Meat Lovers: A Newlywed Story and Bistec Encebollado Recipe – Plus A #IHeartBeef Giveaway!

by Melanie Edwards on February 23, 2010 · 135 comments

in Giveaways, Puerto Rico, Recipes

Disclosure: This post is part of a “I Heart Beef” campaign with on behalf of The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. I will receive compensation for sharing my memories with you, but my opinions are mine. In fact, I have always loved beef.

We are what you would call meat lovers. That is to say that we could never be vegetarians. The word itself is one that would get you looks of “Are you crazy?” in our family. Now that’s not to say there’s anything wrong with being a vegetarian (Seinfeld anyone?), it’s just that we are carnivorous by nature.

Join me in a flashback real quick…

We had only been married a few months. Times were tough, of course, as is normal for a young couple just starting out. We were living off of rice, beans, and PB & J sandwiches. (How’s that for multicultural?) Since meat was the biggest expense on our grocery bill at the time, I began to make it last as long as I could. One day, after a tiring day at work, I came home and decided not to cook any meat that night. I remember my mami would sometimes make a great meal out of just yellow rice, beans, and a big salad. I opted to do the same.

A proud new wife, I set a plate of my home-cooked dinner in front of my husband and said “Buen provecho!” as I sat down across from him. He looked down at his plate, looked back up at me and said, “Where’s the meat?

I can still remember that day. We laugh about it now, of course, but believe me that every meal since then has had some sort of meat in it. As I said…meat lovers.

Picadillo and Rice Dish

Image from Wikipedia

And, though we’re equal opportunity meat lovers, this post will be all about the beef. We often ate beef growing up in a Puerto Rican house. From carne molida to bistec encebollado to barbecuing steaks at parties, many meals I grew up eating – and some of my favorites – involve beef. One of my all time favorites is bistec encebollado. I wish I had a nice video showing you how to make it, but I didn’t have time to make one right now (Note to self: Make video in the future!). So, I’m going to give you the basic recipe.

Cubed Steaks

Image from CSU Meat Sciences

The key to making bistec encebollado is that you have to use cubed steak. If you can’t find it pre-packaged, just ask the butcher to run a piece of beef through the machine and it’ll come out cubed for you. Then, you really only need some onions and the basic ingredients for making sofrito – a staple when cooking Puerto Rican food.

Bistec Encebollado

Image from Puerto Rican Recipes Online

Recipe for Bistec Encebollado – Puerto Rican Cubed Steak with Onions


  • Cubed Steak
  • Onions
  • Cooking Oil
  • Adobo
  • Meat Tenderizer
  • Black Pepper

Cooking the Steak

  1. Season el bistec with adobo, black pepper, and meat tenderizer.
  2. Cut your onions into nice ring slices.
  3. Using a large covered pan, heat a bit of cooking oil.
  4. Put your steaks in and drizzle a little water under to help create steam.
  5. Cover the pan and cook on low-medium heat.
  6. When the steak is tender and nearly done, add your onions on top of the steaks.
  7. The steak will cook slowly on low heat and the onions will wilt creating a perfect combination of steak and onions.
  8. I highly suggest you serve over white rice and red beans with a side of tostones. Heaven!

I apologize for the lack in detail with the ingredients and the steps, but it is true to how I and everyone in my family cooks. We do not measure and just go along pouring items into the pot.

I Heart BeefIf you want to get some more ideas for cooking with beef, check out Beef It’s What’s for Dinner, which has many recipes, videos, and information for buying, cooking, and handling beef. February is actually “I Heart Beef” month so have fun looking up fun ideas for dinner this week; they even have a Quick Meals section with simple recipes fit for any busy parent.

Now, let’s get on to the contest.


One of you will win a $100 Omaha Steaks gift card!

How to Enter

If you’d like to enter this contest for a $100 Omaha Steaks gift card, simply leave a comment below and share your favorite memories of making everyday occasions special with beef and let me know your favorite recipe from the Beef It’s What’s for Dinner site.

For extra entries:

  1. Tweet about this contest with a link back to this post and include @modernmami in your tweet. You must leave a separate comment with a link to your tweet for your entry to count.
  2. Follow @BeefForDinner on twitter and tweet them with a recipe you like from their site.
  3. Become a fan of on Facebook and leave a comment with your Facebook name.
  4. Become a fan of Beef It’s What’s for Dinner on Facebook.
  5. Subscribe to this blog via email and leave a comment with the email you used to subscribe. (You can use the email field to do this instead of putting your email in the comment if you prefer.)
  6. Subscribe on friendfeed and leave a comment with your friendfeed ID.
  7. Write a blog post on your own blog sharing with your readers something you found helpful on the Beef It’s What’s for Dinner site. Make sure to link back to this contest page in your post. Leave a comment with your post link.

