I thought I would finally release a Cuban recipe from my heart out to my fellow bloggers and wine Lovers. The photo above is of my grandmother and mother back in 1992. The photo was shot by my big brother. Of course, they were the most influential women in my life and both of them taught me to be a man and have a love for cooking. Both my grandmother and mother have passed. My grandmother of bone cancer in 1994 and my mother of Lou Gehrig's disease in 2002. I still remember the days when my grandmother lived in my parents guest house when I was very young and she would be cooking all of those Cuban staples like picadillo, papas rellenas, tamales, empanadas, croquetas and of course black beans and a lot of rice. My mother on the other hand never attempted to out-cook my grandmother. I think it might of been a sign of respect, but my mother always had home cooked meals on the table for me growing up. I can still taste her pinto beans, mariquitas and of course every morning coming to visit her where she would have a cup of Cuban coffee waiting for me. These are the fondest memories of my childhood.
So being that my grandmother's birthday and my mother and father's wedding anniversary are celebrated this month, I pass onto you the one Cuban recipe that I didn't mention above. "Ropa Vieja" aka Old Clothes. I actually made this recipe this pass week for a birthday party we attended that had an "Old Clothes" theme. I believe that my dish was well received by all of the guests. This recipe is not passed on from my grandmother recipe. I believe that this is the way that I honor her, but I cannot help myself in attempting to make Cuban food. When both of your parents are Cuban, you better learn. So here is my recipe, with the cooking instructions.
Oh!! and my wine of choice with this meal would be any Tempranillo or this one. http://vosselections.com/Domains/1188.html
Which is bad ass!!
1 (2 1/2 pound) Flank steak cut in half.
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon of dry Oregano
1 Tablespoon of Cumin and extra for rub
1 Red Bell Pepper julienne
2 green bell Peppers (one julienne and the other rough chopped)
2 heads of Garlic. (one smashed and one finely chopped)
2 Cups of Whole tomatoes, Canned then hand crushed.
1 1/2 Cups of Tempranillo Wine (A good one OK!!!)
1 can of Beef Stock
1/4 cup Mojo Criollo marinade (Store bought is OK - Goya)
1/4 cup of Good Sherry
salt and pepper to taste
Dust the flank steak with a little cumin, salt and pepper and sear off in stock-pot. Add 1 of the onions, 1 head of garlic crushed, the 2 carrots rough chopped, 1 green bell pepper, the bay leaves, 1 cup of the wine and the can of beef stock. Make sure the liquid is high enough to cover the meat completely. If the liquid in the pot isn't high enough add water to cover. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for approximately 2 1/2 hours. Pull the meat out and let cool. Dump the contents of the pot (or save for a good stock some other time). Cut the meat against the grain into 2 inch cubes. Then shred the meat with 2 forks with the grain.
Bring the pot back up heat with olive oil and add the julienned, onion, finally chopped 2nd head of garlic, 1 red and green bell peppers. Saute for a few minutes and deglaze with the 1/2 cup of wine, 1/4 cup of mojo sauce and 1/4 cup of sherry. Add tomatoes and hand crush in the pot, 1 tablespoon of Cumin and 1 tablespoon of oregano. Cook for about 15 minutes. Add the shredded meat and mix well. Cook for half and hour. Salt and pepper to taste. If dish appears to dry. You can add a bit more wine or tomato sauce.
Serve over white rice or on top of a Cuban cracker with a dab of Avocado.