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This slow cooker steak picado recipe is one of the easiest ways to cook authentic-tasting Mexican food for your dinner. Seasoned seared beef goes in the slow cooker alongside a variety of peppers and onions. As it bubbles away all day, your home will be filled with the smell of an authentic homemade Mexican dinner.

Steak Picado over rice with smoky tomato sauce and steak

In my experience, you can never go wrong serving good Mexican food to your family or to dinner guests. It’s just always a hit! But if you’re tired of the same ‘Old El Paso’ and you want to change it up, this seared steak picado recipe is just what you need.

Love Mexican Food? Be sure to try some of my reader’s favorites. Tex-Mex Chicken Taco Soup RecipeMexican Vegan Tomato SoupMexican Brown Rice Salad, PolloVerde in the Crock PotEasy Mexican Appetizers, Cheesy Tortilla Mexican Chicken Soup Recipe in the Slow Cooker or Layered Cheesy Slow Cooker Mexican Casserole with Ground Beef

Why I Absolutely Can’t Get Enough of this Mexican Version of Bistec Picado

  • Taste: This Mexican steak picado recipe is really tender and delicious. Because it’s slow-cooked, the flavors of the tomato sauce, peppers, and beef all come together and make a rich and smoky flavor that tastes authentic and comforting. I mean, a crockpot of bubbling rich tomato sauce, tender steak, and perfectly cooked peppers? Yes, please, any day of the week!
  • Quick Dinner Prep: It’s also incredibly easy but looks pretty darn fancy. Anytime you serve steak, your dinner companions are going to be impressed. If you’re not comfortable with cooking red meat to be tender, this recipe is a perfect one to try because using the slow cooker makes it pretty much fail-proof.
  • Easy to Serve: You don’t need a ton of side dishes or accompaniments to make this a complete meal. You can even grab a package of Mission tortillas, and you’re all set! But you can absolutely dress this meal up with all the yummy sides and sauces if that’s your thing.

Easy Steak Picado Ingredient List

To make this delicious recipe for steak picado, you’ll need some basic Mexican themed veggies and seasonings.

Steak Picado ingredients, steak, tomato sauce and seasonings
  • Sirloin steak – if you can’t find any in your meat case, ask the butcher, but sirloin is fairly easy to find in any grocery store. Top-round steak will make a fine substitution if you can’t find sirloin. 
  • Garlic cloves – fresh is great if you have it, but minced garlic from a jar will work too.
  • White onion – any sweet or red onion will do. One medium to large onion is plenty.
  • Green bell peppers – green peppers will provide that earthy bitter flavor, but if you want a sweeter dish, substitute with red, orange, or yellow pepper. This also makes for a pretty dish when serving.
  • Canned tomatoes – this will make the base for your tomato sauce. You can use fresh tomatoes if you prefer. Just roughly chop up 3-4 large tomatoes.
  • Poblano pepper – you can substitute with Cubanelles, banana peppers, chili peppers, or leave it out altogether.
  • Jalapeño pepper – to make this milder, omit the jalapeño and use more bell pepper, but if you want to make this a spicier dish, add the seeds to the sauce, too.
  • Liquid smoke – you don’t have to add liquid smoke, but it definitely adds to the flavor and gives the dish its rich, authentic flavor, as if the meat had been BBQ’d on the grill.

📝 Note: You can find the full recipe with ingredients and measurements in the recipe card located at the bottom of this post.

​Poblano Peppers – Are They Spicy?

This recipe calls for 4 kinds of peppers: Poblano peppers, jalapeño peppers, bell peppers, and chili peppers (in the form of chili powder). But I don’t want that to detur you if you’re not a spicy-food lover.

All of these pepper varieties are considered somewhat mild and don’t tend to give your food much heat. If you’re concerned, cut the jalapeno and poblano pepper amounts in half. Just add some more green pepper if you do. Try your sauce after about an hour and if it’s not too spicy, you can always quickly saute up a few more peppers and toss them in the Crock Pot.

What is sirloin steak, and how do I use it?

