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Steak Picado and Guide to Peppers

Steak Picado and Guide to Peppers ~ Thin strips of seasoned steak stir fried with bell peppers, onions, and jalapeños in a spiced tomato sauce, plus a basic guide on common grocery store peppers.Steak Picado and Guide to Peppers ~ Thin strips of seasoned steak stir fried with bell peppers, onions, and jalapeños in a spiced tomato sauce and a quick guide to common grocery store peppers ~ The Complete Savorist #YesYouCan adOnce upon a time, I was handed an updated menu at one of my favorite local Mexican bistros. I was really excited for all the new “NEW” tags in a bright yellow stars next to several dishes. My eyes rested upon ‘Steak Picado’ and the description was enough to win me over.

What is steak picado?

Here’s the description copied directly from their website: Sirloin steak strips sautéed with peppers, onions and tomatoes and flavored with cilantro. Served with rice and black beans.

Having eating at this restaurant hundreds of times, peppers HAS ALWAYS meant bells. Now I know peppers encompasses many many varieties, all varying in heat (Scoville units) but usually if there is something hotter than a bell going on in the dish, it’s listed.

I was shocked when this otherwise beautiful dish came out littered in sliced jalapeños, with ribs and seeds still attached, along with the bells. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to handle that, even if I preformed a jalapeño-ectomy.Steak Picado and Guide to Peppers ~ Thin strips of seasoned steak stir fried with bell peppers, onions, and jalapeños in a spiced tomato sauce and a quick guide to common grocery store peppers ~ The Complete Savorist #YesYouCan adFrom that point on, whenever I ordered the dish, I always ask for no-jalapeños. The problem is, the flavor of the jalapeños makes the dish. I love the unique flavors of most peppers, but just can’t stomach the heat, literally.

With Cinco de Mayo around the corner, I’ve been craving all things Mexican (ok, so Cinco de Mayo is just an excuse to eat all things Mexican) and I thought I should create my own version of Steak Picado from the restaurant for my fiesta. To deconstruct it was pretty simple, the real key is always in the herbs and spices, those can tricky to figure out unless you’re one of those super-taster people or professional chefs, neither of which I am.

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #YesYouCAN #CollectiveBias

It was easy enough to grab all the ingredients I needed at Walmart, the steaks happened to be on sale which is always a bonus in my world, I picked up my produce (bell peppers, jalapeños, cilantro, and onions), the canned goods, (Hunt’s Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes and Rosarita Refried Beans) and off I went to make my own version. Both products are fantastic to use in any Mexican dishes you want to prepare for Cinco de Mayo or any random day. 
Steak Picado and Guide to Peppers ~ Thin strips of seasoned steak stir fried with bell peppers, onions, and jalapeños in a spiced tomato sauce and a quick guide to common grocery store peppers ~ The Complete Savorist #YesYouCan ad

How to make Steak Picado

I wanted the flavor of the jalapeños and just a wee-bit of their heat. I removed all the seeds and veins, which is where the majority of the heat lives, and then diced them. This wasn’t a mild dish, medium by most standards, but it really is meant to be spicy. However, my inability to handle heat and a 5 year old meant I did have to make it work for our needs. But, if you’re going to make it properly, 2 to 3 jalapeños with ribs and seeds should be added to the dish. That’ll put hair on your chest as both my grandfathers say/said. My recipe still resulted in heat, both peppers and then two forms of dried ground pepper powder did give this some real presence. I was concerned Elizabeth wouldn’t like it.

Yeah, I was wrong. While photographing the dish, she’d walk up to the skillet and nip a piece of meat right out. She knew she was risking my ‘wrath’ as website food is off limits until its photoshoot but she didn’t care. When I told her to stop, she said she couldn’t, it was too good. What can I say to that?Steak Picado and Guide to Peppers ~ Thin strips of seasoned steak stir fried with bell peppers, onions, and jalapeños in a spiced tomato sauce and a quick guide to common grocery store peppers ~ The Complete Savorist #YesYouCan ad

Steak Picado ~ Thin strips of seasoned steak stir fried with bell peppers, onions, and jalapeños in a spiced tomato sauce ~ The Complete Savorist #YesYouCan ad

Steak Picado

Course: Skillet dinners
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Beef, easy dinner, onions, peppers, Steak, tomatoes
Servings: 6
Author: Michelle De La Cerda

Thin strips of seasoned steak stir fried with bell peppers, onions, and jalapeños in a spiced tomato sauce, plus a basic guide on common grocery store peppers.

