Recipe courtesy of Ciudad Restaurant

Carne Adobo

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  • Level: Advanced
  • Yield: 6 servings
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6 (7 to 8-ounce) beef tenderloin steaks

Recado Adobo, recipe follows

Charro Beans, recipe follows

6 fresh blue corn tortillas or tostadas

Salsa Molcajete, recipe follows

6 slices Chihuahua-style cheese

Recado Adobo:

1/2 tablespoon black peppercorns

3 dried chipotle peppers

1/2 tablespoon coriander seeds

1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons kosher salt

3 tablespoons olive oil

Charro Beans:

1/2 cup diced applewood smoked bacon

3/4 cup diced white onion

3 tablespoons sliced garlic

3 cups ham stock

1 fresh bay leaf

1 sprig fresh thyme

1 cup rinsed and cooked black beans

1 cup cooked red kidney beans

1 cup cooked flageolet beans

1 cup plus 1 more cup cooked white beans

1 cup diced fresh tomatoes

1/4 cup sliced Spanish chorizo 

1/2 cup spinach

8 squash blossoms, cut in 1/2

3 tablespoons sliced jalapeno peppers

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves

1 tablespoon chopped Mexican marigold

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Salsa Molcajete:

4 cloves garlic, in the husk

8 Roma tomatoes

2 red onions, cut in 1/2 to make 2 rounds

2 jalapeno peppers

6 tomatillos

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 to 4 key limes, juiced

Kosher salt


  1. Preheat a clean grill to a medium-high temperature (preferably a charcoal or wood grill). 
  2. Season the steaks with the Recado Adobo, and place them on the hot grill. Grill the steaks to your desired degree of doneness, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side for medium-rare. 
  3. Position a rack several inches from the broiler, and preheat the broiler. Place a bed of the beans in the center of each ovenproof plate. Top the beans with a tortilla, and then place the steak on top. Add the salsa and a slice of cheese over each steak. Place the plates under the broiler, just long enough to melt the cheese. Serve immediately. 
  4. If you don’t have a broiler or a plate that can withstand the high temperature, or if you prefer to complete the dish outside on the grill, then about 2 minutes before the steaks are done, top them with the salsa and cheese while they are on the grill. Cover the grill to melt the cheese.

Recado Adobo:

  1. Toast all of the dried spices in a dry skillet over medium-low heat until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Then grind cooled spices in a spice grinder or molcajete. Stir in the salt and olive oil, and combine thoroughly.

Charro Beans:

  1. Render the bacon in a large stockpot over medium heat until browned. Then add the onion and garlic, and cook until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the stock, bay leaf, and thyme, plus 1 cup each of all the beans, and bring to a simmer. In a blender, puree the remaining 1 cup of white beans and the tomato until smooth, and then add them to the pot of beans. Then add the chorizo, spinach, squash blossoms, jalapenos, cilantro, and marigold, and stir to combine. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Salsa Molcajete:

  1. Toast the garlic over medium heat, preferably over a charcoal grill. Continue toasting until tender all of the way through, and then peel the husks off. On the grill, char the tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, and tomatillos until their skins are blistered completely. Remove all of the skins from all of the grilled vegetables, and then cut the stems off the jalapenos. Puree all of the grilled vegetables in a blender. Alternatively, use an immersion blender to puree. Pour salsa into a bowl, and season, to taste, with chopped cilantro, lime juice, and salt. 
  2. This salsa can be adjusted depending on the desired flavor. You can substitute chipotle peppers for the jalapenos, etc.