Editor’s Note: Mamiverse is proud to showcase the talents of Julianna Glassanos, a promising Latina Student Chef at the Culinary Institute of America/San Antonio. Enjoy her delicious recipe and join us in saluting all the young chefs following their culinary dreams!
Beef salpicón is one of my favorite Mexican recipes. When people desire to cook Mexican food, they often overlook some of the unique and fresh salads. Beef salpicón is a delicious and healthy meal for anyone who loves fresh and vibrant flavors.
This cold salad includes cooked, shredded meat that is dressed with oil, and an acid, such as vinegar and/or lime juice, and tossed with fresh vegetables, cooked potatoes, and finished with some crispy lettuce for a crunch. It is a great recipe to make for a family because it can be quickly prepared, it is relatively inexpensive, and has a large yield so it can feed several people.
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Beef salpicón can also be prepared a day or so in advance because it keeps nicely and the flavors continue to develop. Beef salpicón is traditionally eaten as a side dish or even just by itself. To make it into a fun, family style recipe, simply add a fried corn tortilla and refried black beans, transforming it into a crispy and tasty tostada. ¡Buen provecho!
BEEF SALPICÓN TOSTADAS
1 pound skirt or flank steak
1 potato, diced, and cooked
½ white onion, chopped
1/3 cup freshly-squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 head romaine lettuce, chiffonade
½ bunch chopped cilantro [soft stems and leaves]
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
2 jalapeños, finely diced
1 each ripe avocado, sliced
Salt to taste
Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
12 6-inch corn tortillas
Vegetable oil as needed for frying
3 cups refried black beans
Place your meat in a large pot or Dutch oven. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add a few slices of onion and cover with cold water. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, reduce it to a simmer and remove the lid. Let the meat cook until it is very tender, about 1½ hours. Once it is cooked, remove it from the water and let it cool until it can be handled easily. Shred the meat with two forks, allowing the fibers to naturally separate. Set it aside in a large mixing bowl.
In a separate mixing bowl, mix together the lime juice, vinegar, olive oil, oregano, and salt to taste. Once this is well seasoned add it to your shredded meat, allowing enough so that all of the meat has a nice coating with some extra dressing at the bottom of the bowl.
Add the cooked potatoes, chopped onion, diced tomatoes, and diced jalapeño. If you are not going to serve the salad immediately, leave the cilantro and lettuce separate until right before you are ready to serve it. This will ensure that your salad has a fresh flavor, and a nice crisp to it.
If you are ready to serve it, add your chopped cilantro and chiffonade lettuce. Mix everything together gently with tongs so that the vegetables and potatoes are distributed evenly. Adjust seasoning if necessary, and cover the salad. Allow it to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to marinate and develop flavor.
While your salad marinates, you can prepare your tostadas. Using a thick bottom pot, fill with enough vegetable oil to fry the tortillas. Allow, on average, about 2-4 inches if you are using a small pot that is only about 6 inches in diameter. As your oil is heating, set aside a large platter or plate with paper towels on top for your tortillas once they are fried. This will help remove the excess oil and give you a crunchier final product. Once your oil is hot enough, fry the tortillas, one at a time to ensure that they do not stick together or burn. You may need to flip them over while they fry so that each side cooks evenly. Remove them from the oil once they are golden brown and place on the paper towels. Season with salt. Note: If you prefer a lighter option, you can bake your tortillas and achieve a similar crunch! Just place them on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt, and put them in the oven at 350º until they are golden brown and crispy.
Once your tortillas are ready, take each one and spread a generous amount of refried black bean puree on top. (If you are using canned black beans, simply drain out the water from the can, and heat them up either on the stove or in the microwave. If you have a bean or potato masher you can use this to make your puree. You can also use a food processor or a blender. With either method, add enough liquid (water or stock) to allow the beans to blend. Season with salt to taste. Your final puree should not be watery but should be easy to spread.) Note: If you want to make beans from scratch, the recipe follows.
Put a nice heaping portion of your beef salpicón on top of the black bean puree, covering the entire tortilla.
Last, but not least, garnish your tostadas with fresh slices of ripe avocado. This will add a creamy flavor to compliment the flavors in the salad. Enjoy!
REFRIED BLACK BEAN PUREE
Makes: About 5 cups
2 cups (about 1 pound) black beans
Salt, as needed
½ cup canola oil
½ white onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 packets Goya ham flavored seasoning (optional)*
*If you prefer a pork flavor in your beans, but do not have any pork to cook with them, adding this seasoning is a great alternative. You can add one packet to the beans as they cook, and then also to the final puree. The final taste will be smoky and delicious, and will add more depth of flavor to your beans. Just be careful not to over-salt your beans, as the ham flavoring contains sodium.
Place beans in a large colander and rinse well. Cover with 8 cups of water and let the beans soak overnight.
Drain the beans and place in a large stockpot. Add the onion and garlic and cover with plenty of water, about 8 cups.
Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 1½ hours or until the beans are fully cooked and tender.
Drain the beans from the liquid, saving some to add into your puree.
If you have a bean or potato masher you can use this to make your puree. You can also use a food processor or a blender. With either method, add enough of the cooking liquid to allow the beans to blend. Season with salt to taste. Your final puree should not be watery, but should coat the back of a spoon.
- In a sauté pan, heat up a few tablespoons of oil. You could also substitute the oil with lard if you so choose. Once the oil is ready, add some of the bean puree. Cook on medium heat. Stir occasionally so that the beans do not stick to the bottom of the pan or burn. Once the beans are hot, remove from the pan and continue this process until all of your beans are refried.