Bistec de Palomilla is such an easy way to prepare cube steak with great results. You'll be amazed at how the simple lime and garlic marinade transforms this into a tender, flavorful main.
This post may contain affiliate links, where we earn from qualifying purchases. See more details in the policy page.
For whatever reason, it had been a while since we had some Cuban food. I've been meaning to make Cuban roast pork, lechon asado again for a while, but it somehow hasn't happened. Plus, I have a few other things I'd like to try as well.
But then I found myself with a cut of meat I wasn't quite sure what to do with. As I was searching for ideas, this Cuban recipe came up and it sounded perfect.
What is cube steak?
I think I still had my British head on when we received cube steak in our meat box, as my initial thought was that meant diced beef. I was all ready to make it into a stew or something.
But then as it thawed I realized that it wasn't quite what I thought. So, I looked it up and realized it was tenderized top round or top sirloin steak. It's sometimes called minute steak since it's best prepared with a quick cook.
I was still a little uncertain, though, since it's not exactly your ribeye or tenderloin, so felt it might need a marinade. Citrus definitely has that ability to tenderize and add flavor, as in pork carnitas.
So given the ingredients here, this bistec de Polomilla sounded like it had potential, and it definitely delivered. It's easy to prepare, packed with flavor and the perfect way to use this less-favored cut. The sautéed onions on top really finish it off too.
For us, making this was a little by accident, but it was a very happy one as we loved the result. This Cuban cube steak is an easy, flavorful meal that everyone loved. Try it, and you'll see for yourself.
Try these other favorite beef recipes:
- Beef massaman curry (an aromatic Thai curry)
- Anticuchos de carne (Peruvian beef skewers)
- Bo kho (Vietnamese beef stew with lemongrass and other spices)
- Beef bulgogi (Korean marinated and grilled beef)
- Plus get many more mains recipes in the archives.
Cuban cube steak - bistec de Palomilla
- 1 lb cube steak tenderized round steak
- 1 lime juice (ie from 1 lime)
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch pepper
- ½ onion
- ½ tablespoon butter
- 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil divided
- If your steak isn't already tenderized, bash the steak with a tenderizer a few times on each side. Put the steak in a tightly-fitting box or freezer bag and add the lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Toss the steak in the mixture so it is mixed and the steak has some all over. Leave to marinade at least a couple hours but ideally overnight.
- When ready to cook, slice the onion and warm the butter and ½ tablespoon oil in a small skillet over a medium heat. Add the onions and fry until lightly browned.
- Meanwhile, warm another skillet or grill pan to a medium-high heat. Add approx 1tbsp olive oil and once hot, shake off any excess marinade from the steak and add to the pan. Cook for a couple minutes each side, depending on how thick it is and how well done you prefer your steak.
- Let the steak rest a couple minutes before serving, topped with the onions. Goes well with rice and beans and some fried plantains.
See some of my favorite cooking tools and ingredients in the Caroline's Cooking Amazon store.
Try these other ideas with garlic:
- Aïgo Bouido (Provençal Garlic Soup) by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Garlic Knots by Karen's Kitchen Stories
- Garlic Fried Calamari by Palatable Pastime
- Alcachofas al Ajillo or Garlicky Artichokes by Food Lust People Love
- Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts by Jolene's Recipe Journal
- Homemade Creamy Garlic Salad Dressing by A Day in the Life on the Farm