I stayed at a place about 20 years ago in Mexico that had this great little restaurant and they served a steak that I haven't seen replicated anywhere else. It was a fairly flat cut but the steak itself had been separated, as if by using two forks to pull it apart somewhat, during the preparation or cooking process, and then thrown back on the grill. Is anyone heard of preparing a steak like this?

  • 2
    Are you sure it was a steak? This is a common way to make shredded beef, but that is typically done to long cooked cuts like shoulder and brisket.
    – Wolfgang
    Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 17:27
  • Do you mean anything like pulled pork? google.com/search?tbm=isch&q=pulled+pork Commented Aug 7, 2017 at 23:11
  • separated is perhaps the wrong word: the meat was pulled and stretched, but was still a unified whole; it was not shredded into pieces.
    – bnieland
    Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 16:51

2 Answers 2


Shredded is the correct term...maybe ropa vieja? This dish is typically made with flank steak that is shredded with the grain of the meat. The Mexican version is cooked, shredded and then browned, usually in a pan on the stove, but back on the grill does not seem unreasonable. It is typically served in a tortilla, with condiments.

  • Curious. There is also a Portuguese dish called exactly "Roupa Velha" but it is generally made from leftover codfish, which is mixed with potatoes, cabbage and hard boiled eggs and then stirfried. Commented Aug 7, 2017 at 23:15


To answer the title question, meat separated with a fork is typically referred to as shredded. This is usually done with slow-cooked meats like shoulder or brisket. Steak would be difficult to shred this way, and would probably shred with the grain, giving you long tough pieces. However,

Carne Asada

The dish you are describing sounds more like carne asada. This isn't normally put back on the grill after it is cut, but perhaps they were using the grill to keep the meat warm for a few extra minutes, or reheating prior to adding to burritos, tacos, etc. It is typically sliced, though. Here is a good picture:

Carne Asada

  • Shredded is correct, but carne asada is not shredded.
    – moscafj
    Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 18:33
  • 3
    OP said "as if by using two forks to pull it apart somewhat", but it sounds like he's not sure how it was separated. Maybe with a serrated edge that looked a bit rougher? A flat steak made in Mexico fits Carne Asada, but I'm not sure why anyone would put a steak back on the grill after cutting it.
    – Wolfgang
    Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 18:44

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