What is Arrachera?

In Mexico, the term ‘arrachera’ generally refers to skirt steak, though sometimes it may refer to flank steak. It’s best to stick with skirt steak to keep things traditional. Arrachera is a flavorful long cut from the cow’s plate section. It’s rich in beefy flavor but can be tough, so it requires the right preparation to make it tender and juicy. When it’s cooked just right, arrachera shines as the star in a range of recipes.

Remember, when you’ve got your arrachera cooked up, always slice it against the grain to keep it tender. And for the best taste and texture, marinate it well and cook it to a perfect medium rare. Avoid over or undercooking, as it can make the steak rubbery and chewy.

Arrachera steak
Arrachera steak
cut skirt steak against the grain
Cut arrachera steak against the grain

What is Arrachera Steak Good For?

Arrachera steak isn’t just for tacos or fajitas in Mexican cuisine; it’s got a range of uses. Let’s look at some popular ways to enjoy arrachera steak:

  • Tacos or fajitas: Even if you’re just getting to know Mexican food, it’s clear that tacos and fajitas are all about well-prepared meat with fresh ingredients and rich spices — arrachera is often the star of these dishes.
  • Burritos: Who doesn’t love a burrito? Wrap up some arrachera steak in a tortilla, throw in a few extras, and you’re good to go.
  • Quesadilla: Then there’s the quesadilla, which gets a tasty twist when you add in some arrachera.
  • Nachos: Level up your nacho game by topping them with slices of grilled arrachera. It’s a game-changer.
  • Soup: Arrachera can transform a simple beef soup into a robust dish, making it a wonderful use for leftover steak as well.
  • Standard steak with sauce: Just a simple grilled or pan-seared arrachera with a delicious sauce like chimichurri works wonders.
  • Salads: Thin slices of arrachera make salads more filling and are a smart way to use up steak from yesterday’s meal.

Arrachera vs. Carne Asada

Arrachera and carne asada are two terms commonly used in Mexican cuisine. Arrachera is a term that refers to the flavorful skirt steak, a favorite for its marbling and taste. Carne asada, on the other hand, means ‘grilled meat’ in Spanish and is often associated with beef that has been marinated before hitting the grill. When you combine the two, you get “carne asada arrachera”: a marinated skirt steak that’s been perfectly grilled to bring out its unique taste and tenderness.

Discover Other Beef Cuts

Discover other delicious beef cuts that are just as interesting as arrachera. Here are some of my top recommendations:

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Written by: Adam Wojtow

Adam Wojtow is a Polish entrepreneur and writer who founded Steak Revolution in 2020 because of his passion for steaks. Adam has been cooking steaks for over 5 years, so he understands well all aspects of steak, from the types of steaks and their cooking times to choosing the best cooking technique for any steak.