Steaks in Garlic Lime Marinade (Palomilla) Recipe

Are you looking for a tasty and satisfying dinner option that will impress your friends and family? Look no further than this flavorful recipe for Steaks in Garlic Lime Marinade, also known as Palomilla. This Cuban-inspired dish is perfect for grilling, and is sure to become a favorite in your household.

As an BBQ chef assistant, I have personally been involved in the preparation of this tasty dish, which combines the sweet tanginess of lime with the warm bite of garlic, resulting in a unique flavor profile that won’t disappoint. Trust me when I say that if you’re looking for a way to elevate your steak game, this is the recipe to try.

In this article, I’ll be sharing everything you need to know about making the best possible Steaks in Garlic Lime Marinade. From the ingredients list to cooking tips and frequently asked questions, you’ll have access to all the information necessary to make this classic Cuban dish at home.

So let’s gather our ingredients, heat up our grills, and get started on making some truly delicious Steaks in Garlic Lime Marinade.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Steaks in Garlic Lime Marinade (Palomilla)
Steaks in Garlic Lime Marinade (Palomilla)

Are you looking for a delicious meal to impress your friends and family? Look no further than this Garlic Lime Marinade Palomilla recipe. This dish is perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a casual weeknight dinner or a backyard BBQ with loved ones.

One of the reasons you’ll love this recipe is its versatility. You can use various types of steak, such as flank steak or skirt steak, but even sirloin steak works well. This recipe is not only limited to bistec de palomilla but can also be used for any cuban steak dish. The marinade itself is also incredibly versatile – use it on chicken, fish or shrimp as well!

This recipe adds the perfect combination of spices and flavors to your steak. The garlic lime marinade in this recipe provides an explosion of flavor in every bite. The cumin and pepper add depth while the kosher salt and garlic cloves enhance the meatiness of your steak. Preparing your Adobo(via combining garlic, salt, cumin, pepper and grinding them in a mortar) guarantees an aromatic dish that surely has an unforgettably delicious taste.

The best part about this recipe is that it’s simple to prepare! It only needs basic ingredients like olive oil, lime juice, and garlic cloves to create the mouth-watering marinade. Marinating the steaks as little as one hour or up to overnight will produce amazing results after grilling on high heat.

Overall, everyone at the table will be impressed with their steak once they try out this recipe. With its bold flavors and simplicity in preparation, Garlic Lime Marinade Palomilla may just become your go-to method for preparing steaks without leaving your budget behind!

Ingredient List

 Tender cuts of meat marinate in a flavorful mix of garlic and lime.
Tender cuts of meat marinate in a flavorful mix of garlic and lime.

Here is a list of ingredients that you’ll need to prepare the Steaks in Garlic Lime Marinade (Palomilla) recipe:

The Marinade

  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 cups fresh lime juice (juice of around 20 limes)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

The Steak

  • 1 lb. Palomilla steak (also known as cube steak, skirt steak, or sirloin steak)
  • 1 onion, chopped

You will also need a gallon-size zip-top bag to marinate the steak.

The Recipe How-To

 The tangy marinade infuses the steak with a bright and zesty flavor.
The tangy marinade infuses the steak with a bright and zesty flavor.

Now that you have your garlic lime marinade ready, let’s move on to preparing your steak. For this recipe, we will be using a 1 pound cut of bistec de palomilla, but you can also use flank steak, skirt steak, or any type of beef steak that you prefer.

Marinating the Steak

  1. In a gallon zip-top bag, combine 4 garlic cloves peeled and smashed, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and 1 teaspoon of cumin. Use a mortar and pestle to grind the spices with the garlic.
  2. Add 4 cups of fresh lime juice to the zip-top bag, along with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  3. Add the 1-pound steak into the bag, making sure it is completely coated with the marinade.
  4. Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible.
  5. Massage the bag so that the steak is evenly coated in the marinade.
  6. Place the bag with the steak and marinade in a bowl or dish to prevent any accidental spillage and place it in your refrigerator to marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight for a more flavorful result.

Grilling the Steak

  1. Preheat your grill on high heat (400-450°F) for about 10-15 minutes.
  2. Once preheated, remove your steak from the marinating bag, tapping off any excess marinade, and discard the remaining marinade.
  3. Place your steak on the grill and cook on one side for about 4-5 minutes until it develops great char marks.
  4. Flip the steak onto its other side and cook for another 4-5 minutes until cooked through, or when an instant-read thermometer reaches an internal temperature of 145°F for medium-rare.
  5. Remove from grill and let rest for about 5 minutes before slicing against the grain into thin strips.

Cuban Fried Steak Variation

For a delicious variation of this recipe called Bistec de Palomilla Cuban Fried Steak:

  1. Marinate your steak with both garlic-lime juice and orange juice bistec de palomilla recipe.
  2. Tenderize your meat using an Adobo seasoning and cooking onions alongside your grilled or fried steaks for a tasty garnish.

