“Salpicón” has its roots in 18th Century Spain, where an assortment of ingredients were diced or sliced and then mixed together. Beef, chicken or fish were used, and then they were mixed with onion, black pepper, olive oil and vinegar.
After the Spanish came to Mexico and Central and South America, the dish was adopted and transformed, creating a fusion with local ingredients. Nowadays, you can find Salpicón anywhere from Mexico to Argentina, and each country makes it in a slightly different way. In Colombia the term Salpicón also means a mixture of different fruits, bound together with juice. It is served ice cold by itself, or over ice cream as a delicious dessert.
This particular Salpicón is inspired on a Mayan venison dish that is served all over the Yucatán Peninsula, where it is called “Zic de Venado”. It is traditionally eaten on the day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, on December 12.
As venison is not available to everyone, I like to make this dish using beef. My cuts of choice are the flank or flap steaks, because they shred beautifully. It is important to add aromatics to the water as the meat cooks, because this starts to flavour the meat from the start. After the meat is cooked, shredded and cooled, then we make a dressing using lime juice and orange, and season with Mexican oregano.
I like to make this salad with tomatoes, Serrano chiles, red onion, radishes, cilantro and avocados. You could also add shredded iceberg or romaine lettuce to add a bit more crunch, as well as cooked, diced potatoes for a slightly heartier dish.
This salad is light, delicious and good for you. You can make mini tostadas and serve as an appetizer, or use large ones and serve as a salad or main course.
SALPICÓN DE RES
Shredded Beef Salad
908g flank or flap steak
2 litres water
1 small onion, peeled and halved
2 garlic cloves, peeled
4 sprigs cilantro
10 whole peppercorns
1 tsp kosher salt
¼ cup fresh lime juice
1/8 cup fresh orange juice
¾ tsp kosher salt, or more to taste
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp Mexican oregano
2 plum tomatoes, diced
2 serrano or jalapeño chiles, minced
½ small red onion, peeled and very thinly sliced
½ cup radishes, cut into matchsticks
½ cup chopped cilantro
2 avocados, sliced lengthwise for garnish
In large pot, place meat, water, onion, garlic, cilantro sprigs and salt. Bring to a boil and then turn heat down to simmer, partially covered, until meat is tender, around 30 minutes. Remove meat from broth and shred finely. Let cool. Broth can be reserved for another use.
In a medium bowl, combine orange juice, lemon juice and salt. Stir until salt dissolves. Start adding olive oil in a thin stream while constantly whisking so dressing emulsifies. Add Mexican oregano.
Place cooled meat in a non-reactive large bowl. Pour dressing over meat and add tomatoes, red onion, radishes and cilantro. Toss to combine. Taste and add more salt if needed. Garnish with avocado slices and serve immediately on Tostadas.
This recipe was first published at www.thelatinkitchen.com