run out, leaving you with dry meat. So, let the cooked bison rest for 5-10 minutes after it’s removed from the heat source. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in tender, juicy cuts.

Do you cook bison the same as beef?

Bison steaks can be cooked the same as beef steaks, but keep in mind that bison is leaner than beef, so you likely won’t need to cook it as long as beef steaks.

How do I make my bison steak tender? 

Since bison is a lean meat, I don’t recommend cooking your bison steaks past medium doneness. This will ensure a tender and juicy steak. As well, cooking the steak low and slow on indirect heat will help to keep it tender, then finish the steak over high, indirect heat to get a nice char.

Can I use beef flank steak?

Most definitely! You will just need to adjust the grill time because beef flank steak takes longer to grill than bison flank steak. Bison flank steak grills up in about 2 minutes per side, whereas beef flank steak needs about 6 minutes per side.

Can I cook the steak on the stove?

Yes! I recommend using a cast iron skillet if you have one, otherwise, any nonstick skillet will work great. Using a nonstick skillet is a last resort because it doesn’t allow you to get as nice of a sear on the outside of the meat. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat with a little oil. Once hot, cook the steak for about 2 minutes on both sides, or until the internal temperature reaches 135-140 degrees F.

How should I reheat bison steak?

To reheat bison steak, remove from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature, then heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat with a little oil. Add the steak and cover with a lid, then sear for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until heated through. Alternatively, you can broil the steak in the oven. Place the steak on a baking sheet and broil for 2-3 minutes per side, or until heated through.

Can I use flour tortillas?

Yes, I just prefer corn tortillas for this kind of taco! Corn tortillas have great flavor, they just need to be warmed up before eating. So don’t skip that part. If you use flour tortillas, I also recommend warming those up!

About Modern Farmhouse Eats: 

Rachel Riesgraf is a recipe developer, food photographer, and avid deer hunter. She grew up on a farm in Minnesota which is where she learned how to create the best homestyle recipes using only the best fresh, seasonal ingredients. Today she applies that same passion for ingredients and cooking style as she develops easy, from scratch, comfort food recipes for the busy, modern cook. View the original recipe post on Modern Farmhouse Eats and check out more of Rachel’s tasty work!

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