Friday, August 21, 2015

Vaca Frita, August 20, 2015

I've had vaca frita (literally, "fried cow") in Cuban restaurants and really liked it, but had never made it at home before. I cooked & shredded the beef before going to a picnic with my friends, then marinated it when I got home. When Jeannene got home from work, all I had to do was fry it. It's not so healthy, but really yummy for an every now & then treat. I had some guacamole & tortilla chips waiting for her when she arrived. Not a Cuban dish, but she loves guac, so I decided to make it to go with our Cuban food. I'd made a Cuban green bean salad for the picnic, so I served that, instead of my usual avocado & onion salad. I also made black beans & rice.

Vaca Frita
2 1/2 lb. flank steak, cut in half
2 bay leaves
1/4 c. lime juice
1/ c. lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt & pepper
Olive oil for frying
1 lg. onion, halved and sliced
Lime wedges

Cover beef with salted water. Add bay leaves and bring to a boil. Cook, covered, on low for 90 minutes. Allow to cool, then slice into 2" wide strips and shred those so you end up with 2" long shreds. Mix the juices, garlic, salt, & pepper. Mix with beef and marinate at least an hour. Squeeze dry. Fry in a bit of olive oil for about 7 minutes. Add onion and cook another 5-7 minutes, until crispy. Serve with lime wedges. Serves 6-8. 

Cuban Green Bean Salad
2 lb. green beans, trimmed and halved
1/2 c. red wine vinegar
1/3 c. Spanish olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Heaping tsp. sugar
Heaping tsp. salt
A bit of minced parsley (dried is okay, if you don't have fresh)
1 small onion, sliced

Drop beans into boiling, salted water and cook about 8 minutes. Make sure not to overcook them. Mix everything else together. Drain beans and toss with dressing. Marinate at room temp at least an hour. Serves 6-8. (If you want to make these ahead of time, they are also good cold.)

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