Celebrate the Holidays with Beef – Week 1: Entertaining Appetizers, Grilled Salsa Steak

by Jessica on December 2, 2011


The holidays are filled with festive parties, family celebrations and fun get-togethers! Whether planning a casual gathering or a stylish event, small plate appetizers are an easy and elegant way to please a crowd. Perfect for times where conversation is key, small plates make the usual cocktail party even more festive with a delightful array of options. Serve big flavor this holiday season with small plates of Texas Beef!

During the next four weeks, I, along with nine other fabulous Texas Beef-loving Bloggers, will be featuring dishes from the Texas Beef Council to help you this Holiday season. And this week… it’s all about the appetizer! A simple and flavorful one, at that!


The flat iron steak is a tender cut of beef so you only need to marinate for flavor anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours. Fortunately, you can grill just about year-round in Texas, but for those times you’d rather stay inside (or if you’re a Yankee!), use an indoor grill pan for the steaks – it’s just as easy! And the best part about this little appetizer? You don’t have to buy a steak for each person. This recipe uses just two steaks for all 24 servings. The combinations are endless, as well… use your favorite salsa or pico, guacamole or even a Mexican cheese, like queso fresco!


Grilled Salsa Steak
Source: Texas Beef Council

2 (8 oz) flat iron steaks
1 c prepared thick-and-chunky salsa or pico de gallo, divided
1-2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
24 lg corn tortilla chips
1/2 c prepared guacamole
1/2 c light sour cream (optional)
24 fresh cilantro leaves (optional)

Place beef steaks and 1/2 cup salsa in food-safe plastic bag; turn steaks to coat. Close bag securely and marinate in refrigerator 15 minutes to 2 hours. Combine remaining 1/2 cup salsa and chopped cilantro, as desired, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Remove steaks from marinade and discard marinade. Place steaks on grill over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 10 to 14 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, covered, 12 to 16 minutes) for medium rare (145 degrees) to medium (160 degrees) doneness, turning occasionally.

Carve steaks into thin slices; cut slices into bite-size pieces. Arrange chips on platter and top each chip evenly with reserved salsa mixture, guacamole, then beef. Garnish with sour cream and a cilantro leaf, if desired. Serve immediately.


And be sure to join us on Tuesday evening, December 13 from 8p to 9p CST for the “Beef Tweet Exchange”! We’ll be featuring great tips and information to help you create the perfect holiday menu! Whether it’s flavorful appetizers for a party, a roast for a family dinner, serving suggestions or brunch after opening presents, with a beef at the center of the table, everyone will be ready to celebrate! There will also be giveaways and a grand prize to help you get in the spirit!

TX Beef Twitter Party

Make sure to follow hostess @TexasHolly for all the details. We will be joined by experts from the Texas Beef Council – Chef Tiffany, Jason the Butcher and Nutrition Expert Lerin – who will be available to answer all your questions. Over 20 prizes will be awarded, including a Tom Perini Fully-Cooked Tenderloin Roast, a $100 gift card, and a variety of beef items like a “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner” apron, a meat thermometer, a cutting board and steak seasonings! Giveaway open to U.S. residents only. All winners will be chosen at random from those using the #TxBeef hashtag during the event. Let us know that you’re planning to attend by tweeting @TxBeef! See ya there!


Disclosure: I am participating in a four week campaign with the Texas Beef Council and am being compensated. All photography & opinions are my own. Recipes are courtesy of the Texas Beef Council.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Christina December 2, 2011 at 10:35 am

Great post Jessica. I am excited to try this one. I’m glad to be working with you on this campaign!


2 Trista December 2, 2011 at 11:13 am

Looks fantastic! I can’t wait to start cooking this weekend. YUM.


3 Jessica @Sunny Side Up December 2, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Well don’t those just look like perfect little bites! Yum!


4 Texasholly December 4, 2011 at 1:30 pm

YUM. Your pics are beautiful and making me hungry. I love salsa and think this is a perfect vehicle for it!


5 Amy @ MomsToolbox December 4, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Those look REALLY good! I think I need to give that recipe a try, too!


6 Screwed Up Texan December 4, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Love the bright colors in the plates as well as the presentation of the food–almost wish I had made these instead!


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