Beef · Entree

Vaca Frita (cuban beef stir fry)

Vaca frita is a traditional cuban shredded beef stir fry. The name literally means “fried cow”. It is similar to “Ropa Vieja” minus the tomato sauce. This dish is tangy, juicy and crispy.

The meat has to be first stewed in a little bit of water and boiled until it’s soft and easy to shred, then marinated with spices, onion, garlic, and citrus juices.  It is then fried until crispy. In spite of this recipe calling for 1/4 cup of lemon juice and 1/4 cup of orange juice, the end result is not as “citrucy” as it sounds, just slightly tangy.

For other latin inspired recipes try my ropa vieja, paleo empanadas, or Mexican paleo rice

Paleo Vaca Frita

Ingredients:

2 lbs of flank steak
1 1/2 sliced onions
8 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup of lemon juice
1/4 cup of orange juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp of ground cumin (optional)
Oil of preference for frying (I use tallow)

Preparation:

  • In a large saucepan cook the meat, with 2 chopped garlic cloves,1/2 onion bay leaves,salt and enough water to cover the meat.
  • Cook covered for 45 mins or until meat is tender and pulls apart with a fork.
  • Let the meat cool off in the broth.
  • Shred the meat and save the broth for a different use.
  • Mash the remaining garlic cloves.
  • In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients (except the broth) and let sit for  an hour.
  • Fry with the oil in a large skillet, work in small batches so that the meat doesn’t stew instead, you want it to be slightly crispy.
Vaca Frita (cuban beef stir fry)
Recipe Type: Entree
Cuisine: Latin Paleo
Author: Edible Harmony
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs of flank steak.
  • 1 1/2 sliced onions
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup of orange juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cumin (optional)
  • Oil of preference for frying (I use tallow)
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan cook the meat, with 2 chopped garlic cloves,1/2 onion bay leaves and enough water to cover the meat.
  2. Cook covered for 45 mins or until meat is tender and pulls apart with a fork.
  3. Let the meat cool off in the broth.
  4. Shred the meat and save the broth for a different use.
  5. Mash the remaining garlic cloves.
  6. In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients (except the broth) and let sit for about an hour.
  7. Fry with the oil in a large skillet, work in small batches so that the meat doesn’t stew instead, you want it to be slightly crispy.

2 thoughts on “Vaca Frita (cuban beef stir fry)

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