steak skewers

Steak Skewers With Peruvian-Style Marinade… So Good!

You’ve got to try these Peruvian-style steak skewers for your next barbecue! Tender sirloin tidbits, lightly charred and bursting with flavor, smothered with a zesty pepper sauce and placed on a bed of fried potato slices… it’s just a party waiting to happen! 

Skewers, known as pinchos in Latin cooking, are fun party food and the stuff of epic summer barbecues. Serve these as tapas or as a main course. Feeding a large crowd? You can add some chicken skewers to the mix and you have yourself quite the feast!

steak skewers

Peruvian Lomo Saltado Marinade

What makes these skewers so delicious is the marinade that’s inspired by a very popular Peruvian dish, called Lomo Saltado (stir fried sirloin). The traditional Peruvian stir fry is made with filet mignon or sirloin strips with onions, tomatoes and french fries served over white rice. You’re probably thinking, “rice and french fries?” The first time my daughter and I tried this dish we thought the potatoes were unnecessary, but these spuds soak up all the sauce and become an integral part of this dish!

Now let’s talk about the sauce… the ingredients in traditional Lomo Saltado include soy sauce, ginger, aji amarillo (Peruvian yellow peppers) and vinegar, which are all included in my marinade. My version also includes fried potato slices because it’s a delivery vehicle for the saucy goodness. The potatoes soak up all the juices from the skewers, which is similar to the french fries soaking up the stir fry sauce. You can also make white rice on the side, if you want the full experience. 

steak skewers

Top Your Steak Skewers with Zesty Aji Sauce

But the marinade is just the beginning! The mix of tamari sauce and aji amarillo in the marinade really intensifies the umami goodness of these steak skewers. But as good as it is on its own, you can kick it up a notch by topping your steak skewers with a tangy table sauce made with peppers, parsley, vinegar and onions. 

This is similar to the ají de la casa sauce served with skewers at a local Peruvian restaurant me and the kids love, Pisco y Nazca. I haven’t cracked the code on all that is in this sauce, but my version gives the steak skewers that same intense, tangy, peppery flavor that makes me want to drink up the sauce. 

Peruvian peppers are the main ingredient in this sauce, but I didn’t have fresh ones on hand, so I improvised with jalapeño and Fresno peppers instead. The other ingredients include garlic, shallots, olive oil, red wine vinegar, tomatoes, and lots of finely chopped parsley. You can also use it as a marinade, like I did in my Peruvian-style chicken skewers

steak skewers

BBQ Good Times

There’s just something so fun about hanging out in your patio or backyard grillin’ and chllin’ with friends! While the skewers are cooking you can enjoy a little sangria or mojitos with tapas. In Miami, we can do this year-round, but we tend to avoid the summer months (too hot to handle!).

I hope you give these steak skewers a try for you next backyard party. Then, tell me all about it!

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Steak Skewers With Peruvian-Style Marinade 

  • Author: Sandi Abbott
  • Prep Time: 9
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 54 minutes
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: grilling
  • Cuisine: Peruvian


Try these steak skewers made with sirloin, lightly charred and topped with a zesty pepper sauce and placed on a bed of fried potato slices.



4 lbs top sirloin

2 tablespoons crushed garlic

½ cup olive oil

½ cup tamari (or use low-sodium soy sauce)

⅓ cup red wine vinegar

1 inch piece of ginger (about 1 tablespoon grated)

1 tablespoon aji amarillo paste

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon oregano

Wooden bamboo skewers

Aji Sauce

1 cup olive oil

¼ cup red wine vinegar

¼ cup cherry tomatoes, salted and roughly chopped

½ bushel flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, with stems removed

½ Fresno pepper, finely diced and seeded (you can use more if you like spicy)

½ Jalapeño pepper, finely diced and seeded

1 shallot, finely diced

2 tablespoons crushed garlic, (that’s about one head of garlic, maybe more depending on the size)

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper


Make the Aji Sauce

Roughly chop the cherry tomatoes, sprinkle with salt and drain on paper towels. While the tomatoes are draining, pull out a mixing bowl so you can throw in the ingredients as you prep them.

Wash the parsley and dry with paper towels to remove excess water. Then remove the stems and finely chop. To remove the stems, you can use an herb stem stripper or just pinch the stem as you pull on the leaves with your other hand. Finely chop the parsley and add to the mixing bowl.

Cut the Fresno and jalapeño peppers in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and finely chop half of each one. Save the rest for later. Throw the diced peppers into the mixing bowl. Make sure to wash your hands after you’ve handled the peppers and do not touch your eyes!

Marinade & Skewers

Mix all the other ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Place the steak chunks in a shallow glass dish or a ziploc bag and cover with the marinade.

Marinate the steak for four hours or overnight. If the steaks are not fully submerged, make sure to turn them halfway through the marinating time.

Soak the skewers in water for at least two hours before grilling.

Grill the Steak

Cut the steak into 2 inch cubes.

Set the grill to the highest heat and let it preheat for at least ten minutes, preferably twenty. Place the skewers in the center. Cook until the meat gets nice and caramelized, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook the other side until it’s caramelized. This should take about five to eight minutes, but times will vary based on your grill, so use the times provided as a guide.


Plating Deliciousness: I love to serve these skewers on a bed of fried potato slices. Place 3-4 potato slices in a row and top with one skewer. Spoon the aji sauce on top and you’re good to go. I usually serve these on a cutting board or long serving platter. It’s quite impressive!

Serving Suggestions: Serve these skewers with a tossed salad or grilled veggies.


