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?
How to Make
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. :)
Here’s what the ingredients look like when they have been prepped and are ready to cook.
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
Score the tomatoes in a cross shape on the top of the tomato.
Put the scored tomatoes into a pan of boiling water.
Boil for a couple of minutes until the skin starts to separate.
Plunge the tomatoes in ice-cold water.
Peel the tomatoes with a paring knife. The skins will come off very easily.
Cut the peeled tomatoes in half.
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.
Place all the ingredients for the sauce into the blender.
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 ½″ by 2″ strips.
Chop the onions into ½″ by 2″ strips.
Add oil to the preheated pan at medium-high heat.
Add the chopped onions to the pan.
Cook until the onions just start to brown.
Add the meat to the pan.
The beef will start to release its juice.
Cook until most of the juice has evaporated.
Add the cooked onions to the beef.
Stir the onions into the beef.
Add the tomato sauce.
Simmer to reduce the sauce.
Cook until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
The final dish. Looks good, doesn’t it?
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.
Recipe for Bistec a la Mexicana
- 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
- 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 ½" by 2" strips
- Slice the onions into ½" 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
- 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.
- 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.
This dish was delicious! Thank you, Doug. Happy New 2016!
Douglas Cullen says
Glad you liked it. Happy new year to you too!
Could you substitute CHICKEN for the BEEF?? Make Red Chicken?
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.
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