Recipe Spotlight

Arrachera en Adobo: Tender Flank Steak, Silky Sauce, and Complex Flavors

This bold dish—based on dried chiles—needs to be added to your regular rotation. 

Published Mar. 8, 2023.

Arrachera en adobo (flank steak in adobo) is a dish of flank steak braised in an ultrasavory adobo sauce. It’s spicy, sweet, sour, meaty, garlicky, fruity, and rich all at once—and equally delicious over rice or nestled in a flour tortilla. Our version of this Mexican American dish was inspired by Johnny Hernandez, chef and owner of La Gloria restaurant in San Antonio.

From Hernandez, we learned that arrachera en adobo is reminiscent of a Texas chili: the beanless, straightforward version of chili popular in that state. Like Texas chili, arrachera en adobo gets a lot of its flavor from the magic that happens when beef is simmered in a sauce built with dried chiles. 

This version of arrachera en adobo gets so much of its complex flavor from two dried chiles that are toasted and then blended into a sauce: anchos and pasillas. Anchos are dried poblano chiles. They have an earthy, sweet, raisiny flavor with hints of coffee, licorice, and chocolate. Pasilla (chile negro) have grape-like, herbaceous, and even bitter or sour notes. 

To learn how to make it, watch Bridget and Julia cook Arrachera en Adobo in the video above. 

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