Carne Ranchera is an amazing Mexican dish that is loved by many! Made with a simple marinade and spices this flavorful dish is easy and delicious! Whether you’re hosting a Mexican-themed dinner party or just want to indulge in a flavorful meal, this recipe is sure to impress your tastebuds. So let’s get started and learn how to make this savory and succulent dish!
The term “carne ranchera” is Spanish and can be translated to “ranch-style meat” or “meat from the ranch.” The word “ranchera” is derived from the Spanish word “rancho,” which refers to a small rural property or ranch. The term “carne ranchera” is often used in Mexican cuisine to describe a specific cut of beef that is commonly used in traditional dishes.
- Other Recipes You’ll Love
- Pineapple Pico de Gallo – Are you looking for a tasty and colorful addition to your Mexican-inspired dishes? Look no further than Pineapple Pico de Gallo! This fruity twist on the classic salsa adds a sweet and spicy flavor to tacos, burrito bowls, or simply served as a dip with tortilla chips.
- Taco Stuffed Peppers– These taco stuffed peppers are full of flavor and so easy to make! They are the perfect easy weeknight dinner and a great twist for taco Tuesday!D
- Delicious Fajita Burgers– These Fajita Burgers are a delicious variation on a classic burger. Made with ground beef, peppers, onions and spices topped with a bun and your favorite fajita toppings. These juicy, flavorful burgers will be your new favorite!
What is the difference between Carne Asada and Carne Ranchera?
Carne asada and carne ranchera are both types of grilled or barbecued beef that are popular in Mexican cuisine, but they differ in the cut of meat used and the way they are prepared.
Carne asada is traditionally thin slices of grilled beef, often from the skirt or flank steak, that are marinated with citrus juice, garlic, and spices, then grilled or seared over high heat. The result is a flavorful and tender meat. Carne asada is often served as a main course or used as a filling for tacos, burritos, or fajitas.
On the other hand, carne ranchera is made from a cut of meat from the lower chest or brisket region of the cow, and it is typically sliced thinly and marinated with a variety of spices and seasonings, such as garlic, cumin, and chili powder. The meat is then grilled or cooked in a skillet and served as a main course or used as a filling for tacos or burritos.
In summary, while both carne asada and carne ranchera are delicious grilled or barbecued beef dishes that are popular in Mexican cuisine, they differ in the cut of meat used and the way they are prepared.
Tips for Perfectly Cooked and Tender Carne Asada Ranchera
Choose the right cut of meat- Carne ranchera is traditionally made with flap steak or flap meat. It is commonly used in Mexican cuisine but not super common in the US. If you can find it at your local butcher or Mexican market it is perfect for ranchera meat for this recipe. If you are limited to what you can find at your local grocery store this can also be made with skirt steak or flank steak. Flank steak is the most common cut of beef used by home cooks for making this recipe because of it’s beefy flavor, low price, and the meat is tender if marinated and sliced correctly.
Marinade your meat– This is one step you don’t want to skip! Because flank or skirt steak are usually tougher cuts of meat marinading them is essential. It not only makes the meat tender but it also lets it absorb a ton of flavor. You will want to marinade at least 8 hours up to 48 hours.
Avoid overcooking- You’ll want to have a nice hot grill to cook your ranchera steak, but be careful not to overcook it! For tender and juicy steak you’ll want to cook it to medium rare, or an internal temperature of 130-140. Depending on the thickness of your meat and the heat of your grill you may need to cook it anywhere from 3 minutes per side to about 10 minutes on each side. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature so that it doesn’t overcook.
Allow the meat to rest– Once your meat is cooked you’ll want to let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting it. This allows the juices to settle into the meat so they don’t pour out when you slice it.
Slice it against the grain- You’ll want to be sure to cut against the grain so that the steak is tender. You’ll also want to cut it into thin strips that are nice and tender. First, locate the direction of the grain by examining the meat fibers. The grain is the direction in which the muscle fibers are aligned. Once you have identified the direction of the grain, turn the steak so that the grain runs from left to right in front of you. Using a sharp knife, cut across the grain into slices of the desired thickness. It’s important to cut perpendicular to the grain, meaning the knife should be perpendicular to the muscle fibers. Continue cutting until you have sliced the entire steak.