  • Serving Size: 8

Keywords: pinchos, steak skewers, beef skewers, steak pinchos

Cuban Meatloaf

Pulpeta (aka Cuban Meatloaf) Is The Best Comfort Food!

My brother loves Mami’s Pulpeta and asked me to post the recipe ASAP so he can make it. So even though it’s the middle of summer right now, I’m posting this ultimate comfort food recipe. Pulpeta is the Cuban version of meatloaf made with lots of love and Cuban sazón.

I love both the American-style meatloaf and pulpeta because this dish is comfort food in any language! Even as I’m writing this, I want to head to the fridge and heat up a slice (or eat it cold). I’d share it with you, little brother, but I just can’t FedEx it to ya!😉

cuban meatloaf

What Makes Pulpeta Different From Meatloaf

While both pulpeta and meatloaf are made with ground beef shaped into a loaf, there are a few differences that make this my favorite version. So let’s break them down.

The Meatloaf Base

Pulpeta is made with a mixture of ground beef, pork, and ham. You can mix with equal parts of each or add a little more beef than ham and pork. Either way, it will be tasty. The meat is seasoned with onions, peppers, garlic, Cuban spices, and little cooking wine. 

Then you add about a half cup of cracker meal and an egg to bind. Shape into a loaf and let it rest in the fridge for a few hours. 

Also, most Cuban recipes include boiled eggs in the middle. My mom usually skips the eggs, so my version is not super traditional. But that’s OK. I’m not usually super traditional, either.


The Pulpeta Sauce

Pulpeta is saucy, just like most Cubans! This Cuban Meatloaf cooks in a tomato-based sauce with Spanish olives, capers, Cuban spices (oregano, paprika, cumin, bay leaves), cooking wine, and aromatics (onions, garlic, and peppers). You slow cook the meat in the sauce for about 45 minutes, so every bite is bathed in this savory sauce. So, so good! (I know you’re drooling, Henry.)

The Cooking Method

Pulpeta is dusted with a bit of cracker meal and then browned in the pot, so the outside gets a slightly crunchy coat that seals in the juices. I’ll admit that the American-style version is a little easier because you just press the ground meat mixture into a loaf pan and bake in the oven. But browning the meatloaf and cooking it on the stovetop makes the meatloaf super tasty and saucy.

What Do You Serve With Pulpeta

Usually, Cuban meatloaf is served with rice and fried plantains. But you can also eat it with mashed potatoes. The savory sauce is the gravy for the mashed potatoes. That’s how I like mine… with saucy mashed potatoes and green beans or carrots, instead of maduros. So, there you go, little brother, now you can make Cuban meatloaf all the way in North Carolina. Say hi to the wife and kids for me❤️

I take Cuban recipe requests… have a Cuban recipe you’d like me to add to the blog? Let me know!

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Cuban meatloaf

Pulpeta (aka Cuban Meatloaf) Is The Best Comfort Food!

  • Author: Sandi Abbott
  • Prep Time: 45
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: cuban


Pulpeta is the ultimate comfort food! This delicious Cuban meatloaf is made with three kinds of ground meat and a savory tomato sauce. Yummy!



For the meatloaf

10 ounces ground beef

10 ounces ground pork

5 ounces ground ham

½ medium onion

¼ green pepper (I prefer red pepper, but Mami uses a green pepper)

3 crushed garlic cloves

½ teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon oregano

¼ teaspoon cumin

1 ½ tablespoon cooking wine

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons cracker meal

1 beaten egg

¼ cup olive oil

For the sauce

½ medium onion

¼ green pepper (I prefer red pepper, but Mami uses a green pepper)

3 crushed garlic cloves

1 teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon oregano

½ teaspoon cumin

½ cup cooking wine

8 ounces tomato sauce (one can)

1 bay leaf

2 tablespoons olives

1 teaspoon capers


For the meatloaf

Mix the ground beef, pork, and ham together. You can grind a six-ounce portion of ham steak in the food processor to make the ground ham. Add the spices, onions, peppers, and garlic and mix well. Next, add the beaten egg and bind together. Finally, add a ½ cup of cracker meal and mix well to bind. If the meat is not binding enough, add 2 more tablespoons and mix well. Shape into a log and let it rest in the fridge for two to four hours. 

After two to four hours, coat the meatloaf in cracker meal. Heat ¼ cup of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and brown the meatloaf on all sides for about eight minutes. Turn the meatloaf very gently using two spatulas, so the meatloaf does not break apart. I like using a fish spatula or a wide spatula for this. 

Once the meat is browned on all sides, remove it from the pan and set it aside. 

For the sauce

While the meat is resting, chop the onions and peppers and crush the garlic. 

In the same heated saucepan where you just browned the meat, add the onions, peppers, garlic, and brown for 3-5 minutes. Add the spices and cook for 30 seconds. Next, add the tomato sauce, cooking wine, bay leaf, olives, and capers. Add half a cup of water and bring to simmer. Add the meatloaf and lower the heat to low, and cook for 45 minutes. Gingerly turn the meatloaf in the sauce a few times.Once the sauce has thickened, and the meatloaf is cooked through, turn of the heat. Transfer the meat to plate, let it rest 5-10 minutes, slice the meat, add the sauce, and serve. 


Serve with white rice and maduros, or mashed potatoes and veggies.

The meat mixture doesn’t have to be precise, you can adjust the ratios to suit your taste buds or what you have on hand. 

This recipe makes 4-6 servings, depending on your portion sizes. 


  • Serving Size: 1-2 slices

Keywords: pulpeta, cuban pulpeta, cuban meatloaf, meatloaf, comfort food

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