If you’re a fan of Mexican cuisine, then you’ve probably heard of Arrachera – a popular meat dish that’s a staple in many Mexican households. But have you ever wondered what cut of beef is used to make this mouth-watering dish?

Is it flank steak or skirt steak? Well, the answer might surprise you.

What is Arrachera?

Before we dive into the details of the cut used to make Arrachera, let’s first understand what this dish is all about. Arrachera is a traditional Mexican dish that’s typically made by marinating beef in a mixture of lime juice, garlic, and spices like cumin and chili powder. The marinated meat is then grilled or seared to perfection and served with sides like rice, beans, and tortillas.

Flank Steak vs. Skirt Steak: What’s the Difference?

Now let’s talk about the cut of beef that’s used to make Arrachera. While many people believe that it’s made from flank steak, it’s actually made from skirt steak – a different cut altogether.

So what’s the difference between these two cuts? Both flank steak and skirt steak come from the abdominal area of the cow and are known for their rich flavor and texture. However, there are some key differences between them.

Flank steak is longer and wider than skirt steak and has a thick layer of fat on one side. It has a bold flavor but can be tough if not cooked correctly.

Skirt steak, on the other hand, is thinner and longer than flank steak and has more marbling throughout the meat. It has a slightly sweeter flavor than flank steak but can also be tough if overcooked.

Why Skirt Steak?

Now that we know that Arrachera is made with skirt steak instead of flank steak, we can understand why this cut was chosen for this dish. Skirt steak is more tender than flank steak and has a rich, beefy flavor that pairs perfectly with the bold flavors of the marinade used in Arrachera.

In addition, skirt steak is also more affordable than flank steak, making it a popular choice for traditional Mexican dishes like Arrachera.


In conclusion, Arrachera is made from skirt steak – not flank steak as many people believe. While both cuts of meat are delicious in their own right, skirt steak’s tenderness and rich flavor make it the perfect choice for this classic Mexican dish.

So next time you’re at a Mexican restaurant or cooking up some Arrachera at home, be sure to use skirt steak for an authentic and delicious experience. Happy cooking!