Hello friends of Paulina Cocina! I hope you are very well and eager to receive good information, of course.
Today I bring you all the data about a delicious cut of meat that is known in Mexico as “will tear”, but which is consumed in many parts of the world under other names. Its juicy and fibrous meat makes it a perfect option for grilling, but its versatility makes it a great choice to prepare many recipes.
Do you want to know more? Here we go!
What is the arrachera
It’s a very popular cut of beef in Mexican cuisine but it is also well known in other Latin American countries where it can be known as fajita or entraña. Is a stringy, chewy meatwhich is characterized by being juicy and having a strong and well-marked flavor.
In Mexico, it is one of the most widely used options in restaurants and food stalls, since many dishes are prepared with it, including tacos, burritos, fajitas, and on some occasions it is also eaten as a main dish with garnishes such as refried beans, rice, salsa, guacamole or salads.
Where does the arrachera come from?
It is a cut of beef which comes from the abdominal part of the beef, specifically from the lower part of the cow’s diaphragm, between the ribs and the brisket.
It differs from other cuts of beef due to its large amount of muscle fibers, which makes it more resistant and chewy, but well prepared it can be very tender.
Why is it called an arrachera?
This dish originated in Mexico and its name is believed to come from the Spanish “arrancar”, which means “to tear off” or “to pull down”, as it comes from the underside of the cowspecifically between the ribs and the skirt, and the act of extracting it resembles that action it represents.
It is also believed that it is because due to its fibrous texture, to cut it raw it is necessary to tear it.
The king of the arrachera
Previously, the arrachera was considered a second-rate meat, which used to be discarded by butchers. However, it is said that the Mexican meat businessman, José Inés Cantú, known as the “King of the arrachera” introduced this cut in the 70s in Mexico, after having tried it in the state of Texas.
Cantú saw the possibility of entering this cut, which was part of the viscera, so he imported it at a very low price. In his restaurant in Monterrey, he began to prepare delicious dishes with that meat, which he named “Arrachera”, as a way to hide its origin.
Over time, other cooks began to experiment with the arrachera, becoming a highly valued cut.
How is it cooked?
Being a cut with many fibers, it is best to marinate it for several hours (between 3 and 12) before cooking it, to soften it and give it more flavor. It is usually prepared on the grill, but it can also be grilled or baked or braised.. The marinade ingredients can vary, but typically include lemon, garlic, onion, cumin, and chili.
The preparation is simple, but the success of its flavor depends on the previous marinade. The membrane that characterizes it can be removed, but this will depend on the cooking method and the taste of whoever prepares it.
In addition to the marinade, it can also be seasoned with salt and pepper before cooking. Once cooked, it is cut into thin strips and served with garnishes or used for other recipes.
quality is very important
However, as with any cut of meat, the quality of the flank steak will largely depend on the animal’s diet and the way in which it has been raised and slaughtered.
It is best to look for pastured beef, as this guarantees that the animal was raised ethically and sustainably.
Why the arrachera is convenient
- It is a generally accessible cut: it is obtained at a good price.
- It is very versatile: since it can be cooked in different ways and for different uses.
- It is tender and juicy: if prepared and marinated correctly.
- Goes great for the grill: it cooks quickly without much effort.
Some preparations with flank steak
- One of the most popular dishes with are the flank steak tacosin which, once the arrachera is cooked, it is cut into thin strips and served in a corn tortilla with onion, cilantro and sauce.
- can also be prepared encebollada snatch: cutting the meat into strips and cooking it in a pan with thinly sliced onion. Once cooked, it is accompanied with rice and beans.
- Another popular way to prepare arrachera is tampiqueña stylewhich consists of a portion of grilled flank steak accompanied by a cheese enchilada, guacamole, rice and beans.
In short, the arrachera is a very popular cut of meat and versatile in Mexican and Latin American cuisine, which can be prepared in a variety of ways. It is very tasty, juicy and very tender if prepared correctly and with a good previous marinade.
If you wanted to know and taste other Mexican preparations, I recommend this post with 10 traditional recipes of Mexican cuisine that will transport us to mexico!