Arrachera Verde

Quick marinades can save your life at a carne asada. This one breaks down meat in about 30 minutes and is inspired by chimichurri — except much spicier. It’s a great way to add some brightness to your carne asada.

This recipe has been kindly shared with TABLE readers from Asada: The Art of Mexican-Style Grilling. Discover more about the cookbook in our review.

Arrachera Verde

Serves 4


1 cup loosely packed fresh basil (leaves and tender stems)
½ cup loosely packed fresh mint (leaves and tender stems)
½ cup loosely packed fresh parsley (leaves and tender stems)
¼ cup fresh oregano leaves
2 Fresno chiles
3 large cloves garlic, peeled
Zest and juice of 1 lemon (about ¼ cup)
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp citrus vinegar
2 tbsp sea salt
2 pounds flap steak

For serving:
Warm tortillas (preferably homemade)
Salsa de Piña Tatemada (recipe follows)

  1. In a food processor, add the basil, mint, parsley, oregano, chiles, garlic, lemon zest and juice, olive oil, vinegar, and salt. Pulse until a smooth paste forms. Pat the steak dry with paper towels and place in a large bowl. Rub the paste mixture all over the meat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  2. Remove the meat from the refrigerator to allow it to reach room temperature before grilling, if possible. Start a charcoal or gas grill. The gas should be set to high. If using a pellet grill, preheat your grill to 450 degrees for at least 15 minutes. If using charcoal, the coals should be red but entirely covered with gray ash.
  3. Remove the meat from the marinade and put it on the grill directly over the fire. Close the lid and cook, turning once, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.
  4. Slice the meat against the grain. Serve with warm tortillas and the salsa.

Salsa de Piña Tatemada

Makes 2 cups


3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 large red onion (10½ ounces), minced
1 medium pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into
¾-inch-thick slices
2 habanero chiles, stems removed
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp sea salt, plus more as needed
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

  1. Start a charcoal or gas grill. Gas should be set to high. If using a pellet grill, preheat your grill to 425 degrees for at least 15 minutes. If using charcoal, the coals should be red but entirely covered with gray ash.
  2. Wrap the garlic and red onion in separate aluminum foil packets. Place them on the grill until the garlic and onion have softened, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, place the pineapple slices and habaneros directly on the grill. Cook until the pineapple has charred evenly on both sides and the skin of the habaneros has charred evenly, too, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Turn every 2 to 4 minutes for even cooking. When charred, remove everything from the grill.
  5. On a cutting board, chop the grilled pineapple into ¼ inch cubes. In a serving bowl, mix the pineapple with the grilled onion and the lime juice. Reserve. Add the salt and garlic to a molcajete and grind until the garlic has dissolved into a paste. Next, slowly incorporate the habaneros and the olive oil, continuing to grind until you are left with a paste.
  6. Add the habanero paste to the bowl of pineapple and onion, add the parsley, and stir to combine. Taste for salt, adding more as needed, and serve.

Story and Recipe from Bricia Lopez and Javier Cabral’s Asada: The Art of Mexican-Style Grilling / Photo Courtesy of the Publisher

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