Steak Picado Recipe

The “steak” is usually an extremely tough muscle cut something we might call Swiss, minute or cube steak except in this case it hasn’t been run through a mechanized swisser to tenderize and takes a long time to cook. The dish is prevalent and you’ll find it sold in Panamanian markets as “steak picado” and occasionally see it featured as steak entero on menus which is simply a braised Swiss steak. Onions and peppers are usually added and occasionally a tomato product and the construct is then stewed and served for breakfast along with some fried bread or a Panamanian tortilla and perhaps sprinkled with farmers cheese making a nice inexpensive repast. The use of top round or flank steak will decrease the cooking time and tooth of the dish and, as is the case with many indigenous preparations, a pinch of unrefined sugar is often added to sweeten the pot along with a goodly splash of “English” aka Worcestershire sauce.


  • 450 gm Swiss, chuck or top round cut into strips
  • 1 teaspoon achiote powder or paste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 large green pepper, or Anaheim or Fresno chilies, de-seeded and sliced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced or 2 ounces of tomato product
  • 225 gm stock, or granulated base fortified water


  • Dredge the beef in seasoned flour
  • Saute till along with the achiote till lightly browned
  • Add garlic, onion, peppers and tomato
  • Stir well and saute till vegetables are soft adding more oil if necessary
  • Add stock, reduce heat to a simmer, cover cook till tender

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