By now you should have created a perfect plate of juicy steaks in garlic lime marinade (Palomilla) that everyone will enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

 This aromatic marinade is made with fresh ingredients that pack a punch of flavor.
This aromatic marinade is made with fresh ingredients that pack a punch of flavor.

If you want to mix things up for your next Palomilla, there are a few substitutions you can make that will change the flavor and texture of the dish.

First, you can try using different cuts of steak. While traditional Palomilla uses sirloin or flank steak, you could also try using cube steak, skirt steak or any other beef steak of your choice. Just keep in mind that the cooking time may vary depending on the cut.

If you’re not a fan of garlic, you can still get that lime flavor by omitting the garlic and increasing the lime juice. You can even use orange juice instead of lime for a slightly sweeter taste.

For those who like their food spicier, add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the marinade. Or, if you prefer milder flavors, reduce or omit the cumin and pepper in the adobo.

If grilling isn’t an option for you, you could cook your marinated steaks in a grill pan on high heat or bake them in the oven at 400°F for 15-20 minutes.

Lastly, for a complete Cuban dish experience, top your Palomilla with sautéed onions and serve with white rice and black beans.

Remember that cooking is all about experimentation, so feel free to adapt this recipe to your preferences and taste buds!

Serving and Pairing

 A perfectly grilled steak that's juicy and full of flavor is worth the effort.
A perfectly grilled steak that’s juicy and full of flavor is worth the effort.

This mouthwatering Palomilla steak recipe has a Cuban origin and its unique flavors are complemented by various side dishes. Here are my recommendations for the best pairings that will elevate your dining experience.

To start, a classic choice is white rice with black beans or moros y cristianos, which enhance the lime and garlic flavors of the Palomilla. You can also opt for yellow rice with corn or plantains, adding a slightly sweet touch to the dish.

Another popular option is to serve the steak with grilled onions and peppers or tostones (fried green plantains). The combination of the different textures and flavors creates a well-balanced plate that will make your taste buds dance.

For those who want some extra kick, try adding some homemade chimichurri sauce on top of the steak. Made with fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro, and oregano, it provides a punch of flavor that goes perfectly with the tangy marinade.

To wash it all down, you can enjoy a refreshing mojito or Cuba Libre cocktail, both classic Cuban drinks that are easy to make at home. Alternatively, you can pair this tasty dish with red wine like Malbec or a fresh beer like a lager or Pilsner.

Remember to slice the steak thinly against the grain before serving and garnish it with chopped cilantro or parsley leaves for extra freshness. Whether it’s for a casual summer barbecue or a family dinner, this Palomilla recipe is sure to impress your guests with its unique flavors and pairing options.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Trust me, your taste buds won't know what hit them after biting into this steak.
Trust me, your taste buds won’t know what hit them after biting into this steak.

Once you have prepared your delicious steaks in garlic lime marinade (palomilla), you may wonder how to store and reheat them without losing any of their juiciness or flavor. Fear not, for I present to you my tips on how to make-ahead, store and reheat these delicious steaks.

Firstly, let’s address the question of making ahead. While it is possible to marinate the steaks for up to one hour before grilling them, I do not recommend preparing the entire dish ahead of time. These steaks are best served fresh off the grill, so it’s worth making them just before serving.

However, if you do wish to prepare the marinade in advance, this can easily be done. Simply mix together the garlic, lime juice, cumin, pepper and kosher salt in a large bowl or gallon zip-lock bag and keep it in the fridge until ready to use.

When it comes to storing any leftover cooked steak, place it in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to three days. To reheat the steak without drying it out, I recommend using a gentle heat source such as an oven set at 325°F or placing it over low heat on a stovetop skillet.

To add some extra flavor as you heat up your steak, try lightly brushing each side with a bit of olive oil or additional garlic lime marinade before reheating.

In conclusion, while it’s best to serve the steaks fresh off the grill, by following these simple tips you can still enjoy this dish as leftovers later on!

Tips for Perfect Results

 A simple but delicious garlic lime marinade can elevate your steak game to a whole new level.
A simple but delicious garlic lime marinade can elevate your steak game to a whole new level.

When it comes to making the perfect steak, there are a few important things to keep in mind. Here are some tips to help you get the best results for your garlic lime marinated Palomilla steaks.

Firstly, make sure to use high-quality ingredients. Look for fresh garlic cloves and limes, and use a good quality olive oil. The better the quality of the ingredients, the better the flavor will be.

Next, be diligent in measuring out your spices. Too much or too little can make all the difference between a bland or overpowering dish. Use kosher salt instead of table salt for a more pronounced flavor.

