Recipe of the Month – Milanesa de Res

By Simone Riddle

Milanesa de Res Meat eaters! February’s YOUR month, and right in time for Valentine’s Day. Maybe you want to impress your Guatemalan girlfriend or boyfriend by cooking them a traditional dish demonstrating how well you fit into Chapín life here in Xela. Perhaps it’s meet-the-parents time and you want to show off your cooking skills while making something everyone is familiar with ensuring it will be eaten.

Remember the time when you tried that delicious vegan fusion dish? Although containing a week’s supply of superfoods and sprouted greens, you couldn’t get any of the family to even try it due to the lack of meat, and the raw vegetables, unsmothered in mayonnaise.

This meal serves four people – so you may want to double if you are cooking for the extended family.


  • Four slices of ‘badilla o manita de rochoy’ beef from the butcher (‘parque central’ has a good ‘carneceria’ outside by the fruit stands
  • One cup of bread crumbs made by hand or alternatively you can buy ready-made break crumbs by asking for ‘miga’ sold at ‘panederias’ like Xela Pan
  • One egg
  • 3-4 tablespoons of cooking oil


1. Crack the egg into a shallow bowl and beat thoroughly

2. Place the breadcrumbs on a plate and spread out evenly

3. Taking the pieces of beef one at a time, place on a wooden chopping board. Find a heavy utensil (we used the other end of a spatula but it could be the end of a large knife or even a hammer. Basically, anything with a little weight to it will do). Hit the meat evenly all over in order to flatten it down. This makes the meat nice and tender

4. Once flattened, carefully place the steak in the bowl with the beaten egg, covering all over, turn and do the same on the other side. Lift up and once most of the drips have stopped, place the meat on top of the breadcrumbs, covering both sides in breadcrumbs. Make sure the whole piece is well covered. Repeat this step for all the slices of beef.

5. Heat up about half the oil in a large frying pan. Once the oil has heated, place as many steaks as you can easily fit in the pan. It should take around 3-4 minutes on either side to cook until the breaded steaks are dark golden brown on both sides. Make sure there is plenty of oil in the pan before adding more slices, using more oil if needed so they don’t stick to the pan.

6. Milanesa de res is typically served with rice, black beans, and if you like it hot chile coban chirmol (as previously featured in Xelawho).

7. Win over your media naranja with this plato chapín and don’t forget to let us know como te fue!

This recipe is dedicated to a dear friend Christy, who taught me this recipe, among many recetas chapinas. Christy works at the high school in Zona 5 of Guatemala City supported by the British Charity ‘Study Guatemala’. Please check out their website:

Find this recipe and others on my food blog at:


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