What Is Suadero? (Besides Tasty, That Is)

suadero.jpg
Photo: Ian Froeb

While waiting for lunch at La Vallesana a few days ago, I noticed a meat on the taqueria's menu that I'd never seen before: suadero. I don't speak Spanish, but sometimes I can figure out unfamiliar words through the other languages I've studied or English cognates or just sheer dumb luck. In this case, though, I was stumped.

Turns out, I'm not alone. It took me a fair amount of sleuthing to figure out what suadero is -- and even now I'm not 100% sure.

There is a brief entry on Wikipedia:

Suadero, in Mexican cuisine, is a thin cut of beef from the meat that hangs from the breast bone on a cow. Suadero is noted for having a smooth texture rather than a muscle grain. Typically, suadero is grilled and used as a taco filling. When cooked right, it's really, really good.

I had trouble making much sense of this description. And that last sentence doesn't really add much to the entry's authority. I found other mentions of suadero on various sites and message boards, none of which cleared up the confusion. Some claimed it was rib meat, others that it came from the front of the cow. Some compared its texture to carne asada; others said it was smooth.

Finally, a Google Image search turned up this Mexican butcher's chart:

chart.jpg
www.lasrecetasdelaabuela.com

The Web site on which I found this chart describes suadero as "the intermediate part between the belly and the leg." (It's the part immediately above the udder on the chart above.)

With this (only slightly) better idea of what, exactly, suadero is, I returned to La Vallesana and ordered three suadero tacos. As per usual, these came topped with diced onion and cilantro on two corn tortillas. (They are pictured at the top of this entry.)

The meat looked like chopped steak. Several of the small pieces had some kind of sinew or connective tissue visible, but this wasn't unpleasant to eat. Overall, the texture struck me as chewy, though not overwhelmingly so. Like hanger steak, I guess. The most notable aspect of the texture was how the surface of many pieces had browned and crisped. Very similar to carnitas.

The flavor was, well, beefy. Nothing especially new or remarkable. Just tasty. Suadero won't replace al pastor as my preferred taco filling, but for a change of pace they were quite good.

-Ian Froeb


My Voice Nation Help
11 comments
Gsilva113
Gsilva113

Really determined research, good job. I'm Mexican and I hadn't heard of this word before. Thanks, you were very informative.

Rikaji
Rikaji

I cook suadero in an orange juice-milk concoction in the olla presto preasure cooker for 40min., it becomes the softest of meats, then i cut into cubes, and fry without oil in a pan, just add a lot of oj. (natural fresh squeezed), an it becomes the taco meat of the Gods.

Canricardomtl
Canricardomtl

Cooking suaderoCook over water, onion, garlic until be soft very soft, then fry, but first marinated in milk and make tacos silantro, onion and a good salsa

Scotchdude
Scotchdude

I've heard that suadero is hanger steak, technically the diaphramic pillar. I've suadero many times and do not believe it is flank. Flank is way too tough when cooked all the way through, and the suadero I've had is definitely well done, yet still tender.

Ian
Ian

Suadero is a flank steak in USA, is tough but tasty

anon
anon

While I was visiting family in Mexico my uncle told me that suadero was the meat that held all the intestines and guts of the cow in place. I don't know if there is much validity to his claim, but it is still very tasty meat though a bit chewier than normal meat (which I guess is a reason some people don't like it).

A.VENCES
A.VENCES

HI! I LOVE SUADERO TACOS. WE TRAVEL 1HR 30MIN TO A TACO STAND JUST TO EAT THEM. THANKS FOR THE INFO I HAVE THE MEAT ON THE STOVE, HOPE THE COME OUT SOME WHAT CLOSE.

curious
curious

Thank you! I've been wondering what suadero tacos are, and didn't have the courage to try them myself

Alberto Ar Romero
Alberto Ar Romero

It is flank, it's really tough. When I was a kid mom used fry it up for us all the time. I used to hate it because it was as tough as rubber. The taqueros really know how to tenderize this meat.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...