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 lbs steak (thin-cut and cut into strips)
  • 1 onion; thinly sliced
  • 2 bell peppers; thinly sliced
  • 1-3 jalapeños; diced (with or without seeds and veins)
  • 3 cloves garlic; minced/grated
  • 1 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 tsp epazote
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp salt; divided (1/2 and 1/2) +/- to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper; divided (1/4 and 1/4) +/- to taste
  • 2 tbsp high heat vegetable oil/ divided 1/1
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 can Hunt's Fire-Roasted Diced Tomatoes
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh cilantro; chopped

Instructions

  1. Slice the meat, trim off an pieces of fat (if desired) and season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper, mix in well, set aside for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Mix the herbs and spices together, set aside.
  3. Prep all the vegetables, set aside.
  4. Heat a large (at least 12") skillet over medium-high heat, once hot add 1 tbsp oil.
  5. Quickly sear/stir-fry the meat, about 2 minutes, remove from pan and set aside.
  6. In the same skilled, add the remaining oil, if needed, and stir fry the onions, both peppers, and garlic. Allow them to get some color, but do not let the garlic burn, 2-3 minutes.
  7. Add the herbs and spices, and mix into the vegetables well, allow them to bloom and become aromatic.
  8. Once the herbs and spices have bloomed, add the wine and deglaze the pan, pulling up any of the stuck on bits.
  9. Add the broth, again, deglazed if needed.
  10. Pour the can of tomatoes with liquid into the skillet and mix in well.
  11. Return the meat and released juices to the skillet, stir well.
  12. Allow to get to a high simmer and reduce by half, around 7-10 minutes.
  13. Add 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, stir in well.
  14. Remove from heat.
  15. If desired, pair with your favorite rice and Rosarita Refried Beans.
  16. Garnish with remaining cilantro.
  17. Serve and enjoy.

Steak Picado and Guide to Peppers ~ Thin strips of seasoned steak stir fried with bell peppers, onions, and jalapeños in a spiced tomato sauce and a quick guide to common grocery store peppers ~ The Complete Savorist #YesYouCan adSteak Picado and Guide to Peppers ~ Thin strips of seasoned steak stir fried with bell peppers, onions, and jalapeños in a spiced tomato sauce and a quick guide to common grocery store peppers ~ The Complete Savorist #YesYouCan adWhile I was looking at the peppers, I thought it was time to write a short tutorial on peppers, something I’ve wanted to do for a while now. I didn’t want to write anything overly technical about Scoville Units and capsaicin power, just a simple guide on some the more common peppers we see at our grocery stores and how to handle them without getting their heat everywhere, like your eyes.

Guide to Grocery Store Peppers

Steak Picado and Guide to Peppers ~ Thin strips of seasoned steak stir fried with bell peppers, onions, and jalapeños in a spiced tomato sauce and a quick guide to common grocery store peppers ~ The Complete Savorist #YesYouCan ad

Steak Picado and Guide to Peppers ~ Thin strips of seasoned steak stir fried with bell peppers, onions, and jalapeños in a spiced tomato sauce and a quick guide to common grocery store peppers ~ The Complete Savorist #YesYouCan ad

  • Bell Peppers: These are the most common peppers, you see them everywhere. Some individuals can eat them like apples (I cannot). They come in 4 shades at the market: green, yellow, orange, and red and then the less common purple and brown. These are all the exact same pepper. Their color is dependent on how long it is left on the bush. Green peppers are almost usually cheaper than any of its colored siblings because they are picked first. The longer the pepper stays on the vine, the more resources it takes which increases the price. These are not hot/spicy and often called sweet peppers.
  • Poblano: These are dark green and heart-shapped, or to me, look like a comma. When they age and deepen in color, they will become red. The dried version of a poblano is called Ancho. These  have a small kick to them, but are still within the realm of mild. This pepper is often mislabeled as a pasilla pepper in grocery stores. I am not sure why, as a pasilla pepper is longer and thinner.
  • Anaheim: Not just a city in Southern California where Disneyland is. These peppers are light green and long. They are also fairly mild, great for roasting, salads, and even stuffing.
  • Banana: These can also be known as wax or yellow wax peppers. These are often mistaken pepperoncinis although banana peppers are great for pickling, making salsa, and pepper jams/jellies. These are also very mild, but there is a hot banana pepper as well, they are usually longer and thinner.
  • Jalapeño: This is probably one of the most common “spicy” peppers. You’ve probably had them pickled on your nachos or hot dogs, or cooked in numerous cuisines ranging from Mexican to Indian. The longer the jalapeño stays on the bush, the deeper and redder its color becomes-and hotter. Like bells, green jalapeños are usually cheaper than the red. Once the jalapeño is allowed to fully ripen to red, and then dried, it is known as chipotle peppers.
  • Fresno: These can look very similar to a red jalapeño, but Fresnos are often shorter than the average jalapeño and are spicer. The green Fresno is much milder than the jalapeño but the often sold red is hotter. These are great for using as a marinade, in salsas, and my personal favorite, in cocktails.
  • Serrano: Longer and thinner than the jalapeño and spicer too. These peppers are great to use when making Asian dishes, as most Asian peppers are harder to find if you don’t live near an Asian market or in a more diversified community.  Serrano peppers are a great addition for salsa where you really want to give it big kick.
  • Habanero: This is one hot pepper. It’s not the hottest out there, but probably the spiciest you’ll find at your average grocery on any given day. They are short and round, and often orange, but can range in colors depending on their ripeness. While these are spicy, when the seeds and veins are removed, they are fruity, and at times and have a bit of a sweetness with their heat. These are great when making fruit based salsas.

