Mama Nona's Arracheras (Mexican Beef Barbeque)

>> Monday, July 4, 2011

Arracheras (Mexican Beef Barbeque)

Some people would call this a Tex-Mex fajitas-style barbeque, but in the central ranching area of Mexico, this is a staple recipe that uses the rather tough skirt steak or flank steak beef cut. Angela learned this recipe from her Mexican ex-MIL, and anywhere you find people from the state of Guanajuato grilling, they may just have this on the coals.

We made this on Jenn's request for her high school graduation, and our midwestern family had never seen or tasted soft corn tortillas before. In the Chicagoland area, we prefer El Milagro brand corn tortillas, made right in the Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago. Flour tortillas also work, if you can't find or prefer to eat flour instead of corn.

Arracheras - grilled skirt steak


2 1- to 1 1/4-lb. skirt steaks, trimmed of membrane and excess fat
1 12-oz. bottle or can beer
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
2 to 3 tbsp. Mexican hot sauce
3-4 cloves minced garlic
12 corn tortillas (8 in. each), warmed until they are soft and pliable
 Lime wedges
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped white onion
Fresh red or green salsa, hot sauce, or pico de gallo
1 cup chopped tomatoes 
1 cup queso fresco, crumbled

Joe grilling marinated skirt steak


If you get the meat from a Latino butcher, ask them to put the meat "En la machina", or in a mechanical meat tenderizer. Otherwise, pound the meat flat with a meat tenderizer mallet. 

Cut meat into 4-5" wide sections. Put the meat in a large resealable plastic bag or on a platter. Stir together beer, lime juice, hot sauce, and garlic, then pour over steaks. Cover and refrigerate 1-4 hours.

Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for medium-high heat. Drain meat, then grill it  3 to 4 minutes per side, turning often, till crispy on the edges and fully cooked. Spray flare-ups with water.

Warm tortillas on a hot dry griddle, turning frequently, until soft and pliable. Watch your fingers!

Slice or pull apart meat into 1-2" sections. Build arrachera tacos with meat, chopped cilantro, onions, salsa, tomatoes, cheese, and a squirt of lime, as desired.
Serves 4-6


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