When you say the word taco what do you think of? A ground-beef filled crispy shell?
Tacos are so much more than that.
Let’s talk Mexican street tacos.
Tacos Origins Long Before Arrachera
Tacos, in their most basic form – a tortilla filled with various ingredients – has a long history dating back hundreds of years.
Indigenous Mesoamerican cultures, such as the Maya and Aztec, used corn tortillas as a sort of edible utensil.
They would roll tortillas around food, most commonly fish, beans, meat, and vegetables, much like the taco we know today.
These ancient people considered corn a sacred crop, making the tortilla a significant part of their cuisine and spiritual beliefs.
Arrachera: The Humble Hero of The Street Taco
The humble street taco emerged as the food of choice for Mexican workers on the go in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Yes, even in centuries past there was a need for eating something simple on the go.
Vendors (taqueros) set up stands known as (taquerias) to sell tacos.
Traditional Tex Mex tacos in the United States are filled with ground beef.
But before this endearing version of the taco came to be, arrachera, known as skirt steak in English, dominated the street taco scene in Northern Mexico where cattle where aplenty.
In addition to the widespread availability of cattle, arrachera became the street taco meat of choice other reasons as well.
1. Flavor: Skirt steak is a flavorful cut of meat due to its high fat content and strong beefy taste.
2. Fast Cooking Time: Skirt steak is thin and cooks quickly, making it ideal for street food and quick-service dishes like tacos.
Make Arrachera At Home
And this is exactly why you should make arrachera at home on a weeknight when fast and easy is an important criteria for supper.
Typically no more than 2 minutes per side is needed to cook arrachera on a hot grill.
My arrachera marinade with lime, soy sauce, garlic, olive oil, and just a bit of my Tex Mex seasoning adds a pop of flavor to skirt steak that will make your taste buds happy on a weeknight.
While your skirt steak marinates, warm your tortillas and prep the minced onion and cilantro which are the traditional condiments for arrachera.
Add what you like to your street taco, but nothing more is needed.
The taste bud pleasing flavor of this marinated steak speaks for itself.
So go ahead, discover the joy of cooking arrachera street tacos for your life on the go.
When fast, easy, and over the top delicious is the criteria for supper on a weeknight make arrachera street tacos.
- 1 lb skirt steak, trimmed
- 2 limes, zested and juiced
- 1/4 cup Tamari (or soy sauce)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon Chef Sandra’s Tex Mex seasoning
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- corn tortillas, street taco size
- chopped cilantro
- minced onion
- Combine the lime zest, lime juice, Tamari, minced garlic, and Chef Sandra’s Tex Mex seasoning.
- Whisk in the olive oil.
- Place the skirt steak in a gallon-size baggie.
- Pour in the marinade. Press out the air and close up baggie.
- Leave the marinated steak out on the counter to allow it to come up to room temperature.
- Chop the cilantro.
- Mince the onions.
- Heat the tortillas on a comal or cast iron skillet.
- Grill the skirt steak on a very hot grill, 2 minutes each side, depending on how thick the steak is.
- Slice against the grain.
- Serve on warm tortillas.
- Garnish with cilantro and minced onion.
- This steak is so flavorful that I prefer it without salsa. The cilantro and the minced onion is the perfect compliment.