Bistec Encebollado (Steak Smothered with Onions)

Serves     4


2lbs. beef tenderloin or NY strip steak, trimmed of fat and very thinly sliced

¼ c olive oil plus 2 tablespoons

2T minced garlic

¼ t dried oregano leaves

1½ ‐ 2t adobo seasoning (or equal parts garlic powder, onion powder, ground cumin and


2 large onions, halved then sliced

2T unsalted butter

1 t cumin

Ground black pepper

1T (rounded) flour

3T cider or rice vinegar

1C low‐sodium chicken stock

Your favorite salsa (optional but recommended)


In a large leakproof plastic bag, combine ¼ cup of olive oil, garlic, oregano, and 1 teaspoon of adobo. Mix ingredients together. Add sliced meat, seal bag and smoosh the meat and marinade around to distribute evenly. Refrigerate for about 12 hours. Remove from refrigerator about an hour before proceeding. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil plus butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onions and sauté, stirring regularly, until onions are soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Add flour, cumin and a good grind of black pepper, stir in well and cook 1 minute. Add vinegar, chicken stock and ¼ teaspoon of adobo, stir well and simmer for 3 minutes. Reduce heat to very low and keep warm. Only add more adodo, if needed, after it has a few minutes to blend. Heat a second large skillet over medium‐high heat. Add meat and any marinade that clings to it to the pan once it is hot. Quickly stir fry the meat, for about 3 minutes or so, stirring the entire time. To serve, place the meat and onion mixture on a platter in alternating layers. Spoon any extra broth over the top and serve as soon as possible, preferably with salsa on the side.

NOTE: You need to allow 12 hours or so for the meat to marinate.

El Salvador

Notes and Instructions

Adapted from‐lisa/steak‐with‐smothered‐caramelized‐onion‐bistecencebollado‐recipe/index.html

This is a beef version of one of the most popular dishes in El Salvador, Pollo (Chicken Encebollado). You can find a recipe for the chicken version here ‐‐encebollado‐recipe I did not test the chicken version but it look really good and very easy. This beef version is absolutely delicious! A word of caution, if you use adobo seasoning from the store, it is very salty – do not add any extra salt. Also, some of them have MSG so real the label. We served this over rice, and it would be excellent as filling for tortillas as well.