Steak Picado and Guide to Peppers ~ Thin strips of seasoned steak stir fried with bell peppers, onions, and jalapeños in a spiced tomato sauce and a quick guide to common grocery store peppers ~ The Complete Savorist #YesYouCan ad

How to remove the heat from peppers

When dealing with peppers, you want to keep the capsaicin power off your hands. It will linger for HOURS to come, despite how much hand washing you do. Recently, I chopped jalapeños for a recipe, and 5 hours later, when I went to remove my contacts, having washed my hands at least a dozen times and having done dishes, I burned the ever-loving souls from my eyes. No amount of saline solution would stop the burn. Sad thing is, I knew to wear gloves, I usually do, but I was just rocking out to music while making a recipe and just forgot about them. I won’t make that mistake again.

If you’re going to work with anything other than a bell pepper, you’ll want to have latex (or similar) gloves. This will save you so much trauma in life because the capsaicin lingers and you have no idea where you are going to end up sticking your fingers before it wears off (like in your teething baby’s mouth to apply numbing medicine).

Leaving the pepper whole, just hallowed you will need a knife, cutting board, a bowl for the seeds, veins, and stems, and a spoon.

  • Slice off the top, near the stem; discard
  • Slit the seed pod membrane holding the pod to pepper
  • Using gloved finger, pull out the seed pod; discard
  • Use a spoon and work it under the vein/rib of the pepper, and push it down, towards the base of the pepper. The seam will end and the vein/rib will be freed; discard
  • Repeat on all remaining veins/ribs
  • Shake out any fallen seeds
  • Wash and use as desired

Steak Picado ~ Thin strips of seasoned steak stir fried with bell peppers, onions, and jalapeños in a spiced tomato sauce ~ The Complete Savorist #YesYouCan adTo chop, slice, or dice peppers, you will need a knife, cutting board, a bowl for the seeds, veins, and stems, and a spoon.

  • Slice off the top, near the stem and tip if wilted/disfigured; discard
  • Split the pepper in half, lengthwise
  • Slit the seed pod membrane holding the pod to pepper with either the spoon or the knife
  • Using gloved finger, pull out the seed pod; discard
  • Use a spoon and work it under the vein/rib of the pepper, and push it down, towards the base of the pepper. The seam will end and the vein/rib will be freed; discard
  • Repeat on all remaining veins/ribs
  • Shake out any fallen seeds
  • Wash and cut as desired

Steak Picado ~ Thin strips of seasoned steak stir fried with bell peppers, onions, and jalapeños in a spiced tomato sauce ~ The Complete Savorist #YesYouCan ad

Steak Picado and Guide to Peppers ~ Thin strips of seasoned steak stir fried with bell peppers, onions, and jalapeños in a spiced tomato sauce and a quick guide to common grocery store peppers ~ The Complete Savorist #YesYouCan ad                     Steak Picado and Guide to Peppers ~ Thin strips of seasoned steak stir fried with bell peppers, onions, and jalapeños in a spiced tomato sauce and a quick guide to common grocery store peppers ~ The Complete Savorist #YesYouCan ad

Enjoy this Steak picado and guide to peppers.

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9 Comments

  • Reply
    Joanie @ ZagLeft
    April 29, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    I can just imagine how wonderful the flavors are in this dish!

  • Reply
    Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet
    April 29, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    This looks and sounds fabulous, love all the flavors and ingredients in this!

  • Reply
    eat good 4 life
    April 30, 2016 at 6:25 am

    Such an informative posts and the recipe looks to die for. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Sheila @ Life, Love, and Good Food
    April 30, 2016 at 8:40 am

    This must smell amazing as it simmers! Happy cinco de Mayo!

  • Reply
    Julie | This Gal Cooks
    April 30, 2016 at 9:48 am

    I love jalapenos and spicy food in general but I don’t like it so spicy that it makes my nose run and me unable to enjoy the dish. I really love that you took one of your favorite restaurant meals and made it into a milder, more enjoyable dish. It looks fanstastic!

  • Reply
    Nutmeg Nanny
    May 1, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    Look at all those beautiful peppers! I’m a huge fan of skillet dinners too 🙂

  • Reply
    Cookin Canuck
    May 2, 2016 at 9:07 am

    Jalapeno-ectomy – love that! There is so much great information in this post and I’ll definitely be popping back to use it as a reference. And now I need to make that steak picador.

  • Reply
    Rice Pilaf - The Complete Savorist
    December 10, 2018 at 10:15 am

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