Bisteces a la Mexicana (Mexican Style Beef Stew)

Bisteces a la Mexicana is a flavorful Mexican-style beef stew that cooks on low heat with tomatoes, jalapenos, onion, herbs and spices.

Mexican Beef Stew
Bisteces a la Mexicana (Mexican Beef Stew)

I make Colombian beef stew all the time (Carne Guisada) but wanted to try a Mexican version. Mexican beef has similar ingredients but uses jalapenos, which Colombian beef stew never uses. In Colombia, this dish is usually served with rice and potato or yucca. In Mexico, they serve it with rice and tortillas, plus pickled jalapeno on the side.

Mexican Beef Stew with a ladle.

What does “Bistec a la Mexicana” mean?

In Spanish, “bistec” means steak, and “a la Mexicana” means that the dish will have the colors of the Mexican flag, which it gets from the tomatoes, white onion, and jalapenos.

I made this recipe from the cookbook Nopalito: A Mexican Kitchen (affil link) by Gonzalo Guzmán and Stacy Adimando. This book highlights “100 recipes for regional Mexican food from the popular San Francisco restaurant” of the same name. There’s so many delicious recipes in this cookbook that I can’t wait to try. Everything from Toasted Corn with Crema, Tamales, and Queso Fresco to cocktails and agua frescas.

Here’s an excerpt from the authors about this bistec recipe:

“Because in my village, and other smaller villages in Mexico, beef was scarce and expensive, you would rarely if ever serve a whole steak. That is why Bisteces a la Mexicana is traditionally cut into small pieces, perfect for sharing. As with many large-batch meat dishes in Mexican culture, this one is meant to be scooped up with tortillas – or, better yet, tortillas filled with a little white rice and eaten with your hands.”

I really loved how this Mexican beef stew turned out. To make it mild I removed the seeds and membrane from the jalapeno, so it wasn’t spicy, which was perfect for Madison. If you like it hot, just leave the seeds in or use serrano peppers.

sirloin for beef stewhow to make Mexican Beef Stewhow to make Mexican Beef StewMexican Beef StewBistecas a la Mexicana

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Bistecas a la Mexicana
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5 from 17 votes
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Bisteces a la Mexicana (Mexican Style Beef Stew)

3
3
3
SP
227 Cals 24 Protein 5.5 Carbs 11.5 Fats
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Yield: 8
COURSE: Dinner, Lunch
CUISINE: Mexican
Bisteces a la Mexicana is a flavorful Mexican-style beef stew that cooks on low heat with tomatoes, jalapenos, onion, and Mexican herbs and spices.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds top sirloin, diced into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick sliced, halved (2 cups)
  • 4 jalapenos, stemmed and sliced (remove seeds for mild, leave in for spicy)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups petite diced tomatoes and their juices, from 2 cans
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Optional for serving:

  • warm soft corn tortillas
  • cooked rice
  • pickled jalapenos

Instructions

  • Season the beef with salt and let it sit 1 hour.
  • In a large cast iron pan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over high heat. When hot add the meat and cook, stirring 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Add the onion, jalapeno, oregano, and cumin, and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender, 10 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to low, add the tomatoes and cook, covered stirring every 5 minutes to prevent sticking, until the meat is tender, about 45 minutes. Add the cilantro.
  • Divide the meat and serve family style with warm tortillas, rice and pickled jalapeno on the side, if desired.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup, Calories: 227kcal, Carbohydrates: 5.5g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 11.5g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 52mg, Sodium: 465mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g
Blue Smart Points: 3
Green Smart Points: 3
Purple Smart Points: 3
Keywords: beef stew recipe, beef tacos, mexican beef stew

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51 comments

  1. Could this recipe be made in a crockpot with a less tender piece of beef?

  2. This recipe was very good, even my picky eating kids loved it! This will be a keeper in my household! 

  3. Amazing flavor for a short time on the stove. Don’t forget to start it a littler earlier because you have to salt the beef and let it sit for an hour. I served it with rice, gluten free wraps, pickled jalapenos and a little sour cream. Chef’s kiss. Thanks for making me look like a good cook, Gina!

  4. Oh man. I just made this tonight and it was so FREAKIN delicious! I cut the recipe in half because it’s only me. I cannot wait to have the left overs from it tomorrow. Those are going to be even better. Thanks for the recipe!

