Bistec a la Criolla

Creole Beefsteak

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Preparation info

  • 8

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

By Patricia McCausland-Gallo

Published 2004

  • About

Bistec a la Criolla are steaks served with a delicious sautéed onion and tomato sauce. You can prepare them with any piece meat but we prepare them with bistec relajado—a piece of meat cut thick and then butterflied to a thickness of a quarter of an inch. This makes them very quick to cook, and larger to the eye than they really are, normally no more than six ounces in weight.


  • 3 pounds thinly sliced beef (skirt steak, flank steak, or filet)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon cumin* seeds, toasted (see note)
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • teaspoons salt
  • 1 recipe Hogao del Caribe


  1. Place the beef in a nonreactive container.
  2. Combine the oil, mustard, garlic, bay leaves, cilantro, cumin, and pepper. Rub over the beef slices. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or at least 1 to 2 hours.
  3. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, cook the beef slices for 2 minutes on each side for medium rare, 3 to 4 minutes for medium, and 5 minutes for well-done. Add the salt while cooking.
  4. Serve with hogao sauce over it.