This delicious steak picado recipe has only 4 simple ingredients, and is a quick and affordable meal. Ready in under 30 minutes, delicious cubes of steak, potatoes, peppers and tomatoes combine to make a hearty stew the whole family will love.
Returning with another recipe my Grandma Tita, and then my mom made throughout our childhood. Steak picado performs the same trick as my beef and potato tacos recipe, and that’s adding potatoes to make a pound of meat go further. Saving money while making a tasty dish was always my grandma’s goal. This dish definitely succeeds in doing that!
Everything cooks in one pan, so clean up is a breeze. And while traditional steak picado doesn’t typically contain potatoes, adding them in adds texture and heartiness. Serve on its own, or with a side of beans and rice. And definitely don’t forget the tortillas!
What is steak picado?
Steak picado, often called bistec picado, is a beef stir fry of sorts. Incorporating cubed or sliced steak, green bell peppers, and fresh tomatoes or canned tomatoes, it is a Mexican dish that is said to have originated in Southern California. It is a simple, yet delicious meal that is great to feed a family in an affordable way.
My grandmother made a variety of Mexican and New Mexican style recipes she acquired through her time growing up in New Mexico, then later moving to Los Angeles. I’m not exactly sure how she came to incorporate the potatoes into her version of steak picado, but my guess is from New Mexican style cooking. Many dishes from that region incorporate potatoes to make the dishes more filling and stretch a pound of ground beef or steak. Her beef and potato soup recipe is a perfect example of this tradition.
Steak picado ingredients
- 1.5 – 2 pounds of top sirloin steak, skirt steak of flank steak. Growing up, my mom and grandma always used flank or skirt steak because it was a more affordable cut of meat. But my mom now uses top sirloin because it’s a bit more tender.
- 1 whole green bell pepper, cut up into cubes or sliced. You can incorporate red or yellow peppers as well, but keep in mind that green peppers tend to be stronger, which stands up nicely to the tomatoes. Red or orange peppers, since they are sweeter, may get a little lost in the flavor.
- 1 or 2 cans of canned diced or stewed tomatoes. Depending on the desired consistency and the amount of beef you are using, start with 1 can and then add 2 if you feel the dish is too dry.
- 2 cans of potatoes, sliced and drained. I know this sounds crazy, but sliced potatoes make this dish!
Simple step-by-step directions
Begin by slicing up the beef into strips or cubes. Slice or cube the green pepper and slice the potatoes if purchased whole potatoes. Season steak strips /cubes with salt and pepper. Warm a large skillet or cast iron pan over medium high heat and add a tablespoon or two of cooking oil. Add the chopped steak and cook on all sides, turning frequently, for about 5-7 minutes till brown. Remove to a plate and set aside.
Lower stove to medium heat, add more oil if need be, and add the bell pepper. Cook till just soft and tender, then add the steak back in.
Stir in the canned tomatoes, and then add the potatoes. Gently stir to combine and mix all the ingredients till well incorporated and heated through.
What to serve with steak picado
My family always enjoyed steak picado with Spanish rice and refried beans, and plenty of warm tortillas. We would tear off large chunks of tortilla, add a bit of steak picado, beans and rice and enjoy a big bite! Or you can wrap all the ingredients together in a tortilla. For those who like things spicy, serve with hot sauce, red or green salsa or jalapeno peppers! And of course feel free to serve pinto or black beans instead of refried.
Sliced onions make a great addition to the carne picado. Cook along with the green peppers, till tender and translucent. Or serve pickled onions on the side, along with Mexican crema or cotija as delicious toppings.
No matter how you enjoy this great recipe that is so simple yet so delicious! Oh, and did I mention the leftovers taste so good the next day?!
Can you use fresh potatoes or fresh tomatoes?
It is definitely a simple swap to use fresh tomatoes instead of canned. Simply dice up 3-5 large tomatoes and add tomatoes and their juices to the pan. Because canned tomatoes are often seasoned, it wouldn’t hurt to add a generous pinch of salt, black pepper and garlic powder.
If the dish seems a little dry when using fresh tomatoes, simply add a bit of water, beef broth or tomato sauce till desired consistency is reached.
The trick to using fresh potatoes
Now using fresh potatoes will be a little more complicated, which is why I urge you to try canned. But if you definitely want to give it a try, peel and cut the potatoes into approximately 1″ cubes. Place in a microwave safe dish and par-cook them just like you do for my top sirloin and steak bites recipe.
Add the potatoes to the steak, peppers and tomatoes, then cover and simmer on low till potatoes are nice and tender. Please note that I never make it this way and the recipe has only ever been made with canned potatoes! But I’m sure you will achieve very comparable, delicious results using fresh!
More easy one pan dinners
Give these delicious one pan dinners a try the next time you are craving fast, easy and delicious!
- Orzo, Sausage and Broccolini One Pan Dinner
- Beef Sirloin Tip Steak with Garlic Butter Potatoes
- Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Sweet Potatoes and Apple
Quick and Easy Steak Picado (with Potatoes)
- 1.5 lbs top sirloin steak cubed – may substitute skirt or flank steak
- 1 green bell pepper seeded and cubed or sliced
- 2 cans canned potatoes
- 1 can diced tomatoes may use up to 2 cans and can also sub for stewed tomatoes, just crush up
- salt and pepper
- Begin by slicing up the beef into strips or cubes. Slice or cube the green pepper and slice the potatoes if purchased whole potatoes.
- Season steak strips /cubes with salt and pepper.
- Warm a large skillet or cast iron pan over medium high heat and add a tablespoon or two of cooking oil. Add the chopped steak and cook on all sides, turning frequently, for about 5-7 minutes till brown. Remove to a plate and set aside.1.5 lbs top sirloin steak, salt and pepper
- Lower stove to medium heat, add more oil if need be, and add the bell pepper. Cook till just soft and tender, then add the steak back in.1 green bell pepper
- Stir in the canned tomatoes, and then add the potatoes. Gently stir to combine and mix all the ingredients till well incorporated and heated through. Season with salt and pepper as desired.2 cans canned potatoes, 1 can diced tomatoes