Bistec en Salsa Roja (Steak in Red Salsa) or The Nameless Dish

Bistec en Salsa Roja or Mexican Steak in Red Salsa by Spicie Foodie

I have been holding off on sharing this recipe for the past three years. The reason is that it doesn’t have a name. My husband calls it a goofy name and I just call it the steak in spicy red sauce dish. Neither are good names hence why I haven’t posted it. I finally decided to name it what I call it in Spanish, bistec en salsa roja or steak in red salsa. That’s much better than just the nameless dish.

This is one of our most favorite meals. My husband could eat it several times a week and never complain. The meal is quite a humble one. There aren’t any fancy or expensive ingredients. But you don’t need either because this dinner is crazy good. Basically all it is steak cut up into bite size pieces cooked in a spice red chile sauce, served with refried or mashed beans and corn tortillas. Though sometimes I also serve it with flour tortillas. It tastes great with either and even better if you make your own tortillas like I do.

Bistec en Salsa Roja or Mexican Steak in Red Salsa by Spicie Foodie

I have been so busy the last month and seem to always be rushing to get dinner on the table. This meal takes very little time and effort so no big deal. What I didn’t do so well with was making sure the camera battery was charged. Ay! Have you ever done that? You get ready to photograph the dish and after a couple of shots the battery goes dead. The worst of it all is that I have a spare battery to help avoid this, but it wasn’t charged either. I was just one of those days. Since this is one of our favorite meals I knew that there wouldn’t be any leftovers to photograph. So I kept the 3 DSLR photos and the ingredients shot is from my tablet’s camera.

Anywho, let’s get to the recipe.

Bistec en Salsa Roja or Mexican Steak in Red Salsa by Spicie Foodie

4.0 from 1 reviews
Bistec en Salsa Roja (Steak in Red Salsa)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A spicy steak in red Mexican chile sauce.
Recipe type: Dinner, Beef, Steak, Stew, Spicy
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 2-3
  • 500 gm or 1 lb steak or tender beef cut of choice, cut into bite size pieces
  • 4 dried chiles de arbol or Arbol Chiles
  • 2 fresh red chiles, stems removed
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 medium tomatoes, stem removed
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and halved
  • 1-2 tbs olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin seed
  • 1 tsp dried oregano, Mexican variety is best
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt, or adjust to taste
  • 1 tbsp sweet pimenton or paprika, for extra color
  1. Place the chiles, garlic, tomatoes and onion in a small pot of hot boiling water. Allow to simmer until the tomato begins to peel, and onion and chiles begin to soften- about 10-15 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
  2. Heat some oil in a frying pan, once warm add the steak and cook under low heat. In the meantime place the boiled ingredients and all remaining spices into a blender.(For a milder sauce remove the seed from chiles) Blend into a thick sauce. By now the steak has cooked through, turn heat to medium high and gently pour sauce into the pan. Stir to well combine. Allow to simmer for another 15 minutes.
  1. Serve with refried beans and either corn or flour tortillas, as well as any other accompaniments desired.
*Please notice that after boiling the vegetables it is possible to remove the skin off tomatoes. I typically leave it on if I am in a hurry, it is up to you. ** Instead of boiling the vegetables they can also be charred on a comal or griddle. Simply heat the griddle and char vegetables and chiles. You can remove, or leave, the chard skin off the vegetables.

Bistec en Salsa Roja or Mexican Steak in Red Salsa by Spicie Foodie

See how easy it was to prepare? The only thing I should warn you is about the spicyness, it is quite spicy. But it’s no problem to cut down the amount of chiles. I hope you give the recipe a try and that it also becomes one of your favorites. Buen provecho or enjoy! Have a great weekend and I’ll see you back here Sunday for Sunday Snapshots.

If instead you fancy a green salsa based dish check out my friend’s, Tasty Trix, recipe for Carne de Res En Salsa Verde or Beef in Green Sauce,


Yummy Pics: A Food Blogger's Guide to Better Photos, Photography eBook by Spicie Foodie



    • says

      Hi Louie,

      You can scrape out the seeds and vein from inside the chiles to make it milder. Alternatively you could use the mildest chiles of your choice — however, please no that I have not tested out my recipe using other chiles. Have fun experimenting and enjoy!;)

  1. Audrey says

    I just found your amazing list of Mexican recipes through Pinterest, I’m reliving my childhood as I read the list of dishes you have. Growing up, my mom always made this dish & we never had a real official name for it either! We always called it Carne Mexicans… but according to that logic it’s THE only Mexican beef dish haha. I think I prefer your name for it, and I’m so excited to try my hand at remaking all these meals!
    Thank you,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Rate this recipe: