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Steak Picado With Pickled Onions

Steak Picado with Pickled Onions is a hearty, warming Mexican dish that’s perfect for a cozy meal. While similar to Carne Asada, this recipe takes a different approach by sautéing and braising the beef in a cast iron skillet. The beauty of Steak Picado lies in its adaptability – you can adjust the seasonings to suit your desired level of spiciness. Whether you like it mild or fiery hot, this Mexican-inspired dish is sure to please.
If you’re craving a taste of Mexico for dinner, consider whipping up this Steak Picado recipe. You’ll need some standard south-of-the-border ingredients and a trusty cast iron skillet to get the job done.

How to Make a Traditional Carne Picada Recipe

The Carne Picado recipe, which translates to ‘minced meat’ in Spanish, is all about showcasing the rich flavor of beef steak. To start, create a tangy picked onion by mixing sliced onions with vinegar and allowing it to pickle for at least 30 minutes. You can even prepare this component a day ahead to amplify its zesty taste.

Next, crush a blend of salt, peppercorns, dried onion, cumin seeds, and garlic using a mortar and pestle (or molcajete and tejolote in Mexico). This will help to release the flavors and aromas of these spices.

Chop or slice the tomatoes, shallot, poblano pepper, and chilies into manageable pieces. You can also cut the steak into medium-sized bites, but make sure it reaches room temperature first before proceeding.

Heat a cast iron skillet to an extremely high heat for a few minutes. While this is happening, combine the chopped steak with the peppers, shallot, and tomatoes. Add the onion powder, chili powder, garlic powder, and cayenne, then toss in the vinegar, oil, and garlic paste until everything is well-coated.

Once your skillet is hot enough, swirl a small amount of oil around to prevent sticking. Then, add the beef mixture and season to taste. Serve it over rice with pickled onions and a sprinkle of chopped cilantro for garnish.

Tips for Authentic Steak Picado with Pickled Onions

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To truly pay tribute to this Mexican-inspired dinner, stick to the recipe and use high-quality ingredients. Freshly grind spices with a mortar and pestle, allowing onions ample time to pickle, and incorporate fresh garlic, chilies, and lime juice for added depth of flavor.

When it comes to cooking, a cast iron skillet is an excellent choice for this Mexican steak dish. By heating the pan over high heat and then reducing the temperature, you’ll achieve a perfect sear on the meat. The skillet’s ability to retain heat means that subsequent servings will be nearly as hot as the initial one.

As a result of its thermal retention, you can expect your second helping of steak picado with pickled onions to be just as warm and inviting as the first.

Steak Picado FAQs

When it comes to serving steak picado, you’re spoiled for choice. While spooning it over white rice is a classic combination, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy this flavorful Mexican-inspired dish. Consider wrapping it in a flour tortilla with some juices and sprinkling with Mexican cheese for a satisfying wrap. Alternatively, use the beef mixture as fillings for tacos, topped with creamy elements like Mexican crema and sliced avocados, along with beans and rice. If you’re feeling adventurous, try serving the steak picado on tostada shells with a layer of guacamole and finishing it off with a drizzle of Mexican crema or sour cream. These serving ideas pair perfectly with pickled onions.When it comes to storing leftovers, simply place them in an airtight container and refrigerate for a few days. You can also reheat the leftovers in the microwave or on the stovetop, making it easy to enjoy steak picado at any time.

Steak Picado with Pickled Onions Recipe

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Steak Picado with Pickled Onions

Steak picado with pickled onions is a satisfying and comforting meal option. Unlike carne asada, this recipe involves sautéing and braising the steak in a cast iron skillet, resulting in a richly flavored dish that can be tailored to suit individual tastes. For those who prefer a milder flavor, simply adjust the seasonings to your liking.


As you prep your ingredients, allow the steak to come to room temperature. Meanwhile, thinly slice the red onion and combine it in a sealable container with white vinegar to pickle it. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Next, blend together salt flakes, peppercorns, dried minced onion, cumin seeds, and garlic cloves in a mortar to form a paste. Chop the poblano pepper into rough pieces, slice the jalapeño thinly (remove the seeds for less heat), cut the tomatoes into quarter wedges, and thinly slice the shallot. Cut the steak into 1-inch pieces. Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the steak, poblano, jalapeño, tomatoes, and shallot. Add onion powder, ancho chili powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper (use less if you didn’t seed the jalapeños). Then, pour in the red wine vinegar, grape seed oil, lime juice, and garlic paste, tossing to coat. Finally, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of grape seed oil to the skillet, swirling to coat before pouring in the picado. Cook for 5 minutes, toss, then cook for an additional 5 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Serve over rice, garnishing with chopped cilantro and pickled onions.