Shredded Meat Cooked with Tomatoes, Chiles, and Cilantro

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Here is a simple and delicious way of cooking either flank or skirt steak. It is usually served with corn tortillas but can also be made into very good fried tacos with the usual trimmings. Served with a salad, it would make a very good lunch dish.

Serves4 portions or makes enough filling for 18 Tacos

Cooking Methodsauteeing



Total Timeunder 2 hours

OccasionFamily Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free


Taste and Texturegarlicky, herby, meaty, savory


  • 1¼ pounds (560 g) skirt or flank steak with some fat
  • 1 small white onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cilantro sprigs
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons lard or safflower oil
  • ½ cup (125 ml) finely chopped white onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1¼ pounds (560 g) tomatoes, finely chopped, unpeeled
  • 4 (or to taste) canned chiles serranos en escabeche
  • 3 rounded tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup (65 ml) broth from cooking beef
  • Sea salt to taste


  1. Cut the steaks-along the grain, not against it-into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces. Put the meat into a saucepan with the onion, cilantro, garlic, and salt, barely cover with water, and simmer until tender-about 25 minutes for skirt steak and 35 for flank. Allow the meat to cool off in the broth. Strain, reserving the broth. When the meat is cool enough to handle, remove any gristle or sinew and shred roughly. Set aside.

  2. In a heavy frying pan, heat the lard, add the onion and garlic, and fry gently without browning until translucent-about 3 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and continue cooking over high heat, stirring and turning it over from time to time to prevent sticking, until the mixture has reduced and thickened about 8 minutes. Add the shredded meat, chiles, cilantro, and broth, taste for salt, and cook over medium heat, covered, for about 5 minutes longer.

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