Marinating the steak for at least one hour in the garlic lime marinade will infuse it with plenty of flavor. For even better results, marinate it overnight in the fridge.

When cooking on the grill, preheat it to high heat before placing your steaks on it. This will ensure that you get a good sear and crust while keeping your steak juicy and tender.

For accurate cooking times, invest in a meat thermometer to check if your steak is cooked to your liking. Remember that thicker cuts of meat need more time on the grill than thinner ones.

Finally, resist the temptation to cut into your steak right away after grilling. Allow it to rest for at least five minutes so that the juices can redistribute through the meat, resulting in a juicier, more flavorful cut.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to make perfectly grilled garlic lime Palomilla steaks every time.


Before we wrap up, let us tackle the frequently asked questions surrounding this delicious steak recipe. From substitutions to cooking time, I’ll answer them all so you can confidently make this dish for your family and friends.

How long can you marinate steak in lime juice?

Preparing the steak marinade is a crucial step in the recipe. It is recommended to marinate the steak for up to 12 hours overnight to allow the acid from the lime juice to work its magic. Don’t be alarmed if you notice a color change in the steak, as this is a normal reaction. It’s important to use a non-reactive bowl, such as glass, to avoid any unwanted flavors from the marinade.

Can lime tenderize a steak?

When it comes to preparing a steak marinade, adding an acidic ingredient such as lime juice serves a dual purpose. Not only does it infuse the meat with a zesty flavor, but it also helps to soften the texture by breaking down the fibers. So, be sure to have a bottle of fresh lime juice on hand before starting the marinade process.

How long can steak marinate in citrus?

When it comes to marinating steak, it’s important to avoid high-acid citrus marinades for extended periods of time. It’s recommended to marinate your steaks for around one to one and a half hours, with an absolute maximum of two hours. Marinating for any longer than this can cause the meat fibers to break down, resulting in a mushy texture. Keep this in mind to ensure your steaks are perfectly marinated every time.

How does Gordon Ramsay marinate a steak?

Let’s get the marinade going by grabbing a 1 gallon zip lock bag, and combining some flavorful ingredients. Mix together 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, 2 teaspoons of garlic powder, 1 1/2 tablespoons of dry basil, 2 teaspoons of dry parsley flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper in the bag. Now, it’s time to add the star of the show- the steak. Toss the steaks into the bag and make sure they’re coated well by squeezing out the air and mushing the steaks around.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Steaks in Garlic Lime Marinade (Palomilla) Recipe is a must-try dish for any lover of Cuban cuisine. This recipe combines the tanginess of lime juice and the pungent flavor of garlic to create a flavorful marinade that will have your taste buds dancing with joy. Not only is it simple to prepare, but it can also be made with a variety of steak cuts such as flank, sirloin or skirt steak.

Moreover, this dish can easily become a family favorite, and you can serve it with rice, beans or salad, making it perfect for any meal of the day. It is also great for entertaining guests as everyone will marvel at your culinary abilities.

Therefore, do not hesitate to try this recipe at home and experiment with different variations or substitutions. And always remember to marinate your steak for at least an hour or more for best results.

In conclusion, let’s fire up the grill and cook up some delicious Palomilla steak tonight!

Steaks in Garlic Lime Marinade (Palomilla)

Steaks in Garlic Lime Marinade (Palomilla) Recipe

Adapted from Steve Raichlen’s The Barbecue! Bible. This is a quick, easy marinade that makes an amazing grilled steak. The key to making this REALLY fast is to use a thin cut steak and only cook it for a couple of minutes on each side. I serve with grilled vegetables and rice for a complete meal. Prep time includes 30 minutes of marinating in the fridge.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Cuban
Calories 271.5 kcal


  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 cup lime juice, fresh is best
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb steak, cut 1/2 inch thick


  • Combine all ingredients except for the steaks in a food processor or blender. Process until the mixture is a smooth liquid paste.
  • On a plate or in a zip top bag, combine 1/2 of the marinade with the steaks, making sure the meat is well coated. Let sit in the refrigerator for 1/2 hour. Reserve the remaining marinade.
  • Grill the steaks over high heat, 2-3 minutes per side, basting if desired with the remaining marinade.
  • Remove to a serving dish, brush with any remaining marinade, and serve.



Serving: 140gCalories: 271.5kcalCarbohydrates: 2.6gProtein: 33.7gFat: 13.5gSaturated Fat: 3.5gCholesterol: 89.6mgSodium: 506.6mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 0.3g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Caribbean, Cuban, High In…, High Protein, Meat, Steak, Very Low Carbs, Weeknight
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Shara @The Bird BBQ

Shara loves to experiment with different flavors and techniques when it comes to BBQ. She has been perfecting her craft for years and loves hosting backyard BBQs with friends & family. She often comes up with creative recipes that her guests rave about.