Cooking Classes


Cuban Style Skirt Steak with Moros y Cristianos

While I was in Orlando, I had a most fabulous meal at Padrino's.  It was a simple skirt steak with rice and beans but the Cubans have such a way with seasonings.  And the atmosphere was so much fun, too.  This is my take on a Cuban skirt steak.  Garnish with lime slices, cilantro and deep fried sweet plantain.

Skirt steak is rarely sold in Canada but it is much the same as a flank steak.  This is a less tender cut of beef but very flavourful.  Slow moist heat tenderizes it beautifully.  It is usually marinated, also.

The recipe for Moros & Cristianos is included although I served the rice and beans separately.  I don't like gray looking rice.  Moros & Cristianos is an old reference to the Moors and Spanairds, blacks and whites.  A sofrito is used with the black beans.  This can be made in a larger quantity and stored in the refrigerator to use over a couple of weeks.  Or I have also seen it in a jar in the grocery store here in the south.

Cuban Style Skirt Steak                Serves 4

2 c water
4 peeled garlic cloves
1 cinnamon stick, broken or 1/2 t ground cinnamon
1 t mustard seeds
1 bay leaf
2 pieces of whole cloves or ¼ t ground cloves
¼ t ground ginger
1 t ground cumin
1 t salt
1 t ground black pepper
1 c roughly chopped cilantro
1 T chopped fresh oregano or 1 t dried oregano
2 T red wine vinegar
4 - 6 to 8 oz skirt steaks
1/3 c vegetable oil
sliced limes

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine first 13 ingredients in blender. Purée until marinade is almost smooth. Arrange skirt steaks in baking dish. Pour marinade over.  Cover dish tightly with foil.  Roast in oven 1 hour.  Remove dish from oven; uncover and let steaks cool in marinade 2 hours.  Cover and refrigerate in marinade overnight.
Remove steaks from marinade and pat dry with paper towels.  Sprinkle steaks on both sides with salt and pepper.  Pour oil into heavy large skillet; heat over high heat until oil is very hot.  Add steaks to skillet and cook until crisp outside, about 3 minutes per side.  Drain briefly on paper towels.  Arrange steaks on platter; spoon Red Onion Mojo over.  Garnish with lime slices and serve.

Red Onion Mojo
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 very large red onions, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise 
(about 5 cups)
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
2 cups (loosely packed) fresh cilantro leaves (from 1 large bunch)
Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until tender and translucent but not brown, about 10 minutes. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm over medium heat before continuing.)
Add lime juice to onions and simmer until liquid is slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove onions from heat. Stir in cilantro leaves.

Moros y Cristianos  (white rice with Cuban black beans)
recipe courtesy of Andy Natal from Torrance, California
In Cuba, the name of this dish refers to the mix of African and Spanish cultures. Vegetarians can make an entrée of this soul-satisfying side.

1 can of black beans
2-3 cups of already cooked white rice
1/3 cup of sofrito casero (Blend onion, bell pepper, garlic and cilantro til puree)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon of oregano and a drizzle of apple cider vinegar
1 garlic clove finely chopped
1 cup of beer or broth
1/2 can tomato sauce

In a pot, add olive oil and sautee garlic and sofrito for a minute. Add salt, pepper, cumin and oregano to sofrito and mix. Add beans and mix well. Add tomato sauce and beer or broth and mix.

After 5 minutes, add apple cider vinegar and stir.  Add 2-3 cups of already cooked white rice (at room temperature) and mix well.  Cook until all is absorbed (about 10-15 minutes).
Let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.

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