Mixiote de Carne: Beef Cooked in Leaves

Source: Alma Rodriguez, Mixiote SF

Recipe Type: | Seasons:

This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on June 29, 2018.

My family always made mixiotes; it was something I grew up eating. Now that I’m in San Francisco, I have to drive down to LA to a friend’s house because she has an avocado tree and I gather the leaves from her yard. It gives it a nice flavor; it reminds me of home.

Serves 2 people


2 dried guajillo chiles
2 dried ancho chiles
1 dried chile morita
1 dried chile negro
1 medium white onion, halved
5 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon ground oregano
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 ½ lbs (680 g) beef shoulder (note: you can use any stewing meat)
¼ cup (60 ml) vegetable oil
Kosher salt
1 14-oz (400 g) bag banana leaves
15 avocado leaves (optional)
5 bay leaves
Tortillas, warmed, for serving
Pickled red onions, for serving
Cilantro, fresh picked, for serving


Devein and remove seeds from the dried chiles. Dry-roast them on a griddle along with the onion and garlic until fragrant and charred in spots for about 5 minutes. Bring a small pot of water up to a simmer, add the chilies, and soak until softened for about 15 minutes. Place the chiles in a blender with a cup of water and add the onion, garlic, oregano, and cloves. Blend to a smooth puree. In a deep bowl, combine the marinade, with the meat. Cover well and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, remove the meat from the marinade, rub the surface with oil, and season with salt. Line a baking dish with foil and banana leaves. You can also add avocado leaves (optional). Preheat the oven to 350˚F (180˚C).

Place the meat in the center of the lined dish and pour any remaining marinade on top. Add the bay leaves. Fold the leaves over the top and wrap the whole thing in foil so that it’s a tightly packed. Pour about 2 cups (480 ml) water in the area between the pot and the foil.

Slowly roast the mixiotes in the oven until the meat is tender and falls apart easily when pulled with a fork for about 3½ to 4 hours. Check on the water in the pan during the cooking process and add more if it dries out.

Serve with warm tortillas, pickled red onions, and cilantro.

Farmers Market Ingredients