Recipes · Cooking tips · Techniques

Bistec Empanizado (Breaded Steak)

Bistec Empanizado (Breaded Steak)

Bistec Empanizado (breaded steak) is a thin steak that’s seasoned, coated in cracker meal and fried until it is golden brown. It’s a traditional, and very popular, Cuban dish.

 

It’s easy to make and a great way to switch up your dinner routine. Serve the steaks with lime wedges, tostones, white rice and black or red beans for a traditional (and awesome) Cuban meal.​

 

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To make this bistec empanizado you will need

1½ pounds Palomilla Steaks (thin sliced top sirloin steaks) 3-4 steaks

1 teaspoon Salt, plus a few pinches for the breading

½ teaspoon Garlic Powder

¼ teaspoon Black Pepper

Pinch of Cumin

Pinch of Dried Oregano

2 Eggs

½ cup All Purpose Flour

1 – 1½ cups Cracker Meal

Canola Oil for frying (about 1 – 1½ cups)

Lime Wedges, for serving

 

What is a palomilla steak?

Traditionally, bistec empanizado is made with palomilla. Palomilla is top sirloin steak that is sliced thin. It’s a very popular meal in Cuban cuisine.

Three, large, raw palomilla steaks on a metal baking sheet.

 

Want more palomilla steak recipes? Try our bistec de palomilla. It’s a thin top sirloin steak that’s seasoned and quickly fried. Or, this pan con bistec that’s one of the best sandwiches around!

 

What is cracker meal?

Cracker meal is finely ground crackers. It’s used the same way breadcrumbs are used: for breading meats, coating vegetables or as a topping. It’s what makes a bistec empanizado different than a regular breaded steak.

A packet of cracker meal displayed on a wood cutting board.

 

Cracker meal creates a crispy golden brown coating when used to fry food.

A large thin steak that coated in cracker meal and fried until golden. Served on a large platter with rice, beans and lime wedges.

 

Prep Work

Preheat the oven to warm, or to its lowest setting to keep the breaded steaks warm while you cook the second (third) batch.

 

Combine the salt, garlic powder, black pepper, cumin and dried oregano in a small bowl. Stir well to combine. Sprinkle the prepared seasoning on both sides of the steaks.

 

Prepare a Breading Station

Use a large baking sheet or two large platters; add the flour to one side and the cracker meal to the other. Season the flour and cracker meal with a couple of pinches of salt.

 

Add the eggs and a pinch of salt to a large bowl and scramble using a fork or whisk. Make sure to use a bowl that is large enough that the steaks can fit comfortably.

 

Check out this post for more information on dredging and breading.

 

Now we’re ready to coat the steaks

Working with one steak at a time, lightly coat it on both sides with the flour, shake off the excess.

A large palomilla steak on a baking sheet covered with flour.

 

Next, dip the steak in the egg mixture; make sure it’s evenly moist.

A large, thin steak that's coated in flour and being dipped into a bowl with egg.

 

A large, thin steak that has been coated in flour and moistened with egg being pulled out of the egg bowl.

 

Now, place the steak in the cracker meal, make sure there is an even coating and gently shake off the excess. Place the steak on a pan or plate and repeat with the remaining pieces.

A large, thin steak coated in cracker meal on a metal baking sheet.

 

If you’re stacking the steaks, use a piece of parchment paper in between so the coating does not stick to itself and flake off.

 

Fry the breaded steaks

Add enough oil to a large skillet to cover the bottom by about a ¼ to ½ an inch. Heat the oil over medium-high heat.

 

Fry one steak at a time for about 2 minutes per side, or until golden brown on both sides. Use tongs to turn the steak so the breading doesn’t flake off.

 

Remove the steak from the skillet and place it on a baking sheet that’s lined with a cooling rack. The cooling rack will elevate the breaded steaks and allow air to move around them. This will keep them from getting soggy.

 

Place the baking sheet in the oven to keep warm and repeat with the remaining pieces.