Can I slice the steak before cooking? Because of the kind of meat used for carne asada and carne ranchera the meat is usually cooked to medium rare so that it stays nice and tender. The easiest way to control the temperature of the meat is to cook it whole. However if you prefer to slice the meat before marinating and cooking you can. This can shorten the time the meat needs to marinade, and you can grill the meat to a higher temperature like medium or medium well quickly without resulting in chewy meat. You’ll want to slice it as thin as possible so be sure to use a nice sharp knife. It is also much easier to slice the meat if it is slightly frozen, placing it in the freezer for an hour or two before slicing can help you get much more uniform thin slices.
Can I cook this without a grill?
Yes! If you don’t have access to an outdoor grill or griddle you can still cook this carne ranchera meat recipe. You have two choices, cooking it with a skillet on the stove or using the broiler.
For broiling, using a foil-lined heavy-duty baking sheet or broiling pan is a great option. Cook the meat for about 4 to 6 minutes per side, pulling it at either 135°F for medium-rare or 145°F for medium. Once your carne asada is cooked to your liking, let it rest for a few minutes before diving in.
To cook in a skillet- heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat and add a little bit of vegetable oil, olive oil or avocado oil. Place the marinated meat in the skillet and cook for about 5-10 minutes per side depending on the thickness of your steak. You’ll want the heat to be high to sear the meat nicely so it is best if you have a vent or fan.
What to serve with Carne Ranchera?
When it comes to serving suggestions for Carne Ranchera, traditional accompaniments include fresh salsa, guacamole, and warm tortillas. Other options to serve ranchera meat might be a side of grilled vegetables such as corn, jalapeno peppers, and onions, or even a simple green salad with a citrus dressing and fresh cilantro. Carne ranchera is often served with rice and refried beans. Don’t forget to have plenty of orange and lime wedges on hand for an extra burst of citrusy flavor. To really take things up a notch, consider adding a spicy and smoky salsa roja, pico de gallo, or a cooling avocado crema sauce or sour cream.
You can use carne ranchera to make tacos, quesadillas, burritos, or a delicious salad.
Ingredients for Carne Ranchera
2 Pounds Flank steak or Skirt Steak
1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
1/4 Cup Fresh Lime Juice
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 tsp Liquid Smoke
1/2 Tbsp Minced Garlic
For the Rub-
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Salt
How to make Carne Ranchera-
In a medium bowl mix together soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, liquid smoke and minced garlic.
Place the steak in an airtight container or zip top baggie pour the marinade mixture over top of the meat.
Place in the refrigerator to marinade at least 8 hours.
When you are ready to cook-
Place the salt, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, and garlic powder in a small bowl and stir together.
Remove the meat from the marinade and rub down both sides with the spice mixture.
Heat up your grill, griddle or cast iron skillet to high. Oil the grill or skillet to prevent the meat from sticking.
Cook the meat on high for 3-5 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature reaches 130-140
Allow the grilled meat to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing.
Cut the steak against the grain in thin slices.
Carne Ranchera Recipe
- 2 Pounds Flank steak or Skirt Steak
- 1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Lime Juice
- 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
- 1 tsp Liquid Smoke
- 1/2 Tbsp Minced Garlic
- For the Rub-
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
- 1 tsp Chili Powder
- 1/2 tsp Cumin
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- In a medium bowl mix together soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, liquid smoke and minced garlic.
- Place the steak in an airtight container or zip top baggie pour the marinade mixture over top of the meat.
- Place in the refrigerator to marinade at least 8 hours.
- When you are ready to cook-
- Place the salt, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, and garlic powder in a small bowl and stir together.
- Remove the meat from the marinade and rub down both sides with the spice mixture.
- Heat up your grill, griddle or cast iron skillet to high. Oil the grill or skillet to prevent the meat from sticking.
- Cook the meat on high for 3-5 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature reaches 130-140