Discada — A Tex-Mex Cookout


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Smoking wood fire.

Start with a smoking wood fire.

Although it’s existed for generations along the Texas-Mexico border, discada is still a mostly unknown form of grilling outside of the locals. At its essence, discada is simply meat cooked outside over a fire. But what makes discada unique is the repurposed plow disc its cooked on. Rules are few—and vary from household to household—when it comes to cooking up this regional dish. Like a lot of the best northern mexican cuisine (tacos, burritos, etc) discada originated with the peasants and cowboys.

Flank steak marinated in tequila.

Flank steak marinated in tequila.

The cooking implement, called a “disco,” is a repurposed disc harrow from a farm plow. The center hole in the disc is welded closed and often metal legs and handles are welded on. It looks very similar to a wok, but the legs allow it to sit right over an open flame. Ideally, over time, the disco becomes seasoned with oil and juices, like a cast iron skillet. Instructables breaks down how to make your very own.

Bacon, tomatoes, jalapeños,  onions.

Bacon, tomatoes, jalapeños, onions.

As for what gets cooked on the disco, well, that’s up to you. Generally, flank steak or pork do the best.

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A family recipe of mine by way of San Antonio consists of bacon, tequila-marinated flank steak, chopped jalapeños, onions and tomatoes. One by one, items are added and left to sizzle and brown before tossing in the next item.


After 20 to 30 minutes, you have a juicy, bubbling concoction screaming to be thrown into a tortilla and devoured. Sour cream, pico de gallo, lime and guacamole are all fantastic flourishes to add at the end, but not necessary. The spicy combination of the meat certainly holds its own on the flavor scale. But don’t kid yourself, an accompanying icy Corona or Pacifico will elevate the overall experience.

You want this.

You want this.

Discada Recipes

When it comes to discada, Ken doesn’t like to stray from his family recipe but here are some other recipes we found for your next disco-meal. Que Rica Vida has an all-pork discada recipe that contains pork rinds, bacon and chorizo. This Discada Norteña recipe is made with a vegetable medley and melted cheese. For a healthier option, Heart Safe Cooking has a discada made with chicken.

Let us know in the comments how you enjoy your discada cookout. And for outdoor entertaining, be sure to check out patio furniture on Krrb.


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