Tacos de arrachera (Skirt steak tacos)

The "arrachera" or skirt steak (bavette in french) is a fibrous beef cut that comes from the animal's abdominal muscles, and it needs a special method in order to make it as delicious as it can be (and its taste can be very good, believe me!)... There are many authentic mexican recipes that take advantage of this very special meat cut; wherever you find the expression "de arrachera", today a practical method to make tacos with it...

By its very nature, the cut of beef called skirt steak is renowned for its delicious taste but it does have a somewhat fibrous texture: an idea is to let it marinate at least 30 minutes in a marinade as is outlined in this recipe, which will help in that respect; another idea is to cut the skirt steak strips opposite direction of the muscle fiber thus making it easier to chew...

Recipe for tacos de arrachera

tacos de arrachera


* 3 lbs. Flank or skirt steak
* 1/3 cup white vinegar
* 1/2 cup soy sauce
* 4 cloves garlic, minced
* Juice from 2 lemons
* 1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chile powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
* 1 onion, chopped
* 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped very finely
* Juice of 1 lemon
* 2 large tomatoes, chopped
* 3 jalapeno peppers, chopped
* 1 more onion, cut in 4
* 4 cloves garlic
* 4 chiles de arbol
* 1 pinch salt and pepper or to taste
* 16 tortillas
* 2 limes, quartered
* Salt to taste


1) Place the meat in a glass roasting pan. In a bowl mix the vinegar, soy sauce, 4 cloves of garlic, the juice of the 2 limes and olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, chile powder, oregano, cumin and paprika. Mix until well blended and pour this over the meat. Turn once to make sure both sides are well coated in this marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate for 1 to 8 hours.

2) In a bowl combine the chopped onion, half the cilantro and the juice of one lemon. Reserve as filling to be served with the tacos.

3) Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Cut the jalapeño peppers in strips, discard the seeds and veins; roast the chiles for 3 to 4 minutes, remove from heat reserve. Preheat oven to 300 °F.

4) Place the tomatoes, onion in quarters, and 4 cloves of garlic in a baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until well roasted but not burnt. Put these roasted vegetables and the other half of the fresh cilantro in a blender or food processor and blend until you get a smooth sauce; pour this salsa back in the pot and add the jalapeños strips; mix.

5) Separately, heat up some oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cut the meat in strips opposite of fibre, put in the pan and cook, stirring constantly until cooked to desired degree (I like rare) and most of the liquid has evaporated.

6) Heat up the tortillas on a comal, or using your favorite skillet. Place 2 or 3 tortillas on each plate, add a good amount of meat, some chopped onion with cilantro and salsa to taste. Serve with lime quarters.

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