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applesauce cake

adapted from Gale Gand's Applesauce Cake 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened to room temperature 2 cups brown sugar (dark or light), ...

Monday, March 14, 2011

ropa vieja

I adhere pretty closely to the spirit of the original version of this recipe, which was passed down to me years ago.

2-1/2 - 3 pounds flank steak, skirt steak or chuck roast, cut into roughly 2" inch chunks
salt and pepper
3-4 bay leaves
water to cover by at least one inch

lightly salt and pepper the chunks of beef. place in a heavy dutch oven with the bay leaves and cover with water by about 1/2". bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 1-1/2 hours.

4 cloves garlic, chopped finely or crushed

add the garlic to the beef and continue to simmer for another hour, until beef is very tender. using a slotted spoon, remove chunks of beef to a plate and refrigerate for a bit until cool enough to handle.

1 - 2  cups dry sherry
20-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1-1/2 tablespoons sweet smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin

add sherry, tomatoes, paprika and cumin to the cooking liquid. raise the heat to high and reduce the cooking liquid by half, until the consistency is syrup-y. in the meantime, prepare the rajas:

3-4 large poblanos, peeled, roasted and cut into thin strips
2 white onions, cut into thin half-moon slices
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely or crushed
extra virgin olive oil to saute
a bit of sherry to deglaze

saute the poblanos over medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes and add to the reduced cooking liquid. caramelize the onions for over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, turn heat to low and add the garlic. continue to cook for a few minutes, then deglaze with a bit of sherry and add to the cooking liquid, which is now a sauce.

remove the cooked beef from the refrigerator and shred by hand, removing any fatty or gristle-y bits. add the shredded beef to the simmering sauce. after 10-15 minutes, you can start to skim off excess fat as it settles on top.

2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 clove garlic, chopped VERY finely or crushed
salt and pepper to taste

add sugar and garlic, and continue cooking for about 10 minutes. taste and correct seasoning with salt and pepper. serve over garlic mashed potatoes, rice, noodles or sourdough bread, with a green salad. unbelievably delicious.

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