Featured Recipe: Grilled Cuban Steak (Palomilla) with Quick Black Beans and Rice

Copyright Linda Gassenheimer

Thin steaks pan fried with Cuban seasoning (Palomilla) along with black beans and rice (moros) are Classic Cuban dishes.  Versailles restaurant in Miami has been the place Cubans looking for a taste of home have flocked to since 1971.   The Versailles Restaurant Cookbook* now brings these flavors into our kitchens.  I’ve adapted their Palomilla steak for this simple, quick dinner.

Black Beans and Rice are slowly cooked with spices.  This is a quick version for a midweek dinner made with canned black beans.

Serve with a washed, ready-to-eat salad on the side.



1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tablespoon garlic powder

1/2 tablespoon onion powder

3/4 pound thin strip or sirloin grass-fed steaks (1/4-inch thick, minute steaks)

2 teaspoons canola oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 lime wedges (optional)

Combine salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder in a bowl.  Place the steaks in a shallow dish and season with the spice mixture, making sure both sides are coated.  Let stand while you prepare the black beans and rice.

Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet until it is almost smoking.  Add the steak to fit in one layer.  Cook 2 minutes, turn and cook 2 minutes.  A meat thermometer should read 125 degrees for rare and 145 degrees for medium-rare. Combine the onion and parsley in a small bowl and spoon over each steak.  Serve the lime wedges on the side. Makes 2 servings.



1/2 cup uncooked long-grain white rice

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup rinsed and drained canned black beans

2 teaspoons canola oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large saucepan with 2 to 3 quarts of water to a boil.  Add the rice and boil rapidly 7 minutes.  Add the onion and continue to boil 3 minutes or until the rice is cooked through but still firm.  Drain and place in a bowl.  Add the black beans and oil and toss well.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes 2 servings.


Nutrition Information

GRILLED STEAK (PALOMILLA): Per serving: 270 calories (31 percent from fat), 9.2 g fat (2.1 g saturated, 4.6 g monounsaturated), 96 mg cholesterol, 40.4 g protein, 7.2 g carbohydrates, 1.4 g fiber, 684 mg sodium. QUICK BLACK BEANS AND RICE: Per serving: 271 calories (17 percent from fat), 5.0 g fat (0.5 g saturated, 3.0 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 7.1 g protein, 48.8 g carbohydrates, 5.1 g fiber, 53 mg sodium.

Shopping List

To buy: 1 bottle garlic powder, 1 bottle onion powder, 3/4 pound thin strip or sirloin grass-fed steaks, 1 bunch parsley, 1 lime and 1 can black beans.

Staples: Canola oil, onion, long-grain white rice, salt and black peppercorns.



Helpful Hints

  • If your steak is thick, cut it in half horizontally to measure 1/4-inch thick.
  • Chopped onion is used in both recipes. Chop at one time and divide accordingly.


  • Marinate the steak.
  • Prepare all the other ingredients.
  • Make the rice and beans.
  • Make the steak.