Arrachera Tacos as served at Highlands Ale House in Aspen, CO, as seen on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, season 35.
Recipe courtesy of Highlands Alehouse

Arrachera Tacos

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 4 hr 10 min (includes marinating time)
  • Active: 1 hr 30 min
  • Yield: 12 tacos



Jalapeño Avocado Aïoli:

Corn Pico de Gallo:

Blue Corn Tortillas:



Special equipment:
a tortilla press
  1. For the steak: Cut the steak into 3 to 4 rectangular-ish portions. Place in a large resealable plastic bag, container or vacuum seal bag.
  2. Blend the oil, soy sauce, Worcestershire, lime juice, pepper, garlic powder, dehydrated onion and paprika in a blender. Pour the marinade over the steak and seal the bag. Let sit in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours.
  3. For the jalapeño avocado aïoli: Remove the seeds from the jalapeño and dice. Remove the pit and skin from the avocado and add to a blender. Add the jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper to blender. Blend until it has a smooth, thick paint-like texture. If it's too thick, add a little cold water until the texture is thick and a little bit runny, like paint. Transfer to a container, bowl or squeeze bottle.
  4. For the corn pico de gallo: Grill the corn (or roast over the open flame of a gas stove) until nice and charred.
  5. Cut the kernels from the cobs into a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, onions, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Mix well with a spoon or by hand, making sure to not smash the tomatoes.
  6. For the blue corn tortillas: In a large bowl, add the masa. Pour in the water and stir to combine. Knead the dough with your hands in the bowl until it is smooth and no longer sticky, 1 to 2 minutes. If you have time, cover the dough and let rest up to 30 minutes.
  7. Pinch off a piece from the dough and form a round ball around the size of a golf ball.
  8. Cut a resealable plastic bag open along the sides. Open the tortilla press and lay the opened bag on the top and bottom. Coat the plastic slightly with oil if desired to reduce friction. Place the dough ball between the plastic.
  9. Press down until the dough has spread about 6 inches and reaches the desired thickness.
  10. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the freshly pressed tortilla and cook for about 1 minute before flipping and cooking another minute. Stack the tortillas in a clean kitchen towel so they stay warm and steamy. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  11. For the steak: Take the steak out of the bag and cook on a hot grill or griddle to medium or preferred temperature. Cut into strips.
  12. For the tacos: Place the warm tortilla(s) on a plate. Add 2 ounces steak to each, followed by the corn pico de gallo, a sprinkling of Cotija and a drizzle of jalapeño-avocado aïoli.
  13. Serve with Mexican rice and whole or refried beans. Enjoy!

Cook’s Note

If you don’t have a tortilla press, use something flat to press like a cutting board or back of a sheet tray.