Flank Steak Taco recipe: Tacos de Arrachera

Today I’ve got an unusual taco recipe for you: one of the few authentic Mexican steak taco recipes that uses carne arrachera (flank steak).  Tacos de arrachera are a northern delicacy you’ll find in the comida norneño hubs of Monterrey, Chihuahua, and Sonora, where they claim to have the best beef in all of Mexico.  The arrachera meat is the most tender part of the cow, so it’s famous for being a juicy meat that makes for super tasty steak tacos.  Up north, instead of using the country’s preferred taco meat: pastor (pork), the taco stands often make and serve taco recipes that use this flank steak, and when it’s cooked right, the meat can make for tacos de arrachera that are to die for.

I should note that your arrachera tacos will taste better if you grill the arrachera over charcoal for this recipe, but if you have a gas barbecue or a gas grill, that will work too.  The charcoal will add that smokey texture to the flavor, though, that really adds a nice dimension to the flavor.

Prep Time: 3 hours, to let the arrachera steak marinate

Cook Time: 1.5 hours

Ingredients (serves 4):

800g carne arrachera (flank steak)
8 corn tortillas

for the marination:
100ml of your favorite beer
ground black pepper to taste
2 tbs honey
2 tbs worcestershire sauce (Jugo Magie recommended)
2 tbs soy sauce
2 garlic cloves
juice of one orange

for the garnish:
pico de gallo

for the side dish:
refried beans


1. Marination: start by preparing the meat by placing it in a big container (tupperware works well).  Then in a separate bowl, mix the worcestershire sauce, the juice of one orange, black pepper, and soy sauce.  Then chop the garlic and put it in there too.  Mix everything really well.  Then pour it onto your cuts of arrachera and return it to the refrigerator to let it marinate for three hours if you have the time (longer is better, up to about 6 hours at the extreme, if you’re planing in advance and you can have the time.)

2. Make you garnishes:  make pico de gallo, your guacamole, and then…

3. Prepare your side dish of refried beans.

4. Grill your arrachera steak: medium heat if you’re using gas.  Make sure your flame isn’t touching the meat during grilling because it will burn the meat.  Cook the arrachera meat until it’s done “medium”.

5. Lightly heat up your tortillas using a grill, a pan, a whatever you want to use to do this; just don’t use a microwave because it will make them soggy and gross and this is why you’ll never see a Mexican heating up tortillas in the microwave).  While you’re doing this, cut up your steak into strips to serve in the tacos.

6. Serve your dishes: two tortillas per plate, with a generous amount of arrachera flank steak in each, top each off with pico de gallo, add guacamole, and then add some refried beans to the side of the dish to finish it off authentically Mexican.

And provecho!  Authentic Mexican taco recipes like tacos de arrachera are common in northern Mexico and I hope to bring more of them to you in the coming weeks.  I’ve been traveling through Mexico for more than three years now and I personally hadn’t tried these tacos until just recently, and they were so good I had to interrogate my Mexicana friend to get this arrachera  recipe to test out and share here with you all!–it’s that good.  Well I hope you like it, check back soon for new great authentic Mexican taco recipes like this one for the amazingly delicious arrachera steak taco, and as always, keep experimenting with Mexican food in the kitchen!

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