All entries must be in by Sunday, February 28 at 11:59 pm EST. Make sure to leave a separate comment for each entry. The winner will be chosen using and will be notified via email. (Please be sure to provide a valid email address with your entry.)

Like what you see? Share with friends!
Katie February 24, 2010 at 9:38 pm

Following Beeffordinner and tweet –

jennifer February 24, 2010 at 10:04 pm

We are a total beef family, and the kitchen is the heart of our home! My favorite recipe from the site is Chimichurri Steak Wraps! Yum! This is a recipe that my kids could help with too!

Amanda M. February 24, 2010 at 11:02 pm

My favorite memories always involve backyard barbeques where we are grilling hamburgers. :) My favorite recipe from the website is the Monster Mash Meatball Soup.

Amanda M. February 24, 2010 at 11:03 pm
Amanda M. February 24, 2010 at 11:05 pm

I am an email subscriber. February 24, 2010 at 11:07 pm

My husband is a beef-loving military man and I love cooking for him. When we were dating, I cooked for him a lot (as I do now) and I remember that his reactions to all of my dishes (especially the beef ones) made these “everyday moments” touching and memorable. He is such a sweetie! Really, this gift would be perfect for him. From the Beef site, I think the Beef Kabobs w/Parmesan Orzo sounds great!

FrugalMom February 25, 2010 at 12:44 am

My favorite memory with beef is making groundbeef sauce with my mother for homemade pizzas. The Mediterranean Braised Beef is my favorite recipe on the Beef It’s What’s For Dinner website.

Anonymous February 25, 2010 at 1:04 am

I will never forget the day our now 8 yr old tried roast for the first time. She had always snarled her nose every occasion prior but one night she volunteered to try it and now she is a MEAT eater!

GoldenOrchard February 25, 2010 at 2:01 am

I use make occasions w/ beef special by using ground beef to make my favorite chili

GoldenOrchard February 25, 2010 at 2:04 am

To make beef special for occasions I use ground beef to make my favorite chili. My favorite recipe from is Beefy Mexican Lasagna

Anonymous February 25, 2010 at 3:32 am

My hubby and I love steak and always love grilling steak and having a nice evening together. With sauteed mushrooms. Yum! I like the Asian Beef and Broccoli Noodle Bowl recipe on the web site.

Jennifer Vales February 25, 2010 at 3:40 am

I subscribed via email.

Anonymous February 25, 2010 at 4:25 am

My husband is a real meat eater. He comes from a meat and potatoes family. Some of our best memories involve him, a grill, and a 2 inch thick tbone or ribeye(when I say 2 inch thick I mean it too).


Anonymous February 25, 2010 at 10:18 am

My mom has made elaborate Sunday dinners for us since I can remember. She always made the best pot roast…fork-tender and so flavorful! The Braised Beef w/ Mushrooms and Barley recipe sounds good to me!

Anonymous February 25, 2010 at 10:20 am
Anonymous February 25, 2010 at 10:22 am

My mom has made the most elaborate Sunday dinners since I can remember. She makes the best pot roast…fork-tender and so flavorful! The Braised Beef w/ Mushrooms and Barley recipe sounds good to me!

Anonymous February 25, 2010 at 10:24 am

Following @BeefForDinner on Twitter and sent them a tweet:

Carrie Shockley February 25, 2010 at 8:04 pm

The pomegranate steak with quinoa sounds great!

I like to make a taco roll with ground beef and crescent rolls. My little one loves it because it is in the shape of a circle!

Anonymous February 25, 2010 at 10:52 pm

We always bar-b-que Sunday dinner at my house. My husband loves his grill and so do I! His favorite is grilled Pork Tenderloin. Yum I would like to try the Chili-Marinated Steaks with Cilantro Cream.

megan February 25, 2010 at 11:57 pm

I love making a beef stuffed pasta shells. So yummy. would love to win thanks!

Anonymous February 26, 2010 at 12:25 am

I like Oriental Express Beef Lettuce Wraps! I have had chicken lettuce wraps in restaurants, but I bet these are even more flavorful! My favorite memory is introducing my boyfriend to Thai food. He was very skeptical – and then the surprise on his face when he tried some delicious spicy beef and noodles! One of those “told ya!” moments…

Anonymous February 26, 2010 at 12:48 am
Elena February 26, 2010 at 12:59 am

Subscribed via friendfeed – ID elena32.

Anonymous February 26, 2010 at 2:39 am

My favorite recipe is the Mojo Beef Kabobs, it looks good and is healthy. For special occasions we sometimes go to Ruth’s Chris Steak House…there is some good beef!

Anonymous February 26, 2010 at 2:40 am

I am following BeefForDinner on Twitter as njhhb.

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