Cooking and caring for my family is what I do best. As chauvinistic as it sounds, I was taught early on that as a Filipina, our role was to keep the household running smoothly, so that our children can excel . Today, the old-fashioned rule still holds — one of the best ways to fuel our family is to serve them good food. This Beef Salpicao also known as Salpicado de Solomillo was a dish my mom used to make for both everyday meals and special occasions. Beef was an expensive ingredient in the Philippines, more so in our rural town, Tarlac. Mom taught me to cook it well so as not to waste the pricey meat. Our town’s beef butcher only had cuts available on Tuesdays and Saturdays back then. Today, I can cook this dish with my eyes closed, easily from memory.
Beef Salpicao or Salpicado de Solomillo is a Filipino dish, of Spanish origin, that can be served as an appetizer or entrée. My mom loved making this for us. I can see now why she did. It’s so easy to cook.
Mom used to say in Spanish “Vamos a tener Salpicado de Solomillo esta noche.” (We are having Salpicado de Solomillo tonight). In Spanish, the term ‘salpicar’ means to sprinkle. ‘Solomillo’ is Spanish for ‘sirloin’. In this incredibly easy recipe, these beef tenderloin strips were sprinkled with the right amount of seasonings and plenty of garlic. When cooked, the seared beef strips were salty with a hint of sweetness from the wine, succulent from the seasonings and addictive with all the crisp garlic sprinkled on it. Some restaurants in Manila serve these beef pieces cubed. I sliced the beef thinly to pair up with the crisp pan fried potato strips.
Cooking this dish has taught me one thing. No matter how many years go by, mom’s lessons and messages are timeless and transcend geographical locations and generations. After all, mothers know what’s best. Always.
Beef Salpicao or Salpicado de Solomillo
- 1 pound beef sirloin sliced in strips of 2-inch length
- 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine divided, use half for marinade, rest for sauce; white wine can also be used
- 2 Tablespoons mustard
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce divided, use 1 Tablespoon for marinade, rest for sauce
- 2 teaspoons salt divided, use 1 teaspoon for marinade, rest for sauce
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper divided, use 1 teaspoon for marinade, rest for sauce
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 6 to 8 cloves garlic peeled, chopped
- 1/2 cup beef gravy homemade or store-bought
- 2 whole potatoes peeled, sliced in strips, 2-inch length
- 1 teaspoon salt for potatoes
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper for potatoes
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil for potatoes
- for serving: boiled rice
- In a medium sized bowl, marinate the beef strips in olive oil, wine, mustard, worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper. Cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Over medium heat, add oil combined with butter to a grill pan (a skillet that has grilled ridges in it) or a shallow skillet. Pan fry the beef pieces and move them around to flavor the skillet – for about 1 to 2 minutes till the beef turns brown. Remove beef from the skillet and set aside.
- Using the same grill pan, saute the garlic till brown for about 2 to 3 minutes (be careful not to burn garlic). Remove the garlic, set aside to add later. Add the Worcestershire sauce, gravy and wine to the skillet. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper powder.
- Add the steak strips back in and blend well with the sauce. Cook the beef strips for 2 to 3 minutes more to have a medium rare result; for 5 to 8 minutes if well done is desired.
- Garnish with the crisp garlic. Serve with pan fried potato strips. Serve with jasmine white rice if desired.
- To make potato strips: Peel and slice potatoes in 2-inch long strips. Soak in water with salt for at least 30 minutes. Drain water. Pat potato strips dry with paper towels. Over medium high heat, in a medium skillet add the cooking oil. Oil must be hot to about 350 F degrees (if measuring with a deep-fry thermometer). It will take about 3 to 5 minutes over medium high heat for the oil to get hot enough. Add the potato strips, a few at a time. Pan fry potatoes for about 8 to 10 minutes, turning them over to brown evenly. When cooked, place on parchment paper to remove excess oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Cook's comments: In the cookbook recipe, Senor Alba grilled the beef cubes "according to desired doneness" before adding to the pan where the sauce is cooking. If you prefer to grill the beef for this Salpicado de Solomillo dish, here's a suggested guide to the amount of time needed to cook the beef. Preheat the outdoor grill to a medium-high. Grill beef slices on the middle racks of an outdoor grill over medium-high heat. For rare - 2 to 3 minutes per side; medium 3 to 4 minutes per side; well done 7 to 8 minutes per side. *Note: these instructions vary depending on the type of grill.
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Nutrition Notes: The nutrition information is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.