Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Shredded Beef (Ropa Vieja)

Flank steak can be used as a substitute for the skirt steak, the meat is traditionally served with white rice (to soak up all of the sauce) and fried plantains. I remember having this in Colombia with a few adjustments but here in Miami it is very popular in the large cuban community. I would say this meat is a necessity in Colombia because the beef is very tough..very, very tough... (the cows roam free for their food and as a result build a lot of muscle which equals tough meat) So except a cut called Baby Beef it is best shredded or cooked forever in a pressure cooker until it is like butter. No porterhouse, no sirloins, no t-bones there. The other reason for this is because I think the butchers have no idea what they are doing, that goes for chickens too - you get the strangest most undistinguishable pieces- it is a bit frightening :) You rarely know what you are getting. Another example of this is a meat called 'carne polverizda' which literally means pulverized meat, I will post soon, it's different but really good. When the beef is in small bites it is much easier to eat, which is NOT the case with this recipe using skirt or flank steak - you will get a wonderfully tender and tasty meat dish.

Ingredients For Meat
1 1/2 lbs skirt steak
1 small onion, quartered
1 tomato, quartered
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled

Ingredients To Finish
2 TBSP olive oil
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp cumin
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
3 TBSP white wine
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1. Combine beef, quartered onion, tomato, carrot, garlic and 6 cups water in a large pot.
2. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered until very tender about 35 to 45 minutes.
3. Strain the meat, cool slightly and tear it along the grain into thick strips.
4. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat
5. Add the sliced onion until translucent 2-3 minutes. Add the pressed garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes
6. Stir in the meat, cumin, diced tomatoes, white wine, lime juice, salt and pepper.
7. Cook until the meat is well coated and the sauce is reduced about 5-10 minutes

Servings 4

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