This delicacy is served raw in Texas, and the vast majority of Texans have likely never heard of it

Parisa, a dish unique to the Texas Hill Country, especially Medina County, is often referred to as “cowboy ceviche”. This distinctive recipe, brought to the area by French immigrants from the Alsace region, combines raw meat, onion, cheese, lime juice, and various spices. Similar to steak tartare, a European dish consisting of raw beef and condiments such as onions and capers, Parisa represents a unique blend of cultural influences​​.

Parisa and Its European Counterparts

This Texas specialty shares similarities with steak tartare and the German dish ‘mett’, a raw ground pork concoction seasoned with onions, salt, and pepper, known in some U.S. regions as “tiger meat”.

Parisa stands out with its unique Texas twist, incorporating finely chopped or ground sirloin, citrus zest (lime or lemon), garlic, onions, shredded yellow cheese, and, in true Texan style, pickled jalapeños or Serrano chiles for added heat and crunch​​.

Crafting Restaurant-Quality Parisa at Home

To replicate the authentic taste of Parisa at home, start with the highest quality beef, ideally tenderloin or sirloin. The process includes freezing the beef, hand-chopping it into fine cubes, and then mixing in finely chopped citrus juice, onions, garlic, shredded cheese, and Serrano chiles. The key is to keep the meat chilled and to get creative with the mix-ins for that perfect balance of flavors​​.

Parisa Recipe

Here’s a simplified guide to making Parisa:

  1. Sterilize the Meat: Place the beef in a ziploc bag with white vinegar and freeze for 15 minutes.
  2. Preparation: Mince onions, peppers, and garlic, and shred the cheese.
  3. Processing the Meat: Rinse the meat in cold water after removing it from the vinegar, then cut it into ⅛” cubes.
  4. Mixing: Combine all ingredients thoroughly, adjusting seasonings to taste.
  5. Serving: Present the dish on a plate, typically with saltine crackers or toasted buttered baguette slices for accompaniment​​.


Parisa is more than just a dish; it’s a culinary narrative that intertwines Texan flavors with European influences. Its preparation is an art, and its consumption, a celebration of cultural fusion. Whether you’re a culinary enthusiast or a casual foodie, exploring the taste and history of Parisa is a journey worth taking.

Parisa’s intriguing combination of flavors and textures, coupled with its rich cultural backstory, makes it a noteworthy subject for a culinary blog or an article in a food magazine. Its unique status as a regional specialty offers a window into the culinary heritage of Texas and the influences that shaped it.

This dish not only provides an opportunity to explore diverse cooking techniques and ingredients but also allows for an exploration of the historical migration patterns and cultural exchanges that contribute to the rich tapestry of American cuisine.