This bistec con papas is total comfort food! A slightly spicy and rich tomato salsa simmers with potatoes and beef until everything is perfectly fall-apart tender. Serve along with arroz rojo and tortillas for a truly Mexican eating experience!
Bistec con papas is an earthy, budget-friendly, and delicious Mexican recipe made with beef and potatoes braised in a tomato and chili sauce.
Bistec or Bistek is a Spanish word derived from the English words ‘beef steak’; and papas stands for ‘potatoes’.
So, in this case, the recipe is made by braising beef steak bites in a tomato and chili sauce (salsa roja) and then adding potatoes to the mix.
Almost every country in Latin America has its own version of this recipe, and it includes the ingredients that are available in each place.
When cooked with red chili sauce, this dish takes the name of bistec con papas en salsa roja, meaning Mexican steak and potatoes in red chili sauce.
- Beef steak: Any cheap steak is a good option if you want to keep this recipe in the low-budget range. Just remember to ask for thin slices, then cut them into small pieces as they will cook faster.
- Potatoes: You can use any type of potatoes you prefer, even sweet potatoes for a low-carb version of this dish.
- Tomatoes: Use fresh ripe tomatoes (jitomates, in Spanish) or substitute with canned tomato sauce, 2 cups would be enough.
- Chilies: Use any type of fresh or dried chilies you prefer, we recommend jalapeño or serrano, but if you want to add more color use chile guajillo.
- Onion: You can add them to the blender to make the sauce or if you prefer some texture, slice them and cook them along with bistec.
- Spices & seasonings: Garlic, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, and salt. You can use whole spices or ground spices.
- Oil: I prefer to use olive oil, but feel free to use your favorite type of cooking oil.
How To Make Bistec Con Papas
Place tomatoes and chilies in a saucepan. Cover with water and boil until tender. Let them cool slightly. You can now peel the tomatoes if you want or add them with the skin on.
Place cooked tomatoes and chilies in a blender, add onion, garlic, peppercorns, cumin, and a cup and a half of the cooking water. Blend until smooth.
In a braising pan heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add meat and cook, allowing some juices to release until you will see the meat is no longer pink.
Keep cooking, stirring constantly, until there are no juices left and the meat is nicely browned.
Pour in tomatoes and chili sauce, and add water until the meat is well covered.
Season with salt and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and set the heat to medium-low. Cook for 10 minutes or until meat is tender.
Next, add potatoes and mix well. Cover the pan and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through. If you see is need, add a little bit of water to the pan, so the potatoes won’t stick to the bottom.
Once the potatoes are nicely cooked, adjust the salt to taste. Turn off the heat and serve bistec con papas as suggested below.
Tips and tricks
How Serve Mexican Steak And Potatoes
Now, the recipe is pretty much delicious with whatever you decide to serve it. Steamed rice, plain noodles, and even a green salad on the side are all amazing options too.
Store and Reheat
If you have leftovers (I really doubt it!) you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Then just reheat the stew in a saucepan with one or two tablespoons of water to loosen it up.
Bistec guisado con papas is a perfect prep meal that freezes wonderfully too. So, double the recipe and divide it into containers or bags, then freeze for up to 3 months.
- Beef Chile Rojo – Beef bites simmered in a chili red sauce.
- Birria de Res – Traditional beef stew cooked in a spiced and fragrant broth.
- Carne en su jugo – Beef cooked in its own juices.
Watch How To Make It
Mexican Bistec Con Papas
- 1 ½ lb steak (sliced thinly and cut into small pieces)
- 1.1 lb potatoes (cut into small cubes)
- 1 lb tomatoes
- 2 jalapeño or serrano chilies (optional)
- 1 small onion (cut into chunks)
- 1 garlic clove (peeled)
- ¼ tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp black peppercorns
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- salt (to taste)
- Place tomatoes and chilies in a saucepan. Cover with water and boil until tender. Let them cool slightly.
- Place cooked tomatoes and chilies in a blender, add onion, garlic, cumin, peppercorns, and 1 ½ cup of the cooking water. Blend until smooth.
- In a braising pan heat the olive oil, add meat and cook until slightly browned.
- Pour in the tomato sauce, season with salt, and bring to a boil.
- Cover the pan, set heat to medium-low, and cook for 10 minutes (read notes).
- Add potatoes and mix well. Cover the pan and simmer until potatoes are cooked through (about 15 minutes), adding more water if needed.
- Adjust salt to taste, turn off the heat and serve.
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Maricruz Avalos Flores is a Mexican cook and photographer living in Italy where she shares authentic Mexican & Italian recipes that can be easily made at home using easy-to-find ingredients.