Bistec a la Mexicana

Mexican Style Beef

This dish is called bistec a la Mexicana which is a beef dish prepared with a spicy tomato and chile sauce.

A la Mexicana means Mexican style and any dish that has a la Mexicana in the name, like this one, will always be prepared with tomatoes, onions and serrano chile.

You will find variations of this dish served throughout Mexico. Bistec ( BEE-stake) means thinly cut beef filets. Did you know that bistec is the phonetic pronunciation of beefsteak?

Bistec a la Mexicana
Bistec a la Mexicana

How to Make

Ingredients:

To prepare this dish you need thinly sliced beef, tomatoes, onion, serrano chiles, garlic, and salt. You should be able to easily find the ingredients at any market so you no excuses for trying this excellent beef recipe. :)

Ingredients for Bistec a la Mexicana
Ingredients you need to make bistec a la Mexicana.

Here’s what the ingredients look like when they have been prepped and are ready to cook.

Prepped Ingredients for Bistec a la Mexicana
Prepped ingredients.

Preparation – Start With the Sauce

Peeling and seeding the tomatoes is probably the most tedious part of preparing this dish but are important steps. This ensures a smooth sauce. If you really want to, you can omit peeling and seeding if you wish.

The dish will still taste great the main difference is that the final dish will be more rustic with more texture in the sauce. We say “texture” although some might say “gritty.”

How to Peel and Seed Tomatoes

Scoring Tomatoes
Score the tomatoes.

Score the tomatoes in a cross shape on the top of the tomato.

Tomatoes in Boiling Water
Put the tomatoes in boiling water.

Put the scored tomatoes into a pan of boiling water.

Tomatoes in Boiling Water
Boil the tomatoes until the skin starts to separate.

Boil for a couple of minutes until the skin starts to separate.

Tomatoes Cooling in Water
Plunge the tomatoes in ice-cold water.

Plunge the tomatoes in ice-cold water.

Peeling Tomatoes
Peel the tomatoes.

Peel the tomatoes with a paring knife. The skins will come off very easily.

Cutting Tomatoes in Half
Cut the tomatoes in half.

Cut the peeled tomatoes in half.

Removing Seeds from Tomatoes
Remove the seeds.

Use a small spoon to scoop out the seeds and pulp.

Ready to Blend

Once the tomatoes are peeled and seeded you are ready to make the sauce. Add the tomatoes, seeded serrano chiles, clove of garlic, and 1 cup of water and blend for about a minute until the mixture is smooth.

Add the ingredients for the sauce to the blender.
Add the ingredients for the sauce to the blender.

Place all the ingredients for the sauce into the blender.

Blended Sauce
The blended sauce.

This is what the blended sauce will look like. Notice the color before cooking. It will darken beautifully as it cooks.

Next Step – Cooking the Dish

Cut the beef and the onions into 1/2″ by 2″ strips.

Beef Cut in Strips
Cut the beef into 1/2″ by 2″ strips.
Roughly Chopped Onions
Chop the onions into 1/2″ by 2″ strips.

Chop the onions into 1/2″ by 2″ strips.

Adding Oil to the Pan
Add oil to the preheated pan.

Add oil to the preheated pan at medium-high heat.

Adding Onions to the Pan
Add the chopped onions to the pan.

Add the chopped onions to the pan.

Browning Onions
Cook until the onions just start to brown.

Cook until the onions just start to brown.

Adding the Meat to the Pan
Add the meat to the pan.

Add the meat to the pan.

Beef in Pan
The beef will start to release its juice.

The beef will start to release its juice.

Cooking Beef
Cook until most of the juice has evaporated.

Cook until most of the juice has evaporated.

Adding Onions
Add the cooked onions to the beef.

Add the cooked onions to the beef.

Beef and Onions
Stir the onions into the beef.

Stir the onions into the beef.

Adding Tomato Sauce
Add the tomato sauce.

Add the tomato sauce.