 

Serve the bistec empanizado with lime wedges. Serves 4

Bistec empanizado served on a large white platter with a side of white rice, black beans and lime wedges.

 

Cook’s Notes for the best bistec empanizado

  • Make sure the oil is hot before adding a steak. I like to use a small test piece to make sure the oil is hot enough. If the oil starts bubbling and makes a sizzle sound, it’s ready to go.
  • Also, be sure the oil is not too hot. The coating will brown too quickly and the steak will not cook all the way through.
  • If the steak is browning too quickly, lower the heat a little bit and turn the steak frequently to brown evenly on both sides.
  • It may be necessary to lower the heat a bit for the second or third batch. Just keep an eye on it, and adjust the heat as needed.

 

If you’re a fan of bistec empanizado try one of these fantastic Cuban dishes:

Breaded Chicken Steak

Breaded Pork Steak

 

A large thin steak that coated in cracker meal and fried until golden. Served on a large platter with rice, beans and lime wedges.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Bistec Empanizado (Breaded Steak)

Bistec Empanizado (breaded steak) is a thin steak that’s seasoned, coated in cracker meal and fried until it is golden brown. It’s a traditional, and very popular, Cuban dish.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Cuban
Keyword: breaded steak
Servings: 4
Calories: 439kcal

Ingredients

  • pounds Thin Sliced Top Sirloin Steaks 3-4 steaks
  • 1 teaspoon Salt plus a few pinches for the breading
  • ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • Pinch of Cumin
  • Pinch of Dried Oregano
  • 2 Eggs
  • ½ cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1- 1½ cups Cracker Meal
  • Canola Oil for frying about 1-1½ cups
  • Lime Wedges for serving

Instructions

Prep Work

  • Preheat the oven to warm, or to its lowest setting to keep the fried steaks warm while you cook the second (thirbatch.
  • Combine the salt, garlic powder, black pepper, cumin and dried oregano in a small bowl. Stir well to combine. Sprinkle the prepared seasoning on both sides of the steaks.

Prepare a Breading Station

  • Use a large baking sheet or two large platters; add the flour to one side and the cracker meal to the other. Season the flour and cracker meal with a couple of pinches of salt.
  • Add the eggs and a pinch of salt to a large bowl and scramble using a fork or whisk.

Coat the steaks

  • Working with one steak at a time, lightly coat it on both sides with the flour, shake off the excess.
  • Next, dip the steak in the egg mixture; make sure it’s evenly moist.
  • Now, place the steak in the cracker meal, make sure there is an even coating and gently shake off the excess.
  • Place the steak on a pan or plate and repeat with the remaining pieces. If you’re stacking the steaks, use a piece of parchment paper in between so the coating does not stick to itself and flake off.

Fry the steaks

  • Add enough oil to a large, deep skillet to cover the bottom by about a ¼ to ½ an inch. Heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  • Fry one bistec empanizado at a time for about 2 minutes per side, or until golden brown on both sides. Use tongs to turn so the breading doesn’t flake off.
  • Remove the steak from the skillet and place it on a baking sheet that’s lined with a cooling rack.
  • Place the baking sheet in the oven to keep warm and repeat with the remaining pieces.
  • Serve the bistec empanizado with lime wedges.

Video

Notes

Make sure the oil is hot before adding a steak. I like to use a small test piece to make sure the oil is hot enough. If the oil starts bubbling and makes a sizzle sound, it’s ready to go.
Also, be sure the oil is not too hot. The coating will brown too quickly and the steak will not cook all the way through.
If the steak is browning too quickly, lower the heat a little bit and turn the steak frequently to brown evenly on both sides.
It may be necessary to lower the heat a bit for the second or third batch. Just keep an eye on it, and adjust the heat as needed.

Nutrition

Calories: 439kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 186mg | Sodium: 809mg | Potassium: 625mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 120IU | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 4mg
The nutritional information above is computer generated and is only an estimate. There is no guarantee that it is accurate.This data is provided as a courtesy for informational purposes only.

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