Sunday, January 22, 2017

Lomo Saltado

My new year resolution has been not to eat too many potatoes. Mainly, not to fry them. Then I visit a Peruvian restaurant and I am won over by sliced beef over fried potatoes. Do I stop myself from recreating this marvel in my kitchen?? Not a chance, I say, to the sound of crumbling intentions!!! 

Thanks to Priya, my first encounter with Peruvian cuisine is replete with large  plates of seafood ceviche, boiled potatoes draped in a yellow Aji amarillo sauce, grilled octopus with spicy salsa and the mainstay entree...lomo saltado. This a big mess of a dish, beef slices over fried potatoes and a little mound of rice. Soy sauce and vinegar give the sauce body and flavor, an odd, but effective combination. Peruvian food is a heady mix of Hispanic and Chinese ingredients. Culture and cuisine is forever linked. 

I boil and fry a bunch of Russets. Sirloin is thickly sliced. Onions, garlic and tomatoes are slivered. Beef is quickly seared in a hot pan. It then simmers with onions, garlic and tomatoes. Soy sauce and vinegar add a boost, along with beer. Braised for a bit, the stew releases a pleasant aroma. 

Serves 3-4

1 pound Sirloin
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt 
1/2 teaspoon ground Black Pepper 
3 tablespoons Olive Oil 
1 large Onion
3 Garlic cloves
2 Tomatoes (I used 1/4 cup Cherry Tomatoes)
3 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar 
2 tablespoons Soy sauce 
1/2 bottle Beer
5 Potatoes 
3-5 tablespoons Canola Oil 
Parsley, chopped

Boil potatoes. Peel and cut into thin wedges.

Cut sirloin into 1/4 inch thick strips.

Heat olive oil in a saucepan over high heat.

Add sirloin. Season with salt and pepper. Stir.

Let sirloin brown, letting all liquid dry up.

Cut onion into thick slices.

Mince garlic finely.

Cut tomatoes into small pieces.

Once it has browned add onion and garlic and fry for a few minutes.

Add tomatoes, vinegar, soy sauce and beer to beef. Stir well to mix.

Cover pan, lower the flame and braise for 15 minutes till beef is cooked.

In a separate pan heat some canola oil and shallow fry potatoes wedges till golden brown.

Place fried potatoes on a platter.

Spoon beef over potatoes and serve garnished with chopped parsley.

Crisp wedges soak up the meaty sauce. A mouthful of beef and potatoes has tang from the vinegar, a deep earthy quality from the soy, making each bite a celebration. Meat and potatoes always taste good, but lomo saltado  promises much more. In all honesty, a salad for lunch is me making good on my new year's promise. By dinner, fried potatoes and succulent beef allow resolutions to fall by the wayside.