Salpicón de Res
If you’re someone who thinks they don’t like leftovers, think again! This delicious recipe for Mexican Salpicón de Res turns leftover brisket into an addictively spicy shredded cold beef salad. All you need are a handful of pantry ingredients and some tostada shells to turn last night’s meal into a completely new dish!
What is Salpicón?
Salpicón is Spanish for “hodgepodge” or “medley.” Depending on where you are in Latin America, that can mean quite a few different things!
Here we’ll focus on Mexican salpicón de res (medley of beef), which is a traditional meal made from thinly sliced or shredded beef tossed with a vinegar-based sauce, tomatoes, onions, avocados, and chiles.
For this recipe, I turn to leftover brisket, meaning there’s no cooking involved. My salpicón is essentially a cooked beef ceviche marinated in a tangy vinaigrette dressing that is packed with flavor and a little spice.
About This Recipe
I don’t know about you, but my slow-cooker brisket has to be one of my favorite things to make of all time. Make it once and you can feed yourself all week long — without getting bored! On the first night, shred the meat hot from the crockpot for a delicious night of beef brisket tacos, sopes, flautas, or nachos.
The following evening, turn your leftovers into this delightful Salpicón de Res with a simple homemade vinaigrette dressing. Serve it on tostada shells topped with your favorite fixings for a perfect al fresco meal. Leftovers, who? This delicious beef salad has a whole new flavor and feel.
Once the meat is cooked, the rest of this recipe for salpicón is a cakewalk! (Not that making slow-cooker brisket is hard in the first place.) All you have to do is whip up a quick vinaigrette, chop a few veggies, and let everyone assemble their own tostadas. It honestly couldn’t be easier.
I especially love making this recipe while my garden is filled with fresh produce, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying salpicón all year long. This is also a great buffet dish because it can be made in advance and can be served cold or at room temperature.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Making Mexican salpicón de res requires just a handful of ingredients:
- Brisket – Salpicón de res requires some form of thinly sliced or shredded beef. If you don’t have brisket on hand, feel free to swap in leftover flank steak, skirt steak, or any other cut of beef that you can cut into very thin pieces.
- Olive Oil – Extra virgin olive oil is my go-to for making salad dressings, but feel free to use any high-quality oil you have on hand.
- Red Wine Vinegar – This is my favorite vinegar for this salpicón recipe, but you can feel free to swap in balsamic, sherry, or apple cider vinegar instead.
- Lime – Fresh is always best when it comes to lime juice. To get the most juice out of your fruit, give it a firm roll on the countertop for 10-15 seconds prior to cutting.
- Red Onion – I love the bright purple hue of red onions, but a sweet yellow onion will also work.
- Chiles – I always keep a can of chile in adobo in my pantry, but you can also substitute with diced roasted green chile or diced serrano chile for a bit more heat.
- Garlic – Fresh is best, but you can use 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder for each clove if needs be.
I prefer serving my salpicón on tostadas, as is traditional. Turn this shredded beef salad into a bona fide meal with your choice of the following:
- Tostada Shells – Make your own using fresh corn tortillas, or use store-bought to save on time and energy.
- Tomatoes – Ripe, in-season tomatoes are a thing of beauty, but out of season slicers can get quite mealy. If you’re making this meal in the depths of winter, stick to cherry tomatoes on the vine.
- Onions – Red onions or green onions are a lovely pop of color and flavor to this dish.
- Avocados – Buttery, rich avocados love playing against sharp vinaigrettes. To choose good ones, look for fruit that yield under gentle pressure from your thumb.
- Other Toppings – Chile de arbol salsa, cilantro, pickled red onions, pickled jalapeños, queso fresco, or queso cotija are all within the realm of salpicón tostada possibilities!
How To Make Salpicón de Res
So long as your meat is cooked, this recipe for salpicón will take just a few minutes to put together:
Step 1: Make the vinaigrette dressing – whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, red onion, chile, garlic, and salt.
Step 2: Mix – Pour the vinaigrette dressing in with the shredded beef. Add tomato and green onion and stir to combine.
Step 3: Enjoy – Spoon salpicón over tostadas and garnish with avocado. Congratulations! You just turned “leftovers” into a brand-spankin’-new meal!
While I like to serve salpicón on tostadas, that’s only the beginning. Here are a few more ideas to get your wheels turning:
- Serve with chips as a packed lunch or picnic item.
- Serve over a bed of lettuce as a salad.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yep! It can be made up to 3 days in advance (so long as you don’t add the avocados until serving), making it a perfect option for a buffet!
I love using leftover brisket, but you can easily swap in flank steak, skirt steak, or any cut of beef that you can cut thinly or shred.
More Beef Recipes
- Easy Slow Cooker Birria de Res
- Caldo de Res (Vegetable Beef Soup)
- Braised Short Ribs with Arbol Chiles (Costillas de Res con Chile de Árbol)
If you tried my recipe for Mexican Salpicón de Res Tostadas, please be sure to rate and review the recipe below!
- 3 cups Shredded Brisket
For the vinaigrette dressing:
For the tostadas:
- tostada shells
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes
- 2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and cubed
- salsa of choice
- Refrigerate the brisket.
- To make the vinaigrette dressing, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, red onion, chile, garlic, and salt. Pour the vinaigrette dressing in with the shredded beef. Add tomato and onion and stir to combine.
- Spoon salpicón over tostadas and garnish with avocado.
- Nutrition facts do not include the tostadas.
- Can be made up to 3 days in advance (so long as you only add the avocados when you’re ready to serve) and can be served cold or at room temperature.
- I love using leftover brisket, but you can easily swap in flank steak, skirt steak, or any cut of beef that you can cut thinly or shred.
- I’ve only ever had it using beef, but I suppose there would be no harm trading in shredded chicken or shredded pork instead.
Originally published: September 2014.