Parisa: Another Tasty Texas Hill Country Secret Recipe

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Tony Maples Photography


Now that you know all about the Texas Hill Country secret of pepper steak, here is another dish which is found only in this very specific part of the state: the tasty treat called parisa. Also called “cowboy ceviche,” Medina County is the hub of this raw meat appetizer. Combined with onion, cheese, lime juice, and spices, it’s so popular the Hondo Chamber of Commerce has t-shirts for sale touting its praises. Many people for this part of Texas are descendants of immigrants from the Alsace region of France who brought over this recipe.

Parisa: Another Tasty Texas Hill Country Secret Recipe

Photo by Honky Tonk Foodie

Parisa is often compared to steak tartare, a French raw beef vittle made with onions, capers, and other seasonings. It also resembles mett, a German dish of raw ground pork, seasoned with onions, salt, and pepper. Mett can be found in the U.S. Dakotas and midwest states labeled as “tiger meat.” Here is one version of Medina County parisa. Tempted to try it but afraid to make it yourself, at least the first time around? Several places in the area sell this delicious concoction. Order parisa from Silver Creek Meat and Gear in Hondo, The Country Mart in D’Hanis, and Dziuk’s Meat Market in Castroville.

Parisa: Another Tasty Texas Hill Country Secret Recipe

Photo by Honky Tonk Foodie


* 1 lb. exceptionally lean beef, ground very finely

* 6 ounces very finely chopped onion

* 1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, seeded, de-veined, and minced fine

* 8 ounces cheddar cheese, very finely grated

juice from two small limes

** garlic powder, kosher salt, and freshly ground coarse black pepper to taste

Saltine crackers or Ritz for serving


  1. Prepare ingredients before beginning, as it is key to work quickly and keep the meat cold.
  2. Combine first four ingredients(*) and mix well to incorporate. Add lime juice, mix again to distribute. Refrigerate.
  3. While the meat mixture is resting, mix remaining three ingredients together(**). Sprinkle spice mix over meat, and incorporate well throughout the parisa by mixing once more.
  4. Chill in an airtight container for at least a day, then serve.