Mexican Carne Apache Recipe

Mexican Carne Apache is difficult to describe because it is like Mexican-style steak tartare. Tartare is defined as is a meat dish made from finely chopped or minced raw beef.  Carne Apache is also similar to ceviche because the beef is cooked by the acids of the lime juice.  At first, I was not sure about eating this dish. I did try it and I must say, “I really like this recipe for Carne Apache, It is absolutely delicious!”  If you try it I am positive that you will like it too.  This recipe is a great to use as an appetizer dip or spread or ingredient for making a main dish like tacos or tostadas.

This Carne Apache recipe was shared with me by Marisela Reyna of Hillsboro, Oregon.  When Marisela makes this recipe for her family, she increases the recipe and use 5 pounds of ground beef.  Her children love this dish so much and would eat it every day if they could.  When Marisela shared this dish with us, I wanted to eat the whole dish myself.

It would be prudent to include the food safety warning for this dish that states, “Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness”.


Mexican Carne Apache


Mexican Carne Apache Recipe
Prep Time
30 mins
Resting Time
4 hrs
Total Time
4 hrs 30 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Mexican Carne Apache Recipe
  1. In a large shallow baking dish, spread out the uncooked ground beef evenly.  Pour the lime juice over the top and mix together well with a fork.

  2. Either let sit at room temperature for 4 hours or refrigerate 10 to 12 hours or overnight to marinate and "cook" the beef.  Stir the mixture every so often to combine the juices.  

  3. After marinating the beef, stir in the juices and add the tomatoes, onions, chile peppers, salt, and pepper.

  4. Serve with corn chips, corn tortillas, saltine crackers, or Mexican Guerreros (your choice).

  5. Serves many.

Recipe Notes

* Use only the freshest ground beef available from a trusted source. It is best to grind your own ground beef.

** Marisela likes to use key limes.

*** Marisela like to use canned La Morenita jalapenos. She uses both the juice and the jalapenos (diced) in the recipe.



Chile Peppers    Meat Appetizers    Mexican Beef Recipes   

Comments and Reviews

18 Responses to “Mexican Carne Apache Recipe”

  1. Robert

    Seriously ground beef?
    Store bought?
    I think it amazing that nobody’s gotten I’ll from this.

    • Whats Cooking America

      If you read the recipe you’ll see we state a warning about raw meats and advise on the following: “Use only the freshest ground beef available from a trusted source. It is best to grind your own ground beef.”

      • Mario

        The Human body was designed to eat Raw meat. How do you think cave men ate their meat? Raw.

    • Tony

      You let it cook with lime juice and the jalapeno’s vinegar broth. I’ve made it for years without dying.

      • Sean

        Absolutely agree!

    • Gina

      We have made it for years – never gotten sick.

      • Robert

        I really want to try this, but am terrified to try it. People say we were born to eat raw meat. I’ve been told by a Rabbi that The Creator gave Adam steel tongs so he could kindle fire. Heap big medicine.Instead of jalalalas or serrano I would use tasty fresh green chilis de arbol. The Palefaces call them Thai Chili. Now for a good source of ground chuck.

  2. Nacho

    People forget that we are carnivores are we were initally intended to eat meat raw just like every other carnivore in the planet. It was not until the discovery of fire that we started to cook our meals. I make this all the time and never, and I mean never, have I gotten ill from it. I do take precaution while making it to ensure its fully cooked before eating.

  3. Sam

    Can I eat this while pregnant?

    • Whats Cooking America

      Definitely consult with your doctor first, but since there is more potential risk to the fetus, I would recommend to stay away from raw meats when you are pregnant.

  4. Daena Smith

    People seem to forget regular ceviche is with raw fish too.. If you buy a chuck roast and have the butcher grind it then it will be safer than just ground beef as well as less fattier too. I always buy ground chuck in place of ground beef. Never buy the “tubes” or chubs of ground beef as they come from processing plants and those usually are the ones that have quality issues.

    • Sean P BARTON

      Wow, excellent advice! Thank you…

  5. Marina

    Very good, very similar to recipe my family uses.

  6. Debby

    Sounds really good but I have a problem eating things too spicy how would I make this

  7. Teresa DeLeon

    Hi Debby, don’t put the chipotle nor jalapeños in. I also have been making it for years by putting serano peppers instead. Chop them into small pieces. (My kids would be able to take them out) put as many as you want… maybe 2 depending on how much you are making ( for this recipe?) just enough to leave a taste but not spicy that you can’t eat. Enjoy with some saltine crackers, or better with tostadas and/ or tortilla chips.

  8. Jantique Fielding

    The recipe sounds good. But “grind your own beef”?! I know people who have more kitchen appliances than counter space (or brains, or budget!), and I know ABSOLUTELY NO ONE who owns a meat grinder. I think it’s a little unrealistic to expect most people who are NOT professional cooks to have one. So: secondary options, please?

    • George

      Jantique, you don’t even need ground beef. Get a quality steak or better yet a fillet, about 1lb. Dice it into 1/4 cubes and use it instead of ground beef.

    • Aaron P

      You can always go to a local butcher rather than a grocery store. You can almost always guarantee the local butcher will get you fresh ground beef from a local source. I like to buy half a steer at a time from somebody I know and have the local butcher process it. I got 160 pounds of ground beef from my last half a steer. Super good and super fresh!


Leave a Reply