When I first heard the words barbacoa de arrachera (beef skirt barbacoa, I stopped dead in my tracks! I was like, “What!!!” I must investigate! After an afternoon of researching online and watching a few You Tube videos, I was hooked.
I already knew I loved beef barbacoa!
I grew up enjoying beef barbacoa, so why wouldn’t I love this beef skirt version? Arrachera is the cut of meat used in many parts of Mexico for carne asada. It’s especially popular in northern Mexico where my family is from. Early on my parents prepared barbacoa de cabeza(beef head). Later on when we lived in Houston, they liked serving beef cheek barbacoa(cachete de res). For me it’s the most rich and beefy part!
One more taco recipe to add to my list!
I didn’t hesitate for to long before I was out searching for beef skirt. Just the idea of barbacoa de arrachera for the weekend tacos was motivation enough.
Tomorrow I am going to add a video to the blog post! And a few more details about the recipe.
I decided that I was going to shorten my wait time and I pulled out my heavy duty pressure cooker! One hour under steady pressure and it was ready!
To soften the banana leaves, simply cut the sections you need. Then place them over a hot comal or griddle, using a spatula to gently push them down. They will change in color and become shiny and soft. Find banana leaves in the frozen foods near the Latin American foods.
Corn or flour tortilla?
It’s always interesting to see which tortilla people choose for there tacos. I am definitely a corn tortilla girl when it comes to tacos. But there are certain recipes like pork chile colorado or chorizo con huevo that need a flour tortilla! For barbacoa and carne asada, I need corn! Have you ever experienced a tortilla that is both corn and flour?
I can never decide on one salsa. I typically will set out one tomato based salsa and one tomatillo based salsa. The salsas featured above are Salsa de Mesa prepared with red fresno and serrano. For extra heat, the tomatillo salsa is prepared with red serrano peppers instead of green. Follow the instructions and then just switch out the chile peppers to suit your liking.
Barbacoa the next day. Homemade corn tortilla brushed with some of the fat from the barbacoa ans then warmed on the hot comal (griddle)before assembling the tacos.
Beef Skirt Barbacoa (Barbacoa de Arrachera)
- Pressure cooker
- 2 1/2 pounds skirt steak sliced into 2 inch pieces
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 chile ancho pods stems and seeds removed
- 1/2 cup grapeseed or olive oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 onion sliced into strips
- 1 stalk celery sliced in two
- 4 large sections of banana leaves previously softened
- 3-4 cups of water
You Will Also Need
- Corn or flour tortillas
- Guacamole your favorite recipe
- 1/3 cup Cilantro chopped
- 1 cup Onions diced
- Lime wedges from 2 limes
- Your favorite salsa
- Slice the beef skirt and transfer to a baking dish or pan. Set aside.
- If you have time, you can lightly toast the peppercorns and cumin seeds to bring out more flavor. It’s optional.
- In a molcajete, blender or coffee grinder, combine the salt, peppercorns, cumin seeds and oregano. Blend until you have a fine powder. Tear the chile ancho into pieces and add it to the blender along with 1/2 cup of oil. Blend until smooth.
- Pour the blended wet seasoning(marinade) over the meat. Use you hands to really work it in so it’s evenly coated. Set aside.
- To the bottom of the pressure cooker, pour in 3 cups of water. Arrange 2 sections of the banana leaves so they criss cross each other, making sure the flaps reach top of pressure cooker.
- Layer the seasoned meat evenly in pressure cooker. Add the onions, celery and bay leaves. Pour in any remaining blended seasoning with oil over the top. Cover everything with 2 remaining banana leaves. Fold in the flaps and push down slightly.
- Secure and lock pressure cooker lid onto the pot. Heat to high until the safety valve seals shut and pressure cooker is secure. Once it begins releasing that steam rapidly, reduce the heat to just below medium and set your timer for 1 hour.
- While the arrachera is cooking, prep any salsas, garnishes or sides you may want to serve.
- After one hour, shut the heat off from the pressure cooker. Now you wait. Wait until the safety valve opens back up or you can carefully release the steam. Be careful.
- When ready, transfer the barbacoa to a serving dish with a lid. Serve with warm tortillas, guacamole, salsa, limes, cilantro and onion. Buen Provecho! Y