Sunday, September 5, 2010

Vaca frita - I like the sound of it in Spanish better

Although once you taste it, 'fried cow" doesn't sound all that bad either! I found this recipe in Food&wine and it was really lovely with some beans and mexican rice. Today we had it leftover wrapped up in a tortilla.

Vaca Frita serves 4

1 and 1/2 pounds flank steak (Prather!)
1 small bell pepper (I didn't have one so I sacraficed a few padrones)
2 medium onions, one cut in half, the other thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons garlic olive oil
salt & pepper
3 tablespoons lime juice

Cut the steak into 4 pieces and place in a pot with the 1 onion, pepper, bay leaf and cover with water. Bring to a boil and slowly simmer for about 30 min. Transfer to a plate and cool. When cool, shred into small pieces (I have to say, this was the worst part, I was picking beef out of my nails for hours not to mention that boiled meat is not that attractive). Put the meat in a bowl and add the sliced onion, oil, s&p and lime juice. Let stand for an hour. Heat a large griddle or cast iron pan until very hot, add the beef in small batches and brown until crispy all over. Don't crowd the pan, you don't want it to just steam, you want it to fry (dry fry, as there is very little oil - don't add any to the pan.) Serve with beans and mexican rice. Recipe below for the rice- it's easy, colorful and tasty. Adapted from Diana Kennedy.

Mexican Rice serves 4

3/4 cup of long-grain rice
1/2 cup chopped un-peeled tomatoes (I love that you don't need to peel them!)
1/4 of an onion chopped
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup oil
about 2 cups chicken broth
couple carrots, cut into cubes
handful of fresh peas

Put the rice in a bowl and cover with hot water, stir and soak for 10 min. Drain and rinse. Put tomatoes, onion and garlic in a blender and process until smooth. Heat the oil in a large pan then put in the drained rice. Fry until golden then stir in tomato sauce and fry until absorbed, about 8 min, stirring occasionally then add the broth and carrots and cook uncovered until all the broth has been absorbed. Add the peas, cover and set aside until the rice is tender about 15 min. Salt to taste.

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