I don’t eat that much red meat. I’m more into seafood, poultry and veggies. But I do love a good steak once in a while, and that’s why I love this recipe. Also, It was very common in our family to marinate meat in order to make it more flavorful. So we would marinate chuck steak or a roast or whatever. It’s a Caribbean thing, and we would inevitably make an adobo marinade.

Our marinade would consist of peppercorns, garlic, oregano, olive oil and salt, all mashed in a mortar. Then we would rub the meat with it, let it sit for a while, and, finally, cook it via pan frying, baking or broiling. And, naturally serve it with yellow rice or tostones (green friend plantains).  But you can serve this entrée over any staple you like, including pasta, as we did this time around.

One fine day, our beloved Uncle Phillip informed us that, in terms of an adobo marinade,  they did the same thing in Cuba. Except their marinade included ginger and lime juice. Okay, we said, lets it try. And the results were fabulous. In Puerto Rican cuisine we use fresh ginger, but seldom in a marinade. This was a revelation. Whenever Uncle Phillip came back from a trip overseas (he was a merchant seaman), this was the go-to dish.

Be aware that, depending on circumstance, boneless round or chuck, is the preferred meat for this recipe. But better cuts of meat can also be used. We did this recipe with sirlion tip steak, and it came out great. Use whatever is available or convenient.

(Steak with Adobo)


2 pounds boneless round or chuck , cut 2-inch thick (I used sirloin tip steak)
3 cloves garlic
1 inch fresh ginger root (about 1 tablespoon)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper
Juice of 2-3 limes (about 1/4 cup)


1. Peel and coarsely chop the garlic and ginger. Place in a mortar and pestle with the salt and mash to a smooth paste. Mix in the cumin, pepper, and lime juice.
2. Pierce meat all over with a fork. Rub the marinade over all the steak. Place in a covered dish or zip-lock bag, and marinate in the fridge for 4-6 hours or, better yet, overnight.
3. Place in an oven proof dish or pan and broil, on high, 5-7 minutes to a side (rare).  For medium or well done, make it 12-15 minutes. Cut in slices across the grain, and serve.
Yield: 4 or more servings.