March 6, 2010

Bistec de Palomilla yFufu

Translation: Palomilla Teak and Mashed Plantains

When the hubs and I went to Florida last year for our cruise, we spent one night in Miami and sought out some Cuban food for dinner. We ended up at what was probably a chain Cuban food place in the downtown area, but we didn't care, it was so good!

It is there we found a love of Cuban food.

And so for Christmas, the hubs got me a wonderful Cuban Cookbook to enjoy.

We finally made our first meal out of there the other weekend. It could not have been any better - loaded with garlic, flavor, richness - it was wonderful! We did make some alterations to the plantain recipe, because it does call for a 1/2 pound pork meat with fat, and since we were already eating steak with the meal, we did not need more meat for the meal.

Really, how we made the plantains were wonderful, so I'm going to post the recipe from the cookbook here for you to try, but I'll also make my notes below for how we made it.

Fufu - Mashed Plantains
3 Large Plantains
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 pound pork meat with fat
3 cloves garlic, mashed
1/3 cup chopped green onion
salt and pepper to taste
fresh lemon juice

1. cut ends off the plantains and discard. slice each in to 2 inch pieces and score the skin with a knife along one edge. do not peel, place in a 3 quart saucepan and add the stock. bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover and simmer until tender. * note - wash the plantians before you boil them.

2. for the meat, you need pork with plenty of fat - either well marbled or with a fat layer or both. slice in to small pieces- 2 inches square. Place in a 3 qt. saucepan and add water to just barely cover. Bring to a oil, reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until all of the water has boiled away. Keep an eye on it! there should be some rendered liquid fat in the bottom of the pan. you may need to add some oil if your pork is lean.

3. fry the pork pieces in the rendered fat until just browned but not crispy. meat should be tender and stringy. remove the meat. use a meat mallet to mash and otherwise pulverize the meat in to small shreds.

4. saute garlic and onion in the rendered fat at a medium temperature for 3-5 minutes. return meat to the pan.

MY NOTES: While the plantains were simmering, I sauteed the onions and garlic in about a T of melted bacon grease (yes I keep a jar in the fridge). That gave the meal the nice pork flavor with out adding the meat itself. I would do that again!

5. Remove the cooked plantains from the broth, but save the broth and remove the peels

6. Mash the plantains with a hand masher and a little broth, just enough to make it a soft thick paste. Lumps are OK. Add the plantains to the fried pork and onions and stir on low heat. Add salt and pepper to taste and squirt with some lemon juice.

Bistec de Palomilla - Palomilla Steak

4 8oz boneless sirloin steaks sliced thin
olive oil for frying
juice of 1 lime
4 T butter
3 cloves garlic peeled and minced
salt and pepper to taste

1. Pound steak very thin. Heat the oil over high heat in a frying pan and then drop in the steaks. Cook very quickly and heat on each side for 1 minute, less if you like your meat more rare. Remove the steaks and place where you can keep them warm.

2. remove pan from heat and add in the lime juice to deglaze the pan. Add the butter and garlic and return to low heat and cook to heat through. Pour sauce over steaks and season and serve.

Seriously, one of the best dinners in a long time!

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