  5. This was delicious! Very easy to make and the entire family enjoyed it. Will definitely be putting it on the weekly rotation. 

  6. This is so good! We added two potatoes the second time we cooked and it was even better!

  7. Can you make this in the crock pot?

  8. This recipe caught my eye not only because it looked delicious and healthy but also because I used to live walking distance from the restaurant the recipe was adapted from. 
    Next time , I will use a higher quality meat as mine was a bit tough. The flavor was totally there! We ate an entire 8 pack of corn tortillas heated over open flame with this meal. So good! Thank you! 

  9. WOW! I made this recipe yesterday, planning lunches for the week. It’s just simply not going to last that long.

    I made a couple of minor edits, adding 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, and using less oil (I used real olive oil spray, and it was about a tsp). This recipe is incredibly simple, is mostly hands-off, and is packed with flavor. I served it over rice, however I could see this over creamy polenta or potatoes – something to soak up some of that flavorful juice. Even though it calls for a lot of jalapenos, it’s not spicy unless you leave the seeds and membranes on the peppers. I only left 2 with some membranes and seeds, to get a mildly spicier dish, and it was perfect.

    Thanks Gina!

  10. This. Was. Delicious. Wouldn’t change a thing!! I will never make regular beef stew again!

  11. Hello!

    This looks delish. Is it freezable? Thanks for sharing your recipes with us.

  12. Does the sirloin get tough after cooking that long?

  13. Having this for dinner right now… so good! DH loves it too.

    Question… could this stored in the freezer?

  14. This recipe is a real winner. Used fire roasted tomatoes as I didn’t have any regular diced tomatoes. Definitely in the rotation as it made an easy, delicious meal. Leftovers even better. Thank You, Gina, for another winning recipe. 

  15. I’m writing this review while eating it. It’s soooo good! Flavorful and good and filling and just amazing!
    I’ve made many of your recipes and they’re all great!!!

  16. We made this tonight for dinner in our cast iron pain. It was absolutely delicious and such a quick meal to throw together.

  17. I’m definitely going to try this recipe. This would be a wonderful meal prep for work lunches. However, I absolutely do not like cilantro. What can I sub for it?

  18. Can you do this with Flank steak?

    • I made it tonight with flank steak because I had it in the freezer and it was super good. I love this recipe!

  19. Hi Gina! 

    I just made this! I was at first skeptical at the time of cooking, but then I realized that you need to cut the meat into tiny pieces and that helps with the tough meat/cooking time. That took me awhile, like an hour, to get the pieces cut up  But that’s ok! I wanted to make sure I got each piece cut precisely because I used stew meat (around here that’s what sirloin is). I followed your recipe exactly and wow! It’s delicious! We added fresh lime squeezed to our portions. Muy deliciousoso! 

    Also I am wondering if the next time I make this if I could try adding hominy. I love hominy and I think it’s underrated. It might add another taste for those that are lazy that do not want to wait around for grilled corn tortillas aka my husband.

    Thank you so much for another great recipe!

  20. I made this today and it was just delicious. I served it with white rice. I’m going to adapt it to my slow cooker next time for convenience but it’s so tasty for so few ingredients!! Thanks again for so very many fantastic recipes. 

  21. Could this be done with Pork instead? My husband suffers from gout so avoids all red meat.

  22. Hi Gina,
    This sounds amazing! My question is could it be done in Slow cooker or instapot?
    I’m older and have major back problems so I try to use these methods to save standing time. Thank you

  23. I’m investing in a nice Dutch oven. Which size would you recommend for most of your recipes? 

  24. Gina..can this be done in a slow cooker using chuck roast?
    This looks amazing!

    • I’m going to do it tomorrow with a chuck roast because it’s what I have – I’m thinking that I’ll start it on the stovetop, then cover and cook in the oven on low heat for a few hours. I’m so excited to try this! 

  25. Can you make this in the slow cooker or instant pot?

  26. Hi Gina – How would you alter the cooking to use in an Instant Pot?

  27. Could you do this in a crockpot? what should be the time adjustments?

  28. Hi Hina do you think I could do this in the crock pot after the browning of the meat?

  29. Hi Gina – I see you have 53g of carbs for this recipe. Does that include the rice/tortillas, even though you have them marked as optional? Otherwise I don’t see where all of those carbs are coming in to play… I’d like to try this one but I’m following a low carb diet and just want to make sure I’m not missing something.