Steak Con Chiles

This recipe is a Barajas family staple. We live in California and like it spicy! If you don’t enjoy spicy food, you can substitute the chiles for green or red peppers. The roasted red peppers will give the dish a hint of sweetness, while the green peppers will keep the flavors neutral. You can choose to use a combination of peppers if you like.

When asking my mom how she came up with this recipe, she recalled a casual summer lunch, saying, “I learned this recipe while staying with a family in Mexico. They actually roasted the peppers outside, and it smelled so good! I think they just served it with rice and beans. It was simple but it served everyone that was there.” I found out that the smell really is intoxicating (sometimes literally) if you truly like spicy food. If you start coughing, you know they’re “good” chiles- the spicy ones. Make sure to serve sour cream on the side to cut the spice.

My mom has been making this dish for the family for years and she always makes it with Mexican rice. We can’t get enough of the steak and rice combination, pouring a little bit of the beef juices over our rice in bowls, to “beef up” the flavor of every spoonful of rice!

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 lb top sirloin steak, skirt or flank steak

  • 4 Poblano chiles (or 5 green or red peppers if you are sensitive to spice)

  • 1 T vegetable oil, or enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/4 c  water

Large sauté pan

1. Roast the peppers over an open fire. Blister the skin until it turns black, rotating every minute or so. Once blistered, immediately place peppers in a zippered plastic bag, plastic or bowl covered tightly with plastic wrap to allow peppers to sweat at least 10 minutes. * Once cool, peel over a garbage bowl or trash to discard all the black parts. Rinse briefly under cool water to wash off any remaining charred flesh or peel. Be sure to wear gloves because the peppers can burn your hands if they are very hot. Once peeled, set aside.

*While waiting for chiles to sweat and cool down, this is when we make the Mexican rice.

2. Remove the skin from the peppers. Remember to wear gloves. You can choose to do this under running water if it is easier, but some say it washes away flavorful juices. Be sure to remove seeds and veins if you are sensitive to spicy food. Also, remove the stem. Lay flat on cutting board. Slice peppers into long 1/4″ strips. Cut in half if peppers are big.

3. Slice steak into thin strips and trim fat.

4. In the large saute pan, coat the bottom with oil and heat pan. Once hot, add sliced steak and move steak around so all steak strips are in contact with the bottom of the pan. Lower heat. Cook briefly, stirring a little bit, until all sides of steak strips are browned, about 3 minutes. Season steak with salt.

5. Add peppers and stir throughout. Then, add 1/4 cup water into the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Then, cover and let steam for 8 minutes so flavors can blend and peppers can soften.

A great accompaniment is this authentic recipe for Mexican Rice

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