London Broil con Recado para Bistek

A recado is a paste or rub for roasting meat, fowl or fish. A annatto/achiote based recado is used in Yucatecan pibil cookery. Recados are not unlike Jamaican jerk rub, which also uses allspice, black pepper, and herbs. Trans-Caribbean influences here, I’ll wager.

My son and Rachel came over last Saturday and I decided to take a London Broil and rub it with recado para bistek.

Recado para Bistek

1 tbs black peppercorns
1 tsp allspice berries
1 1/2 tsp whole cumin
2 tbs Mexican oregano
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
one head of garlic roasted & peeled.

Grind this in a food processor or a molcajete. When ready to use moisten with lime juice, lemon juice, or even beer. Rub on the meat and place in ziplock bag for at least an hour in the fridge.

ready to be anointed with recado para bistek

Get your cooker going. I had this sucker in my smoker for 4-5 hours.


It was great. We had it with guacamole, frijoles rosados refritos, a spinach salad, and tortillas de harina.

the first slice...

We had enough left to take over to a friend’s house for dinner on Sunday.


Incidents of Travel in Yucatán: circa 1980

El Castillo, Tuluum, Q.R.

More to come here.. a travelogue from September 1980.

Leaving from Houston, to catch the autumnal equinox at Chichen Itza, we arrived in Merida as Hurricane Hermione was passing through. Thus it tended to be wet, which kept your average gringo-bolillo back home.

Huevos motuleños.. some people in our party of 14 kept ordering these thinking they would improve. They never did. Nor did the milanesas.

In Rio Lagartos, we stopped to find a place to eat. The proprietor of one place said “No hay nada pa’ comer. Solamente hay pescado.”

Pescado? Evidently the hurricane had stopped the boats from going out for langostos & shrimps which seem to be preferred by gringo turistas. Fish (pescado) sounded fine to us and shortly, the grill was covered with nice croakers covered with an adobo paste.  These were quite tasty with black beans and fresh corn tortillas.

In a cantina in Muna, on the way back from Uxmal, we’d been served tasty grilled pork liver botanas (complementary bar snacks). While we were scarfing these down, we read that there was an outbreak of hog cholera in the Yucatan. Oh well. Can’t scare us.

If you go to Yucatan, you don’t need to drink that Corona bellywash. The Montejo Cerveceria (brewery) makes a wonderful porter called Montejo Leon. One of Mexico’s best beers. Don’t know how easy it is to get in that hellhole, Cancun, though.