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.)

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Anonymous February 26, 2010 at 2:42 am
Robin Dance February 26, 2010 at 2:23 pm

MELANIE!!! I think the recipe you shared is one my husband and I tasted at a diner when we went to Puerto Rico! At least it sounds like it (because I don’t actually remember the name).

Anyways, one of my favorite recipes is; Easy Tenderloin with EASY Cranberry Balsamic Sauce; the ingredients and simplicity are what attracts me.

I’m very much a meat & potatoes girl; for extra special celebrations, I buy a whole beef tenderloin & cut it in half. The larger portion I make a simple roast; the other half, we slice into steaks and grill them later. I’d have it more often, but the price tag keeps it reserved for special occasions.

:) THANKS FOR THE CHANCE TO WIN…I SO hope I’m the lucky one!! xoxoxo

Robin Dance February 26, 2010 at 2:27 pm

I tweeted this (& please forgive me…I SO hope no one follows the link here so my chances will improve to win? I’M NOT PROUD but I am a beef luvah :) :) :) )

superdumb February 26, 2010 at 2:29 pm

I made a pretty decent brisket with beer and portobello mushrooms last night although I have to admit I generally cook with ground beef. The recipe that looks best to me on the site is Beef Pupusas & Curtido Slaw. Yum!

Robin Dance February 26, 2010 at 2:29 pm

I followed @BeefForDinner & tweeted them a yummy-sounding recipe :)

Robin Dance February 26, 2010 at 2:32 pm

:) I’m already a fan of yours, but I left a comment anyway :).

Robin Dance February 26, 2010 at 2:33 pm

I subscribed via email w/the account I receive subscriptions to: lolspicegirl(at)aim(dot)com

modernmami March 3, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Congratulations Robin! You won!

Robin Dance February 26, 2010 at 2:35 pm

If I can, I’ll write a post and link back (time is so limited!!). I think you know I’ll letcha know. :) I’m not on Friendfeed but I’ve commented everything else.

Is this just pathetic? Can you tell #IHEARTbeef??

tracy wishon February 26, 2010 at 4:14 pm

we cant wait for summer to start grilling those steaks and hotdogs and anything else we can find to grill

Amy February 26, 2010 at 7:00 pm

I have warm memories of beef stew in the winter. It’s easy and versatile and a favorite.

maryt February 27, 2010 at 1:02 pm

We really like steaks grilled, but I am looking forward to trying your recipe it sound delicious. Thanks!

misaacmom February 27, 2010 at 4:02 pm

I think more everyday occasions – I make pot roast, spaghetti sauce and chili – all with beef. All of these can be served when entertaining also.

Fav recipe – Beef Steaks with Curried-Onion Plum Sauce

misaacmom February 27, 2010 at 4:04 pm
Anonymous February 27, 2010 at 4:09 pm

I have loved beef for as long as I can remember. Burgers, steaks, stroganoff, you name it, I love it!

They had me at Treviso, Fig & Pear Steak Salad! YUMMY! THANKS for the AWESOME contest!

Anonymous February 27, 2010 at 4:09 pm

They had me at Treviso, Fig & Pear Steak Salad! YUMMY! Thanks!

I have always loved beef! I am not sure my last post was submitted!

Anonymous February 27, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Ok, now that I know it works. I follow @BeefforDinner and I tweeted to them my fav recipe


Anonymous February 27, 2010 at 4:11 pm

I am their 21,712th FB fan! Thanks!

Anonymous February 27, 2010 at 4:11 pm

I am your 200th fan on FB! THANKS!!

Anonymous February 27, 2010 at 5:59 pm

When my husband and I married, we were both poor students. So our honeymoon was at a small cabin only about an hour away but in a gorgeous area surrounded by nothing but trees. We bought a couple of steaks a small mom and pop store in the small town and grilled them back at the cabin.

I don’t know if it was the meat quality, the fact that we were usually too poor for steak, outdoor air, or the love high from being married the day before, but those were the BEST steaks we have EVER had.

I think the recipe for ginger beef noodles looks really good too!

Anonymous February 27, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Beef for dinner facebook fan sarah linette

Anonymous February 27, 2010 at 6:01 pm

Your facebook fan sarah linette

Rosalinda Vargas February 27, 2010 at 8:10 pm

I like the pomegranate steak recipe from the featured ones. Of course, being Hispanic, one of my favorite beef dinners is fajitas!

Anonymous February 27, 2010 at 8:54 pm

email subscriber!

Sarah T February 28, 2010 at 1:08 am

I loved BBQing hamburgers with my dad in the summer. I would love to try the Beef Sirloin Pasta Portobello recipe.

Sarah T February 28, 2010 at 1:13 am

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