Palomilla Steak

For those seeking new steak dishes to experiment with in the kitchen, this delectable beef combination offers a rich flavor experience through a simple recipe that is easy to prepare. Continue reading to discover interesting facts about palomilla steak and how effortlessly it can be cooked at home, making it an ideal, slightly exotic dish to impress your dinner guests.

What Is Palomilla Steak?

Also known as bistec de palomilla (pronounced bees-tehk deh pah-loh-mee-yah), Palomilla steak enjoys enormous popularity as a Cuban dish, gracing the tables of both restaurants and homes. For this traditional dish, chefs marinate thin slices of top sirloin in a flavorful blend of salt, pepper, garlic, and lime juice, before expertly pan-frying them to achieve the perfect taste and texture.

The Ingredients You’ll Need

The preparation of palomilla steak requires only a few ingredients, making it a relatively quick and simple recipe. To get started, you will need:

  • Top sirloin steak – Thinly sliced (about 1/4 inch thick)
  • Oil – Opt for an oil with a high smoke point, such as avocado oil, for best results.
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground pepper
  • Onions
  • Lime
  • Garlic
  • Oregano
  • Cumin
  • Olive

The Tools You’ll Need

  • Bowl
  • Sharp Knife
  • Skillet (We recommend cast iron skillet)
  • Tongs

How to Make Palomilla Steak:

Preparing the meat, marinade, and pan-frying the steak should take only about 15 minutes. However, marinating the meat for an additional hour is necessary to enhance the flavor and tenderness of the steak. So the extra wait is worth it.

Step 1: Prepare the Marinade

Mix the salt, ground pepper, garlic, oregano, cumin, and olive oil in a bowl. Finally, add the juice of a lime and stir well.

Note: While we recommend using fresh, natural ingredients, you are free to use store-bought ones if that’s what you have available

Step 2: Prepare the Steak

Cut the top sirloin steak into about 1/4 inch thick, thin slices, and dip them into the marinade. Then, place the meat in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 30 minutes, preferably up to an hour. If your meat is not thin enough, you can use a meat mallet to pound it to the desired thickness while also tenderizing the meat in the process.

Note: Marinating time should be at least 30 minutes, preferably up to an hour. During this time, the marinade works to enhance both the flavor and tenderness of the meat.

Step 3: Cook the Steak & Prepare the Onions

Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat, and once the oil is hot, add the steak to the pan. Cook the steak for 1-2 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the steak (we recommend 1 minute per side). Once done, remove the steak from the pan and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Prepare thinly sliced onions while the steak is cooking.

Note: The steak should be brown on the outside, but each cook will have a preference for how exactly they like their steak. Be careful not to overcook it, as this can result in dry and chewy meat.

Step 4: Saute the Onions

Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the onions to the pan. Saute the onions for 2-3 minutes or until they have softened.

Step 5: Serve the Onions Immediately with the Steak

Top the palomilla steak with sauteed onions and serve it with white rice and black beans. For added flavor, squeeze lime juice over the dish.

Palomilla Steak FAQs

What to serve with palomilla steak?

The original Cuban recipe serves palomilla steak with white rice and black beans for a filling flavor explosion with all the elements of a great meal. For a lighter option, a side salad with fresh greens and a citrus-based dressing would also complement the dish well. You can also add a side of fried plantains or yucca for additional texture and flavor.

What cut of meat is palomilla steak?

Some stores may label steaks as palomilla steak. However, the traditional Cuban dish, Bistec de Palomilla (Palomilla Steak), is made with thinly sliced top sirloin steak.

Photo of author

Written by: Adam Wojtow

Adam is the founder of Steak Revolution. He loves sharing his knowledge of steaks with everyone, ensuring you get the perfect steak every time.