Salpicón is a refreshing and satisfying shredded beef salad bursting with the flavours of Mexico. Keep your kitchen cool by using an Instant Pot to cook the beef easily and quickly. It’s the perfect main dish salad for hot weather dining.
Heat waves mean quick and casual cooking. When you don’t want to heat up the house, or eat a big meal, main dish salads are the way to go. We often eat Grilled Peaches with Burrata or a simple Piyaz Salad for dinner on hot summer nights.
My mouth is watering just thinking about eating this flavourful cold beef salad on a hot day like today. The big bold beefy flavour mixes perfectly with the fresh vegetables and fiery heat of the serrano peppers. Add the acidity and tartness of the lime juice and tomatoes and this salad will tantalize your taste buds and haunt your foodie dreams.
Whether you eat it with a fork or have it on tostados or in a tortilla, this salad is a tasty treat that you’ll make time and time again. For those of us that need a little convincing to eat salads or vegetables, adding shredded beef makes this salad extremely enticing.
During a heat wave the last thing I want to do is cook dinner. That’s why I’m so excited to bring you this Instant Pot version. This method allows you to pressure cook the beef until it is ready to be shredded quickly (around 30 minutes!) and without heating up your kitchen. It’s a win-win situation!
What is Salpicón?
Salpicón, pronounced sal · pi · kon, is the Spanish word for ‘medley’ or ‘mixed bag’. Mexican Salpicón de res or Salpicón de carne refers to a cold shredded beef salad mixed with other fresh ingredients. It’s a lively mixture of fresh or pickled serrano peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, and cilantro mixed together with lime juice and salt.
Other styles of Salpicón made with other proteins (chicken, pork, and seafood) exist in Central America and Spain. However, these alternative versions still contain the lively mixtures of ingredients which make this dish unique in both taste and texture.
Ingredients for Salpicón de Res
There are very few ingredients in this flavourful salad recipe. For this reason, I highly recommend buying them when they are fresh and in season. This will ensure your Salpicón is the tastiest it can be.
- Beef Skirt Steak
- Sea Salt
- Black Pepper
- White or Red Onion
- Serrano Pepper
- Olive Oil
While there isn’t much room for substitutions in this recipe, you can swap out the serrano peppers for something with a little less heat, if you prefer. Or, use pickled jalapenos in a pinch.
You can use regular tomatoes or simply chop up cherry tomatoes. Lastly, I find that iceberg lettuce is the easiest variety of lettuce to shred. It also has a bit more textural crunch than other lettuce varieties.
Which Cut of Beef is Best for Salpicón?
The best cut of beef to use for Salpicón is any beef that can be easily shredded. This recipe calls for skirt steak, however you can also use flank steak. These are tougher cuts of beef that perform the best with either a quick sear or longer cooking time (or pressure cooking).
You can start this salad with a cut of beef purchased specifically for this recipe or use leftover shredded meat such as beef barbacoa. Barbacoa is typically made out of tougher cuts of meat with plenty of connective tissue (chuck roast, brisket and beef cheeks) that require long, slow cooking times.
How to Make Salpicón
Break out that Instant Pot because you’re about to make the easiest beef salad ever. Place the steak, enough water to cover the steak, slice of onion, and 1 teaspoon of sea salt in an Instant Pot insert.
Next, close the lid (made sure the sealing ring is in place first), flip the valve closed, and set to high pressure for 20 minutes. Note that the Instant Pot will take at least 10-15 minutes to come up to pressure.
After 20 minutes, allow the Instant Pot to come down in pressure naturally for 5 minutes then open the valve to release remaining pressure. Carefully open the lid and transfer the beef to a large bowl. Strain the water out and freeze it to use another day.
While you wait for the beef to cool slightly, prepare the other ingredients. You’ll need to shred the lettuce, deseed and dice the tomatoes, and finely dice the onions and pepper. When the beef is cool enough to handle, use your hands or two forks to shred it apart.
Add the shredded lettuce, diced peppers, tomatoes, onion, and cilantro to the bowl of beef. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then drizzle olive oil and lime juice over it all. Toss the ingredients to combine.
How to Serve Salpicón
You will want to eat this cold beef salad right out of the bowl with a fork. It’s that good. However, the traditional way to serve salpicón in Mexico and Central America is in corn tortilla tacos, on tostadas, and as a filling for roasted poblano peppers.
Salpicón is also delicious as a burrito or quesadilla filling or on rice as part of a burrito bowl. It may be eaten while still warm with rice and beans (Nicaragua).
Make Ahead and Leftover Salpicón
The good news is shredded beef salad is so easy to prepare ahead of time. It makes summertime cooking a breeze. The bad news is…it doesn’t make great leftovers. Salpicón will still be edible after one night in the fridge but the lettuce will wilt and tomatoes will become mushy with longer refrigeration.
If you want to prepare the salad ahead of time, keep all the ingredients separate and mix them just before you are ready to eat. Or, leave the lettuce out and mix it in when you are ready to eat. That way if you have any leftovers, you can still use them in a soup!
If you make this Salpicón recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe, please tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you guys are making! Thank you so much for reading my blog.
- 2 lbs beef skirt steak
- 1/2 onion divided; 1 large slice and the rest finely diced
- 1 teaspoon sea salt plus more for seasoning
- 2 cups water
- 1 serrano chili; diced
- 2 cups shredded lettuce
- 4 small tomatoes; seeded and diced
- 1 avocado; sliced
- Black Pepper
- 1/2 cup cilantro; chopped
- 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
- Lime; juiced
- Place the steak, water, slice of onion, and 1 teaspoon of sea salt in an Instant Pot insert.
- Close the lid (made sure the sealing ring is in place first), flip the valve closed, and set to high pressure for 20 minutes. Note that the Instant Pot will take at least 10-15 minutes to come up to pressure.
- After 20 minutes, allow the Instant Pot to come down in pressure naturally for 5 minutes then open the valve to release remaining pressure.
- Carefully open the lid and transfer the beef to a large bowl. Strain the water out and freeze it to use another day.
- Allow the beef to come to cool slightly, then use two forks to shred it apart.
- Add the chili, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, and cilantro to bowl of beef. Season with salt and pepper then drizzle olive oil and lime juice over the salad. Toss to combine.
- Garnish with sliced avocado and serve with tostadas.
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 613Total Fat: 40gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 157mgSodium: 843mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 51g
Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.