What Kind Of Meat Is Arrachera? (Ultimate Guide)

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Arrachera generally refers to skirt steak.

However, keep in mind that depending on what location you’re in, people will have various ideas about this.

What Kind Of Meat Is Arrachera (Ultimate Guide)

Since both skirt and flank steak have always been quick-cooking cuts that are excellent for tacos, they are occasionally featured in the Arrachera category.

If you are a fan of Mexican dishes, then you may have heard of the term Arrachera being used.

It is considered one of the best grilled beef you can eat in this country.

We have created the ultimate guide for you to fully understand what kind of meat Arrachera is.

What Is Arrachera Meat?

A marinated, grilled side or skirt steak is known as an arrachera. A

lthough it is rough, unless it is marinated properly, it becomes incredibly tender and delicious.

Typically, arrachera is served as a steak with sides.

The meat can be made more tender and given a soft, juicy, and mouthwatering flavor by marinating it.

For skirt steaks as well as other tough steaks, marinating for 20–24 hours is ideal.

It is one of the most popular cuts in Mexico, it is frequently seen pre-marinated at grocery stores and meat eateries.

Where Does Arrachera Get Its Name From?

Contrary to popular belief, Arrachera is not derived from an ancient Mexican word.

In either Spanish or Mexican, there isn’t a word for this cut of steak.

However, the word “arracher,” which means to pull up or grip, may be found in the French language.

The word refers to the cinch that keeps the saddle on a horse.

The French army was stationed in Mexico, in which the name most likely originated.

What Is The Difference Between Arrachera And Carne Asada?

It is quite common for people to get confused between arrachera and carne asada.

We know that arrachera is a skirt steak or grilled flank that has been marinated to make it much more tender and flavorful.

Marinating the meat is important, otherwise it will be too tough and enjoyable to eat.

While carne asada translates to grilled beef. This is usually diez million or sirloin cut.

With a carne asada it is typically served by being cut extremely thinly and served in a taco.

As a result, it is clear when these two terms are confused and sometimes used in replace of one another.

How To Tenderize Arrachera Before Marinating?

Always use a tenderizing mallet to pound the skirt steak before cooking. Pre-tenderized skirt steak is sometimes sold.

Skirt steak must also be marinated for several hours to overnight in olive oil and acid to promote tenderness.

What Kind Of Meat Is Arrachera (Ultimate Guide) (1)

When it comes to using the mallet, you want your skirt steak to between 1/2 to 1/4 inch thick.

This is the ideal thickness. If it is thicker, then the meat may struggle to get as tender as you would like.

Although, if it is too thin, then it may not be able to hold its shape when cooked, resulting in a mushy texture when eaten.

It is important to note that if you don’t have a mallet to pound your meat, you can use other kitchen equipment.

A meat mallet or tenderizer are the better options, yet you could always use a rolling pin or the bottom of a pan as well.

Whatever you use, you want to make sure that it is quite heavy to help crush the meat to the perfect thickness.

For some people, this step is quick and therapeutic, but you can easily avoid this step by pre-tenderized arrachera.

Classic Recipe For Arrachera

If you are experienced with Mexican food, you will probably agree that tacos are the most traditional dish.

Mexican tacos focus on perfectly cooked meat, seasonal ingredients, aromatic spices, and strong flavors.

So what is the ideal taco-based recipe for traditional Arrachera? Tacos with carne asada!

They are excellent to make at home with friends and family. In addition to being extremely simple to prepare.


If you have an outdoor grill, that would be ideal.

Although, if not, an indoor grill pan would suffice. The ingredients you’ll need are listed below:

  • Arrachera skirt steak that is between ½ inch to ¼ inch thick.
  • Yellow, red and white onions.
  • Lime.
  • Guacamole or two sliced avocados.
  • Cotija cheese or any kind of cheese that you have in your house.
  • Flour tortillas.
  • Fresh cilantro.
  • 4 garlic cloves.
  • ¼ cup of olive oil.
  • 1 teaspoon cumin.
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce.
  • Fresh black pepper


Step 1: Marinate The Steak

The skirt steak from the Arrachera must first be marinated.

It is best to marinate the skirt steak overnight to allow the meat plenty of time to tenderize and take in those flavors.

Make the marinade using the spices including cumin, garlic cloves, black pepper, olive oil and soy sauce.

Step 2: Brown The Arrachera

Once the marination time has been completed, whether this for a few hours or overnight. It’s time to brown the meat.

The steak should then be placed on a grill or skillet over medium to high heat.

It only needs a few minutes on each side to turn brown.

Since medium-rare appears to be the ideal temperature for this cut.

It is ideal for your skirt steak to have some pink in the middle.

It will become tougher if it is overdone. After cooking, allow it to rest for a few minutes to keep the juices.

Once it has rested for a few minutes, you can slice the steak up into thin slices.

Step 3: Make Your Tacos

Grab some hot tortillas and spread some avocado on them.

Do not attempt to cut the ideal avocado slices for carne asada tacos because they are a traditional dish, not a fancy supper.

Guacamole can be added if you’d like additional flavor.

Over the avocado or guacamole, place the sliced steak.

Then incorporate chopped onion, fresco cotija cheese, and fresh cilantro.

Take a mouthful after a couple of drops of freshly squeezed lime juice.

Additional Toppings

Everything tastes better with a topping. You can experiment with seasonings, vegetables, and cheeses as taco topping options.

Here are some suggestions to help you spice up your recipe for carne asada tacos.

A great option is always fresh pico de gallo. You can add creamy lime crema or chipotle for a spicy touch.

For a nice and fresh crunch, add your preferred vegetables.

Additionally, as a topping, you can use either the standard cotija cheese or any other Mexican cheese.

Final Thoughts

Arrachera is a popular cut of meat used in a lot of traditional Mexican dishes.

It is referring to skirt steak, which must be tenderized and marinated before cooking and eaten.

This type of meat is found in the diaphragm region of a cow.

Yet it is a thin and delicious cut of meat, which is often used for tacos.

We hope you have enjoyed our guide, helpful in discovering what kind of meat arrachera is.