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