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      RECIPE TITLE "Ropa Vieja"
    Excerpted from Miami Spice: The New Florida Cuisine by Steven Raichlen and Robin Zingone Copyright (c) by Steven Raichlen.

    ... more great recipes from Steven Raichlen on our GREAT CHEFS page!

    yields serves 4 time--- difficultyeasy

    This and the Vaca Frita on page 235 are mainstays of the Cuban-American diet. Both are made with skirt steak, a stingy cut of meat with the poetic name of fajita (girdle) in Spanish. Skirt steak can be found at Hispanic markets, Jewish butcher shops, and at an increasing number of supermarkets. Flank steak makes an acceptable substitute. Both recipes call for the meat to be boiled with aromatic vegetables. The resulting broth makes a fabulous soup--simply add cooked noodles or rice. Ropa vieja--literally means "old clothes," and is an apt description of the shredded appearance of the meant. It is traditionally served with white rice and fried plantains.

      RECIPE INGREDIENTS

    • 1/2 pounds skirt-steak
    • 1 small onion, quartered
    • 1 tomato, quartered
    • 1 carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces
    • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
    • TO FINISH THE DISH:
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
    • 1/2 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
    • 1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste
    • 1/3 cup tomato puree
    • 3 tablespoons dry white wine
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

      RECIPE METHOD

    1. Combine the beef, quartered onion, tomato, carrot, and garlic cloves with 6 cups of water in a large pot. Bring to a boil over a high heat. Skim off the scum that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat and simmer the beef, uncovered, skimming often, until tender, 30 to 40 minutes.

    2. Strain the meat, reserving the broth for soup. Let the meat cool. Tear it, along the grain, into pencil-thick strips.

    3. Heat the oil in a large nonreactive frying pan over medium heat. Add theminced garlic, sliced onion, and bell peppers and cook until soft but not brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the meat, cumin, tomato puree, wine, and salt and pepper. Cook until the meat is well coated with the sauce and the sauce is reduced and flavorful, about 5 minutes. Correct the seasonings, adding salt and pepper to taste.


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