Having grilled meat for dinner is just the comfort food everyone looks forward to on a weekend night. Do you know? In the past 50 years, meat production has tripled, and even more than that around the world. Every year 340 million tons of meat are produced in the world to meet the increasing demand for the meat. Talking about meat today, so, have you heard about ranchera meat? What is ranchera flap meat? What is Asada Ranchera? What to eat with this meat?
1. What is Ranchera Meat?
The popular cut of steak that can be used in various traditional Mexican dishes is known as the Ranchera Meat. It is also known by the name of skirt steak, flank, or arrachera. It is a type of thinly sliced cut beef. It is the most flavored cut of beef and is full of connective tissues that make it tough. Read What is the Most Eaten Food in America?
2. Which Part of Cow is Ranchera Meat taken from?
It is the meat from inside the chest and also the abdominal cavity of the cow which is just below the ribs. Yes, you got it right; it contains diaphragm muscles and transverse abdominal muscles. In some places, it is also referred to as a beef plate primal cut.
3. Where did Ranchera Meat Originate?
Originally, it was from Mexico but slowly its popularity became worldwide. It is the most common cut of meat used in Mexican culinary culture. Carne asada and bistec ranchera are two commonly cooked dishes made with ranchera meat. Check out 270 Really Delicious National Food of the World.
4. Why was it Named Ranchera?
The term ranchera was used to refer to the influx of ranchers and cattle in the 1500s. It was the time when beef happened to be the most important protein source in Mexico. Ranchera meat comes from the Sonora region – towards northwest Mexico. Hungry ranchers ate meat without any side dish or stuffed beef into the corn tortillas.
5. What is Asada Ranchera?
Asada Ranchera is a dish. It is the name given to carne asada because it uses ranchera meat. The dish is of thin sliced grilled beef that is well served with a burrito, salad, taco, fajita, etc. The beef for this recipe is well-marinated in a well-seasoned marinade. The thin slices of beef absorb the marinade deeply and the grilling afterward adds the charred flavor to it. This meat is either enjoyed as the main dish or used as an ingredient in other dishes of street foods.
6. What is Carne Asada?
It is another thin beef cut dish whose recipe is considered sacred to Mexico. Every family has its own recipe and marinade to prepare carne asada. Other cultures have recreated and copied carne asada due to its popularity. But the traditional way of preparing the meat is known only to the Mexicans. (Also read How much is a Venti Pink Drink?)
7. What is Ranchera Flap Meat?
The meat cut from the bottom of the sirloin section of the cow is the ranchera flap meat or flap beef, flap steak. It has a grainy and loose texture which is best for absorbing marinades. The presence of enough fat and connective tissues helps in keeping it moist even after it is cooked. This type of beef cut is considered best for fajitas, stir-fried dishes from Southeast Asia, and Chinese dishes.
8. How to slice the Raw Ranchera Meat?
The dishes made with ranchera meat are famous because of the thinly sliced beef that melts in your mouth. Therefore, a perfect slice is a must. Usually, the ranchera meat is one inch thick and in flaps. The meat must not be cut into cubes.
9. How to slice Cooked Ranchera Meat?
While serving the cooked ranchera meat, you need to slice it against the grain. It means the meat should be cut against the parallel lines that are visible on the surface. The slices need to be perpendicular to cut against the grain. This will give you thin slices of meat that you can further chop into cubes or eat as they are. See What is the Average Weight of Chicken Egg?
10. What is the Best Way to serve Ranchera Meat?
This finely cut beef is a good absorbent. Therefore, many restaurants and food trucks prefer this. Here are some tips for preparing and serving it well.
A) Begin with Marinating
Due to its loose texture, the ranchera meat will absorb good amounts of marinade, which means you can experiment with different types of recipes and marinades. The meat should not be marinated for more than 1 hour because it will make the meat more tender, and it will break while cooking. If you are making the traditional Carne Asada, you will need cilantro, olive oil, garlic, lime juice, white vinegar, jalapeño pepper, orange juice, and vegetable oil. Some recipes may use other spices and soy sauce too.
B) Way to Cook
Cooking this tender piece of meat is as easy as marinating it. An extremely hot grill or coals will do just fine. The coal will cook the surface of the meat faster, making it brown while keeping the insides as a rare medium. This condition is best because overcooking will make it hard and require more chewing. However, if you are using the stovetop, you will have to cook the meat for 5 to 7 minutes at high heat. The fat between the meat strands will keep it from burning and keep it moist.
11. Which Seasoning goes Best with Ranchera Meat?
One of the most popular seasonings mentioned to flavor the ranchera meat is Mesquite Flavoring. The Mesquite tree produces pods that are edible and are used by Native Americans as a popular ingredient. This ingredient is commonly used in various Mexican cuisines as the tree is native to Mexico. The flavoring has a smoky and sweet flavor that goes well for grilling vegetables and meat. Not only the pods but the wood planks of the tree are used while cooking. (See The Origin of Fried Chicken)
12. What are The Popular Ways of enjoying Ranchera Meat?
Most popularly, you will find people referring to ranchera meat as Carne Asada after it is prepared. It has a wonderful beefy flavor and is mostly eaten alone without any side dish. But some people enjoy it with other protein and carbohydrate-rich foods and vegetables. Popularly, it is often served with cilantro, guacamole, sour cream, lime, onion mix, rice, tortillas, salsa, or other Mexican accompaniments. Here is the list of items that you can enjoy with carne asada.
- Egg scramble
- Steak salad and salad bowls
13. Which Wine goes Best with Ranchera Meat?
Wine and meat are of unbreakable bonds. Since ranchera meat is cooked on high flame, it has a smoky and charred flavor which goes best with dark-fruited red wine like Grenache, Malbec, and Tempranillo. The intense flavors of the meat will be complimented by the fruity fresh flavors of the wine. (Also see 27 Health Benefits of Red Wine)
So, ranchera meat can be your favorite piece of beef as it is easy to prepare and delicious to taste. Also, apart from ranchera flap meat and Asada Ranchera, there are numerous types of beef cuts in ranchera meat that can be enjoyed in various traditional Mexican and other dishes.