I don’t know where you are, but here it has been HOT. It is that time of the year when the temperatures rise and there is no rain in sight. So hot that eating anything heavy or that requires hours of cooking on the stove is just not going to happen.
This is why I love Salpicón (say it like sal-pee-CONE). Salpicón is shredded beef, lettuce, onions, and radishes all mixed together into a crisp salad. I love to top mine with a tangy oregano dressing. This salad is cool, hearty and so easy to put together that it is perfect for those warm weather days!
What is Salpicón and where is it from?
Salpicón is a preparation made with shredded beef, deer, fish, or other seafood mixed with vegetables and eaten cold. This salad is seasoned with herbs and lime or vinegar.
There are a variety of preparations for this dish throughout Mexico, each with its own unique regional twist!
For example, in Tamaulipas, salpicón is made with crab, celery, onion, and chile serrano.
In Tabasco, the mixture is made with chopped beef, cilantro, chives, onion, and parsley. It is topped with lime juice, salt, and pepper and is generally served with rice.
In Chiapas and Campeche, salpicón is prepared using shredded deer meat marinated in bitter orange juice and mixed with cilantro, onion, chile, and radishes.
So, as you can see, there are many regional varieties.
The recipe that I am sharing here is a variety common in Mexico City and the surrounding areas. Salpicón in Mexico City is made with a cooked and shredded beef base and then mixed with white vinegar. Many varieties include sliced tomatoes, radishes, cucumber, pickled jalapeño slices, lettuce, and queso fresco. It is sometimes referred to as ropa vieja.
My version includes cooked and shredded beef, radishes, lettuce, and onions. This version is mild, with no chiles. I also leave out the tomatoes and the cucumbers since I feel like they make the salad soggy. Of course, this salad is totally customizable, so feel free to add in any veggies that you wish!
How to make Salpicón
Salpicón is so easy to make, I promise the kitchen novice will be able to pull off this delicious and hearty salad.
Start by cooking the roast
I like to make my roast in a slow cooker so that this meal is more hands-off. In Mexico, I am using a cut of beef called cuete. This would be equivalent to a boneless round roast. Rub the roast all over with salt and pepper to season. Then, brown the roast on all sides in a bit of hot oil in a skillet on the stove. Searing the meat helps to improve the texture and flavor of the final dish.
Once the meat is browned on all sides, add it to a slow cooker with the beef broth, garlic, bay leaf, and onion. Cook on low for 8 hours.
When the meat has finished cooking, remove it from the broth, and allow it to cool. Reserve the broth for another use if desired. Shred the meat and set it aside.
If you have meat leftover from a roast, this is a perfect use for it! You could also substitute with shredded chicken if desired.
Make the dressing
The dressing is as easy to make as throwing all of the ingredients in a jar and shaking everything until it is all mixed up! A standard vinaigrette ratio is 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. I like a sharp, tangy dressing for this salad, so I up the vinegar so that the ratio is about 2 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. Of course, you can adjust this dressing to your liking, so feel free to reduce the vinegar if desired.
Putting everything together
Once you have the beef cooked and shredded, and the dressing ready to go, all that is left to do is put all of the salad elements together.
Have your salad vegetables prepped and ready to go. This means having the lettuce, onions, and radishes thinly sliced.
Toss the vegetables and the shredded beef together in a large bowl. Top with the dressing and toss again.
Now, you are ready to enjoy a delicious, cool, and hearty Mexican-style beef salad. We like to serve ours over crispy tostadas!
- ~2 lbs boneless round roast ~1kg
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil I use safflower
- 4 cups beef broth
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 small white onion
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 6 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tsps dried oregano
- Salt to taste I used 1/2 tsp
- 1 head iceburg lettuce, quartered and thinly sliced into strips
- 1/2 large white onion, quartered and thinly sliced
- 6 radishes, halved lengthwise and sliced into thin half-moons
For the roast
- Rub roast all over with salt and pepper~2 lbs boneless round roast, salt and pepper to taste
- Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet until shimmering, about 3 minutes2 tbsp vegetable oil
- Brown roast on all sides, about 3 minutes per side
- Add roast, garlic, broth, onion and bay leaf to a slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours or until the roast is tender and easily shredded with a fork.4 cups beef broth, 2 cloves garlic, 1 bay leaf, 1/4 small white onion
- Shred meat once it is cool enough to handle, reserve broth for another use if desired.
For the dressing
- In a jar with a screw top lid, add all dressing ingredients, seal lid and shake until evenly mixed1/2 cup olive oil, 6 tbsp white wine vinegar, 2 tsps dried oregano, Salt to taste
Putting it all together
- Add all salad ingredients and shredded beef to a large bowl and toss to mix1 head iceburg lettuce, quartered and thinly sliced into strips, 1/2 large white onion, quartered and thinly sliced, 6 radishes, halved lengthwise and sliced into thin half-moons
- Top with the dressing and mix again to evenly distribute. Serve immediately.