What is Arrachera?

In Mexico, the term “arrachera” usually refers to skirt steak, although in some regions, it may occasionally refer to flank steak. While flank steak can be a good substitute for skirt steak, we recommend sticking to the traditional skirt steak.

Arrachera (skirt steak) is a long cut of meat from the cow’s plate area. It has an intense beef flavor but is tough, requiring proper preparation to become tender and juicy. When cooked well, arrachera is a delicious cut of beef that serves as an ideal main ingredient in various recipes.

An important tip for maximizing tenderness is to slice the cooked arrachera steak against the grain. For the best flavor and texture, marinate the arrachera steak and cook it to medium rare. Do not cook it too long or too short, as this may result in a rubbery and chewy texture.

What is an Arrachera Steak Good For?

While arrachera steak is most commonly used in Mexican cuisine to make tacos or fajitas, it can also be used in various other recipes. Here are some of the most popular ways to use traditional arrachera:

  • Tacos or fajitas: If you know little about Mexican cuisine, you will agree that nothing is more traditional than tacos or fajitas. Mexican tacos and fajitas are about well-cooked meat, fresh ingredients, spices, and bold flavors.
  • Burritos: A burrito is a beloved Mexican dish consisting of a tortilla filled with various ingredients, including meat (for example, arrachera steak).
  • Quesadilla: Another delicious Mexican dish featuring arrachera steak is the meat version of the quesadilla.
  • Nachos: Mexican snack made from tortilla chips and cheese and served with toppings such as sliced grilled arrachera.
  • Soup: Arrachera can be used to make a flavorful beef soup with various ingredients and is also an excellent option for using leftover steak from a previous dish.
  • Standard steak with sauce: A great way to prepare arrachera is by serving it as a classic grilled or pan-seared steak with a sauce, such as chimichurri sauce or citrus sauce.
  • Salads: Add thinly sliced arrachera steak to salads for a protein boost, combining it with fresh greens, vegetables, and your choice of dressing. Tip: Leftover arrachera steak is also perfect for adding to salads.

Arrachera vs Carne Asada

Arrachera and carne asada are two terms commonly used in Mexican cuisine. Arrachera refers to skirt steak, while carne asada directly translates to ‘grilled meat,’ typically made with marinated beef. Thus, “carne asada arrachera” means marinated and grilled skirt steak.

Discover Other Beef Cuts

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

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Written by: Adam Wojtow

Adam Wojtow, the founder of Steak Revolution, is a true steak enthusiast. His primary goal is to help others perfect their steak-cooking skills.