Jul 14, 2010, 4:23 PM
Post #10 of 20
Thanks for the input. Since we cannot purchase already marinated Arrachera, I will be starting from scratch and once I have prepared the original marinade and allowed it to do its thing - I will then supplement with your recommendation. By the time this is all completed, our entire supply of Tequila should be gone. Since we have not be satisfied with the local supply of either flank or skirt steak, my next experiment with be using a very marbled choice grade flatiron steak for this attempt at fajitas.
Although I am no expert on beef cuts, Neil, I am surprised you cannot find either satisfactory skirt or flank steak in New Mexico. I would have sworn we ate both good skirt and flank steak cuts while living in Santa Fe and Taos back in the 80s but maybe not. Both skirt and flank cut are easily found and quite popular in Northern California. Maybe, however, your notion of a "very marbled" flatiron steak is a good one. As Esperanza said - let us know. I don´t buy much beef or often visit butcher shops in either Jalisco or Chiapas but I personally have never seen a "very marbled" steak in the land of grass fed beef. At least the lean beef around here may be better for you than that delicious fatty U.S. beef.
Do remember that both skirt and flank steaks must be well-marinated after you have bought it at your favorite butcher or they will be tough.
I have eaten a lot of skirt steak and flank steak in California, France and Mexico and I think some of the confusion regarding these two cuts of meat results from the fact that both cuts come from the same muscle but they are not at all alike. Flank steak is much thicker than the very thin skirt steak when butchered in California where we often used skirt for certain types of Asian cooking - especially Korean BBQ after marinating. If you go to Wikipedia and other internet sources, illustrations you will find show clearly that arrachera (which is really the only local beef we buy at Lakeside) comes from what would be known as flank steak in California so perhaps this is a simple cultural difference. For instance, "fajitas" would be made from skirt steak in Texas and perhaps Northern Mexico where I understand it is a staple of "Tex-Mex" cooking.
This cut which, according to Wikipedia, is also known as "hanger" steak since it "hangs" from the diaphragm of the steer, is one muscle cut into two separate cuts of meat - thus, the outer cut, or flank, and the very thin and tougher inner cut known as skirt. I have consumed much arrachera in Mexico and , having also historically eaten much skirt steak in California, I can assure you that arrachera is flank steak unless Mexican butchers do not cut the muscle into two separate cuts which, I suppose is possible.
Incidentally, flank steak (as separate from skirt steak) is quite popular bistro food in Paris where Dawg has often ordered it and it is known as "bavette". A bavette cooked with shallots and served with french fries and a glass of house red wine in a Paris bistro eaten al fresco. That brings back memories and is an inviting future plan.
I don´t think that Esperanza and I are necessarily in disagreement although she may disagreee that we are not in disagreement. She can speak for herself.