I think a more fitting description for the dish would be Steak Ceviche but either way it goes by two names: Carne Apache (locally/N. Mexico) and in Mexico City it’s called Carne Jugo.

Carne Apache - Mexican Style Raw Beef in a salad

Carne Apache – Mexican style raw beef in a salad

And I made my first run at the recipe yesterday morning and this is what I did:

  • Bought 1/2 kilo of two different steak cuts; thinly sliced filet migon and some other equally lean thinly sliced steak. Mixing the cuts seemed to be a butcher’s discretion kind of thing. He first tried to sell me ground beef (traditional?) but I wanted to do it the way I saw Jose prepare it.
  • Bought 1 1/2 kilos of small limes. Very inexpensive here; like $0.70. Lesson learned – buy larger limes in the future to cut down on the cutting/squeezing/de-seeding part of the job.
  • Cut the sliced steak into smaller pieces, covered it with fresh lime juice and put it in the fridge. (9 am yesterday)
  • Pulled it out 6 hours later, stirred it up and added more lime juice. (The meat had absorbed some of the lime juice).
  • Pulled it out 6 hours later and stirred it again. Added a pinch or two of salt.
  • Let it sit in the fridge over night.
  • Pulled it out this morning, stirred it again, and added the rest of the juice from the remaining limes.
  • Will add the salsa (diced tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and chilies) about 5 pm and let it sit till 7 pm to when I’ll eat some of it.

Notes: So the meat to gross lime weight ratio turns out to be 1:3 (that’s 1.1 lbs of meat to 3.3 lbs of limes). And I deliberately withheld adding the salsa to the very end of the process to keep those flavors as bright as possible. And I am not going to do it with the traditional tostadas. Instead I’ll use a crusty French style bread and will have avocado slices on the side; fatty, rich to offset the acidity of the lime. PS – On my third meal/tasting I added some capers, a tad more salt to the beef slices, and a bit of mayonnaise and whipped it into more of a salad form. See the photo above.