  • Tender: Sirloin steak comes from the rear portion of the cow, and it’s a popular choice for a number of reasons. Primarily, it’s known for its tenderness and flavorful taste, so it’s really perfect for grilling and pan-searing. You might see sirloin steak labeled a number of ways at your butcher counter, such as top sirloin, bottom sirloin, and center-cut sirloin.
  • Good Value: Sirloin is a lean cut of beef, so it’s a good value for your money when using the slow cooker since you aren’t paying for a lot of fat. . It’s got a strong beefy flavor, so a little seasoning goes a long way. It’s not hard to make sirloin taste great! 
  • Easy To Cut: Sirloin cuts are typically boneless, so they’re easy to use for just about any recipe, and unlike a ribeye or filet mignon, this cut tends to be much more affordable.

Pro Tips: Searing the sirloin before you slow cook it makes sure it doesn’t end up with that rubbery, wet feel slow-cooked beef can sometimes get. The meat comes out tender and juicy with tons of flavor. I toss in poblano peppers and a bit of diced jalapeño, and I season with garlic (of course!), chili powder, and even a touch of liquid smoke for that authentic feel.

How to Make Crock Pot Steak Picado Recipe Step-By-Step

  1. Prep the ingredients. Start by getting everything ready to cook. Thinly slice your steak and season it with a pinch of salt and black pepper.
steak being cut into strips
  1. Mince your garlic, thinly slice the onion and green pepper, and dice the poblano and jalapeño peppers.

Tip: If you are serving a dish with jalapenos, it’s important to cut your peppers into small even size pieces. I have found this handy little Dosmamz Garlic Chopper to be invaluable. I always use it for my garlic but have also found it handy when chopping any small spicy pepper.

small dicer for cutting jalapenos and garlic on a cutting board

Tip: Season your steak simply at first. Salt and pepper is really all you need, and of course, garlic cloves never hurt anyone, either! Don’t be scared of cooking with steak. A few simple techniques and a bit of practice, and you can easily enjoy steak whether you’re grilling, roasting, or slow cooking it.

  1. Sear the steak. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and add the steak. Cook until it’s browned and no more pink shows. This should only take a couple of minutes. Use tongs to remove the steak and place it in the bottom of your slow cooker. Turn your pan down to low medium heat.
cooking steak strips in black cast iron skillet
  1. Cook the vegetables. Toss the veggies in the hot pan and let them cook for about 2 minutes, just long enough to soften them.
cooking peppers and onions in back skillet
  1. Combine the ingredients.​ Use a spatula to scrape the veggies and any leftover juice or bits of steak into the slow cooker.
Steak Picado ingredients in a slow cooker
  1. Pour in the diced tomatoes, beef broth, and tomato sauce, then add all the seasonings.
Steak Picado ingredients in a slow cooker
  1. Mix and slow cook. Stir everything together in the slow cooker and put the lid on. Cook until it’s thick and fragrant and ready to serve.
Steak Picado ready to cook in a crock pot

Tips and Helpful Hints

  • Don’t Over Cook: Don’t overcook steak when searing it. Let your slow cooker work it’s magic low and slow. However, keep a close eye on the time in the slow cooker. If you cook it to long the strips fall apart. This is fine but, it does change the texture of the dish just a bit.
  • Prep Food First: Take your time to prep all of your ingredients ahead of time. When you start cooking, things will move quickly, so have your veggies sliced and ready to go.
  • Optional Cooking Methods: If you don’t have a crockpot, you can cook this on your stovetop in a large stewpot or Dutch oven. Cook the steak and veggies as directed, then add everything to your pot and allow it to come to a low boil. Reduce the heat to low and allow it to simmer for about an hour, stirring often, until thick and saucy and the aromatic spices are filling your house with smells that make your mouth water!

What to Serve With Steak Picado

This is a hearty Crock Pot recipe on its own, and really one of the easiest Mexican recipes you can whip up. It’s a delicious meal that you can serve with a side of Mexican Rice Salad and some pinto beans, or you can dress it up and make an entire Mexican feast! It’s a great addition to your usual taco Tuesday menu, too. Here are some of my favorite sides to make this great recipe an entire feast. I love to serve this recipe alongside warm tortilla shells, but there are a number of other ways to serve this dish.

