Serving

Recado de Bistec
Mexico, Yucatán
  -   Recado de Bistec
Makes
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
1/2 c  
**
25 min  
Yes
While the name would imply this seasoning paste is for beef, it is actually widely used to season pork, chicken and fish as well. It is also used to flavor some soups, and is a standard flavoring for escabeche dishes. The Mayan region is the only part of Mexico where spice mixes and pastes are used.




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2
2
2
5
1/8
1
1/2
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2
2
---
in
t
t

t
T
t
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T
-- Spices
Cinnamon stick (1)  
Peppercorns, black
Allspice berries
Cloves
Cumin seeds
Oregano, dried (2)
Salt
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Heads Garlic (3)
Vinegar
Make   -   (25 min)
  1. In a spice grinder, grind all SPICES items to powder.
  2. Roast GARLIC, let cool enough to handle and peel. (see Note-3).
  3. Place Garlic and Vinegar in a mini-prep food processor or some similar device and process until it is nicely liquified. Pour about half the Spice Powder in and process until well blended.
  4. Add the Vinegar Spice mix to the rest of the Spice Powder and mash it together until it is completely blended. Add a little more vinegar if you need to (I make it fairly dry so it keeps well in the fridge).
  5. In a tightly sealed container, this will last at least 4 weeks in the refrigerator. If you need it more paste-like for a recipe, just add a few drops of water to the amount you will use.
NOTES:
  1. Cinnamon:   Mexicans insist on real Cinnamon, not the Cassia Bark that passes for cinnamon north of the border. It is easily available in markets serving a Latin American community and in many Asian markets also. For details see our Cinnamon / Cassia page.
  2. Oregano:   Properly, this should be Mexican Oregano (Lippia graveolens), leaves of a shrub that grows in the region. This is rather hard to find even here in Los Angeles, so you may have to use regular oregano. Mexican Oregano is a bit more minty in flavor, so maybe add a little dried mint.
  3. Garlic:   Mayans roast whole heads of garlic in hot ashes of the hearth fire. We seldom have hearth fires here in Southern California, so it is better to break the heads up into cloves and roast them on a hot griddle, comal, tava or similar until roasted through. For details see our Roasting Vegetables page.
  4. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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