What Is A Suadero Taco?

Tacos are a true food of the people, likely originating as a worker's lunch. Smithsonian Magazine reports that the exact origin of the taco, like the origin of most foods, is somewhat of a mystery, but it may have been invented by Mexican silver miners sometime during the 18th century. Miners of that era would aid their excavations with small explosive charges they made by wrapping gunpowder in a piece of paper. These charges were referred to as "tacos," and their shape broadly resembled the taquitos we still enjoy today. Further supporting this origin story, Smithsonian notes that one of the first written occurrences of the word "taco" is in reference to "tacos de minero," which translates to English as "miner's tacos."

These days, tacos have been carried to the realm of so-called "high society," with one luxury resort in Mexico offering the world's most expensive taco for $25,000, a figure that would probably have those taco-innovating miners shaking their heads in dismay. The best tacos are still those built on the principles of simplicity and quality, and all the money in the world can't surpass the perfection of a classic street taco. For these, there's no better destination than Mexico City, where a 2019 study identified 18,000 taco vendors (via Mexico News Daily). Some of their offerings, such as carnitas and carne asada, will be familiar to Americans, but one of the most popular varieties, the suadero taco, has yet to establish a foothold north of the border.

A unique cut of meat

Suadero tacos are named for the special cut of beef used to make them. According to MasterClass, the suadero cut is taken from the middle of the cow, between the lower flank and the sirloin. One of the reasons suadero tacos aren't as well-known within the U.S. is that the suadero cut of beef is not commonly sold by American grocery chains. Per Delighted Cooking, most butchers' charts include it with either sirloin, round, or flank sections of the cow. MasterClass notes that suadero is sometimes sold under the name "rose meat" in the U.S. due to its pale pink color.

While most familiar cuts of beef, such as the flank or brisket, show a clear muscle grain, suadero is smooth. Delighted Cooking notes that it is an exceptionally lean cut of meat and can become tough if not prepared correctly. For this reason, MasterClass explains that suadero is traditionally braised in lard or another form of fat to ensure a tender result. This cooking method is known as "barbacoa," which, as you've surely guessed, translates to English as "barbecue."