Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cuban Bistec Palomilla


My first experience with Bistec is when I was in the Philippines and my mother in law made Bistek Tagalog.  Although the Filipinos lay claim to it, Bistec is really an Spanish dish.  Essentially just sirloin steak pounded flat and marinaded then pan fried until browned it's the ultimate tasty treat.  This recipe for Bistec started when someone stuck a menu for a new Cuban restaurant in my front door.  It's wildly expensive so I have no real intentions to go try it out however it fanned the flames of interest in Cuban Cuisine.  It's Florida after all and we have such a Cuban community here but I never really entertained a Cuban dinner before now.  The real recipe here is for the marinade.  Cubans call it Mojito Sauce but the rest of Caribbean calls is Mojo.  The real difference is the absence of hot peppers to be found in the rest of the Caribbean Mojo recipes.  Cuban cuisine was very popular from the late 30's up until the Cuban Revolution although I don't know how many Americans outside of the Cuban community in Florida would have been familiar with it.


Bistec Palomilla

6oz Good Organic Sirloin per person
1/2 Head of Garlic
1/2tsp Peppercorns
1tsp Salt
1/2C Sour Orange Juice*
1/3C Finely Minced Onion
1tsp Oregano
1/3C Good Spanish Olive Oil

1/2 onion sliced 1/4" thick for each person
3-4T Lime Juice
3 Cloves Garlic, minced fine
3T Kerrygold unsalted butter

Cut hard ends off garlic cloves and peel placing in minichopper food processor along with salt and peppercorns.  Process until paste.  Mix in OJ, onion and oregano and let sit room temperature for 30 mins.  Heat olive oil in microwave until hot and whisk into garlic mixture.  Pound your steaks flat with mallet and place in a dish covering with marinade.  Let sit in refrigerator, covered, overnight.  Heat frying pan medium heat until hot and add 3T olive oil.  When oil is hot add onions and cook until browned seasoning with salt and pepper.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Remove steaks from marinade and dry off while onions are cooking.  After removing onions add some more olive oil and heat until almost smoking.  Drop steaks in one at a time and cook 1 min per side.  When steaks are done remove pan from heat and deglaze immediately with lime juice.  Add garlic and butter and whisk until well blended.  To serve place steak on plate, smother with onions and cover with some sauce.  Serve with steamed Jasmine Rice and fried plantains.**

*Valencia orange juice or best is blood orange juice.  If you can't find either one then sour some regular orange juice with 1T lime juice.
**Fried Plantains can be found in your grocer's freezer section.  Forget using the fresh ones they are garbage quality and not ripe.

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