Steal This Recipe® Bistek a La Mexicana | Mole, NY

May 19, 2011

Stolen with permission from Chef Guadalupe Elizalde, this authentic Mexican recipe will get your taste buds tingling!

Husband-and-wife team Nick Cervera and Lupe Elizalde are the owners of three other popular Mexican restaurants in NYC, and they have now brought their infectious energy to Brooklyn with Mole Mexican Bar & Grill, Williamsburg, where authentic Mexican cooking is served along with rhythmic salsa music and the warm hospitality of Mexican culture.

Chic patrons swirling prickly pear or cucumber margaritas made with freshly muddled fruit and veggie puree at the indoor/outdoor mosaic bar create an infectiously celebratory ambiance at Mole; as do the bouquets of artisanal paper flowers and the percussion-like sound of guacamole being prepared tableside. A Salsa Sampler gives an idea of the delights on the menu - homemade tortilla chips are served with five signature dips: Salsa Verde, Salsa Chipotle, Guajillo, Pico de Gallo, and a Molcajete Salsa, (a house specialty named for the vessel it’s made in, combining hand ground roasted tomatoes and roasted jalapenos).

The menu is full of typical choices: quesadillas, with savory shredded oxtail and Oaxacan cheese thinly layered inside a puff of corn dough, and burritos and fajitas – as well as some more adventurous regional specialties, including several Aztec recipes, like Barbacoa — the dish comes from the province of Hidalgo, (where Lupe’s father is from) and is an ancient recipe prepared in the traditional way at Mole, where Lupe braises the freshest cuts of lamb low and slow over coals, wrapped in cactus leaf and set atop a special cauldron to collect all the drippings. The meat is served with blue corn tortillas, wedges of lime, chipotle salsa, and a small bowl of its own juices. Or Cochinita Pibil, a Yucatan specialty of shredded pork marinated in axiote paste and cooked in banana leaves.

A visit to the latest Mole addition in Brooklyn is a must if you are in NYC, and if you’re lucky Nick Cervera will bring out a selection of his favorite tequilas — the restaurant has a collection of 80 blancos, anejos and reposados!

About the chef: Chef Lupe Elizalde learned to cook as a young girl in a home of culinary matriarchs in her native Mexico. For 20 years, she has brought her family’s craft to New Yorkers.

When it comes to ingredients not easily found in NY, Lupe employs her mother to send specialties directly from her home base in Mexico City. The top import is the mole for which the restaurant is named (the word translates as “happy sauce”), made by Lupe’s mother and shipped directly to the restaurant — the dish is only made for the biggest celebrations in Mexico but served daily here.

And just as Lupe apprenticed under her mother and grandmother, she strives to serve as a mentor for the chefs she trains, taking them under her wing for a minimum of three to four years before letting them take the reigns in any of her restaurants’ kitchens.

178 Kent Ave
Brooklyn, NY
347 384 2300

Bistek a La Mexicana is served at Mole for $23.
This recipe makes 2 restaurant servings.

Bistek a La Mexicana Ingredients: 
8 oz. sliced (against the grain) skirt steak
1 medium tomato (5x5) wedged
1/2 large Spanish onion sliced
1 jalapeno cut into wheels
1 bunch fresh cilantro coarsely chopped
1 half lime, juiced
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste 
Warm tortillas

Steal This Recipe® Step by Step Instructions:
Chef’s note: the key to this dish is that the pan be very hot before putting in the ingredients, and try to use a thicker pan to hold the heat.
Begin by adding the steak first to a really hot pan (this sears in the juices of the meat). 
Then add in the rest of the solid ingredients to get the sauté process going. 
Add salt and pepper to taste. 
Sauté until the vegetables soften slightly (do not overcook the veggies -they are meant to be eaten slightly firm). 
At the end add the lime juice and reduce a little longer just to concentrate the flavors a bit. 
Serve with warm tortillas and roll your own tacos. Enjoy!