Make tacos and serve with:

  • Warm flour tortillas, or corn shells if you prefer
  • Sliced and fresh veggies like red onions, shredded lettuce, chopped tomato
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Mexican crema
  • Salsa or hot sauce
  • Cowboy Candy (pickled jalapenos)

Make taco bowls and serve with:

  • Yellow rice
  • Black beans
  • Guacamole
  • Pico de Gallo
  • Sliced jalapeños – or even better, a dish of Cowboy Caviar (it’s so delicious!)
Steak Picado over rice with smoky tomato sauce and steak with jalapenos on the side

How to Store Leftovers

  • In the fridge – Steak picado leftovers are maybe even better than when it’s fresh. The flavors get even yummier while it sits. Just let the dish cool to room temperature and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Use it up within 3 days. 
  • In the freezer –  This recipe can be used as a freezer meal, or you can just freeze the leftvers. Place them in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag and freeze. If you lay the bag flat while it freezes, it will thaw much quicker. Store it for up to 3 months. 
  • How to reheat –  You can reheat leftovers in a pan on the stove or in the microwave in a microwave-safe dish. If the picado has gotten a bit too thick, thin it out with a bit of broth, some tomato sauce, or even just water. 
  • How to use up leftovers – The leftovers are perfect for making taco bowls, tacos, wraps, or even just eating with a fork! Perfect for taking to work (and everyone will be asking for the recipe, I guarantee it!).

Mexican Dinner Party

If you’re having a Mexican-themed party, Picado is a simple meal that’s easy to make ahead of time. Your guest will be impressed because it looks a bit fancy.

My top for easy entertaining is to set up a Mexican buffet with this dish as the star. Set out all the traditional toppings and sides, then let everyone fix their own taco bowls, nachos or picado over rice and beans. For more ideas, visit my 50 Mexican Party Theme Ideas and Recipes.

Pro Tip: Serving Tex-Mex to a crowd? Here’s my best tip for keeping corn tortillas warm while everyone eats.

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Steak Picado over rice with smoky tomato sauce and steak
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Seared Mexican Steak Picado Recipe (Tender Crock Pot Recipe)

Prep Time: 20 minutes
4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 8
This classic Mexican Steak Picado Recipe smothers seared beef strips in a smoky tomato sauce with plabanos, jalapenos, green peppers, and onions. Here is the best part: this Crock Pot recipe takes less than 20 minutes to prepare. Perfect for an easy weeknight dinner or festive dinner party with friends.

Note: Be sure to read through the recipe’s post for tips and details about this recipe.

hand showing you to tap on the ingredient to add to your walmart and target list.

Ingredients
 

Instructions
 

Sear Sirloin Steak

  • Heat olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Season the thinly sliced sirloin steak with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Add the seasoned steak to the hot skillet and cook until it’s browned with no pink showing, which should take about 3-4 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low, then remove the seared steak from the skillet and place it into your slow cooker.

Prepare Vegetables

  • In the same skillet, add minced garlic, sliced onion, diced poblano pepper, diced jalapeño pepper, and sliced green bell pepper.
  • Cook the vegetables for 2 minutes to soften them.

Combine Ingredients

  • Using a spatula, scrape all the vegetables and any juices from the skillet into the slow cooker with the seared steak.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, beef broth, tomato sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, liquid smoke, salt, and black pepper to the slow cooker.

Mix and Slow Cook

  • Stir all the ingredients in the slow cooker until they are well combined.
  • Place the lid securely onto the slow cooker. Cook on low for 5 hours or on high for 4 hours. Note* slow cooers vary in heat and cooking time. You might need to cook a little longer or less. You want your beef to be tender and to easily pull apart with a fork.

Equipment

Notes

How to Store Leftovers
  • In the fridge – Steak picado leftovers are maybe even better than when it’s fresh. The flavors get even yummier while it sits. Just let the dish cool to room temperature and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Use it up within 3 days. 
  • In the freezer –  This recipe can be used as a freezer meal, or you can just freeze the leftvers. Place them in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag and freeze. If you lay the bag flat while it freezes, it will thaw much quicker. Store it for up to 3 months. 
  • How to reheat –  You can reheat leftovers in a pan on the stove or in the microwave in a microwave-safe dish. If the picado has gotten a bit too thick, thin it out with a bit of broth, some tomato sauce, or even just water. 
  • How to use up leftovers – The leftovers are perfect for making taco bowls, tacos, wraps, or even just eating with a fork! Great for taking to work (and everyone will be asking for the recipe, I guarantee it!).
 
Serving: 1g, Calories: 152kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 35mg, Sodium: 523mg, Potassium: 564mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 673IU, Vitamin C: 34mg, Calcium: 53mg, Iron: 2mg
Cuisine: Mexican
Course: Main Dish
Author: Gina Dickson

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