Simply put this Panamanian recipe is steak cut in pieces with peppers and onions. The steak is usually an extremely tough cut something we might call Swiss, minute or cube steak except in this case it hasn’t been run through a mechanized swisser to tenderize and takes a long cook time. The dish is prevalent and you can buy sliced meat in Panamanian markets called “steak picado” and occasionally you see steak entero on menus simply meaning our braised Swiss steak and basically it’s a stew not really a steak.  Onions and peppers are usually added and occasionally a tomato product and the construct is then stewed and served for breakfast along with some fried bread actually…. a nice repast. The use of top round or flank steak will decrease the cooking time and tooth of the dish and , as is the case with many indigenous preparations, a pinch of unrefined sugar is often added to sweeten the pot along with a goodly splash of “English” aka Worcestershire sauce. This is a very maudlin recipe but was the one dish I spoke about to others returning from my first trip to Panama because it was served everywhere and quite cheap like $3.

            1 pound Swiss, chuck or top round cut into strips

            1 teaspoon achiote powder or paste

            1 teaspoon garlic, minced

            1 large yellow onion, sliced

            1 large green pepper, or Anaheim or Fresno chilies, de-seeded and sliced

            1 medium tomato, diced or 2 ounces of tomato product

            1 cup stock, or granulated base fortified water

   1. Dredge the beef in seasoned flour
   2. Saute till along with the achiote till lightly browned
   3. Add garlic, onion, peppers and tomato
   4. Stir well and saute till vegetables are soft adding more oil if necessary
   5. Add stock, reduce heat to a simmer, cover cook till tender

Glenn Gamboa
The Three Sisters