Vaca Frita

By Celina DeCastro

Literally translated to “Fried Cow”, this Cuban dish is usually served with rice, beans and fried plantains. Vaca frita will transport you to Havana without ever having you leave your home. Similar to Cuba’s Ropa Vieja, this dish has less tomato sauce and more of the natural crispy beef flavor that will leave you craving more.

What you’ll need:

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  • 1 1/2 pound of flank steak, cut into four pieces
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored and quartered
  • 2 large onions- 1 halved and 1 thinly sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 smashed garlic cloves
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh ground pepper

What to do:

  1. Combine the bell pepper, halved onion, 1 of the garlic cloves and bay leaf in a large saucepan or Dutch oven.
  2. Add just enough water to cover the ingredients and bring to a boil, add in the flank steak. Let it simmer over medium heat for about twenty to thirty minutes.
  3. Remove steak and other ingredients from stock.
  4. Once steak has cooled, shred the meat
  5. In a large bowl add lime juice, shredded beef, and finely minced garlic. Toss the mixture and let it marinate for at least an hour.
  6. Heat a cast iron skillet or pan over high heat. Add oil and thinly sliced onions, cook until onions become translucent and browned at the edges.
  7. Add beef and cook until beef is browned and crispy. Here you can personalize the level of crispiness you would like for the beef.
  8. Serve immediately to hungry friends and family, don’t forget an extra lime on the side.