Simmering Bistec a la Mexicana
Simmer to reduce the sauce.

Simmer to reduce the sauce.

Cooking Bistec a la Mexicana
Cook until the sauce has reduced and thickened.

Cook until the sauce has reduced and thickened.

Bistec a la Mexicana with Refried Beans
The final dish.

The final dish. Looks good, doesn’t it?

Serving

Serve your bistec a la Mexicana with a big stack of warm corn tortillas and refried beans on the side.

Garnish the beans with a sprinkle of queso fresco or queso cotija and 3 tortilla chips.

Provecho!

Bistec a la Mexicana
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3.45 from 9 votes

Recipe for Bistec a la Mexicana

Recipe for "bistec a la Mexicana," a Mexican beef dish prepared with a spicy tomato and chile sauce. Variations of this dish are served throughout Mexico.
Course Beef
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword beef, bistec, guisado, spicy
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 servings
Calories 557kcal
Author Douglas Cullen

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. thinly sliced beef bistec
  • 1 lb. Roma tomatoes plum tomatoes
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 2 serrano chiles
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 oz. of “queso fresco” a crumbly white cheese for sprinkling on the beans
  • 12 tortilla chips to garnish the beans
  • 12 corn tortillas

Instructions

  • Rinse all of the ingredients except the beef in water
  • THE SAUCE
  • Remove the seeds from the serrano chiles
  • Peel the garlic clove
  • Place a large pot of water to boil
  • While the water is coming to a boil, score the tomatoes
  • When the water has boiled add all of the tomatoes
  • Cook the tomatoes until the skins start to separate, about 1 minute
  • Plunge the tomatoes into ice-cold water. This helps the skins peel away and stops the tomatoes from cooking more
  • Peel the tomatoes when they are cool to the touch
  • Slice the tomatoes in half
  • Remove the seeds from the tomatoes
  • Add the tomatoes, serrano chiles, garlic clove and water to your blender jar
  • Blend until smooth, about 1 minute
  • COOKING THE DISH
  • Slice the beef into 1/2" by 2" strips
  • Slice the onions into 1/2" by 2" strips
  • Preheat a large frying pan to medium-hot
  • Add 2 tablespoons of cooking oil to the pan
  • Add the onions to the pan
  • Cook the onions until they are just starting to brown, about 6 to 7 minutes
  • Remove the onions from the pan
  • Add 1 more tablespoon of cooking oil to the pan
  • Add the beef
  • Cook the beef, until it has released its juice and most of the juice has evaporated, about 6 to 7 minutes
  • Return the onions to the pan and stir to incorporate with the beef
  • Pour the blended sauce into the pan
  • Reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce has reduced and little liquid is left, about 15 minutes

Notes

Substitutions
  • You can substitute jalapeño chiles for the serrano chiles. Jalapeños are milder.
  • You can also omit 1 of the serrano chiles if you prefer a less spicy dish.
  • The recipe calls for corn tortillas but you can serve it with flour tortillas too.
Storage
  • It will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator. This dish freezes well.
  • Make a double batch and freeze half so that you can enjoy it at a later date with no extra prep time.

Nutrition

Calories: 557kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 794mg | Potassium: 798mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1030IU | Vitamin C: 19.1mg | Calcium: 157mg | Iron: 3.7mg

More “a la Mexicana” Recipes

More Mexican Beef Recipes

5 comments… add one
  • Robin

    This dish was delicious! Thank you, Doug. Happy New 2016!

  • Mary

    Could you substitute CHICKEN for the BEEF?? Make Red Chicken?

  • tim

    wow, uh…sorry. this recipe turned out terribly. we came out with a pink, bland tomato sauce. personally, i would reduce the water for next time. also, this recipe mentions a teaspoon of salt and then never mentions it again. where does it go? sorry, it really didn’t turn out too well for us. open to listening to suggestions.

  • Robin

    It doesn’t sound like you cooked the tomato base down. Cooking turns it a deep red. The salt should have gone in with the liquid

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