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Vaca Frita

Vaca Frita

Vaca Frita is shredded beef that’s quickly fried in a little bit of oil to create a crispy crust. It’s a popular Cuban dish that’s really easy to make and absolutely delicious. Serve the vaca frita with white rice and black beans for a traditional Cuban meal your family will love. Try the chicken version of this dish, crispy shredded chicken, it’s amazing; and there’s a another great Cuban recipe with shredded beef, it’s called ropa vieja. Here the beef is cooked in a wonderful tomato sauce. Enjoy!

 

Ingredients

1½ lb. Flank Steak

3 cups Beef Broth

½ tsp. Salt

½ tsp. Garlic Powder

¼ tsp. Black Pepper

2 tbsp. Lime Juice (about ½ a lime)

2 tbsp. Canola Oil

1 Large Onion, thinly sliced

Lime Wedges, for serving

 

Instructions

Add the steak and beef broth to a large pot. If it’s a large piece cut it in half so it fits in the pot without folding or overlapping. Set the pot over high heat. When the broth comes to a boil lower the heat to medium and cook 10-15 minutes. Turn the steak, lower the heat to medium-low and cook 30 minutes. Keep the broth at a simmer, if it’s boiling too vigorously too much of it will cook away. We want to keep some of that delicious stock to flavor the shredded beef. Turn the steaks again about halfway through the cooking time.

 

Remove the pot from the heat; place the flank steak on a cutting board or a pan. When it’s cool enough to handle, shred the steak to resemble thin strings. It’s best to do this with your hands. Add the meat back into the broth. Sprinkle with the salt, garlic powder, black pepper and lime juice. Stir well to combine.

 

Fry the shredded beef

Heat the oil in a large, skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, almost smoking, add the shredded beef and arrange it so it covers the entire skillet in one layer. Use tongs to remove the beef from the pot to the skillet, to avoid transferring too much liquid.

 

Cook the beef for 3-5 minutes, do not stir. Let the liquid cook out and allow the bottom become browned and crispy.

 

Using a large spatula, get under a section of the beef and flip (don’t stir). Pick another section and flip, repeat until all of the shredded beef is browned side up.

 

Cook the beef for another 1-2 minutes. Keep in mind that this side will brown a lot faster since the liquid has cooked out already. Keep your eye on it, check a section after 1 minute to make sure it’s not burning. Flip over any sections that need to brown a little more. Keep checking and flipping until the beef is golden and crispy on the outer layer.

 

When the vaca frita is done, remove the skillet from the heat and place the beef on a plate or pan. Add the sliced onions to the skillet; place it back over the hot burner (with the heat off). Let the residual heat cook the onions just a bit, stir frequently.

 

Serve the vaca frita with the onions and extra lime wedges, white rice, black beans or your favorite side dishes.

 

Serves 4

 

Vaca Frita Cuban crispy shredded beef with cooked onions on top served on a large white platter and garnished with lime wedges.
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Vaca Frita

Vaca Frita is shredded beef that’s quickly fried in a little bit of oil to create a crispy crust.
Cook Time55 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Cuban
Keyword: beef, cuban food, cuban shredded beef, shredded beef
Servings: 4
Calories: 326kcal

Ingredients

  • lb. Flank Steak
  • 3 cups Beef Broth
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • ½ tsp. Garlic Powder
  • ¼ tsp. Black Pepper
  • 2 tbsp. Lime Juice about ½ a lime
  • 2 tbsp. Canola
  • 1 Large Onion thinly sliced
  • Lime Wedges for serving

Instructions

  • Add the steak and beef broth to a large pot. If it’s a large piece cut it in half so it fits in the pot without folding or overlapping.
  • Set the pot over high heat. When the broth comes to a boil lower the heat to medium and cook 10-15 minutes. Turn the steak, lower the heat to medium-low and cook 30 minutes. Turn the steaks again about halfway through the cooking time.
  • Remove the pot from the heat; place the flank steak on a cutting board or a pan. When it’s cool enough to handle, shred the steak to resemble thin strings.
  • Add the meat back into the broth. Sprinkle with the salt, garlic powder, black pepper and lime juice. Stir well to combine.
  • Heat the oil in a large, skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, almost smoking, add the shredded beef and arrange it so it covers the entire skillet in one layer. 
  • Cook the beef for 3-5 minutes, do not stir. Let the liquid cook out and allow the bottom become browned and crispy.
  • Using a large spatula, get under a section of the beef and flip (don’t stir). Pick another section and flip, repeat until all of the shredded beef is browned side up.
  • Cook the beef for another 1-2 minutes. This side will brown a lot faster since the liquid has cooked out already. Check a section after 1 minute to make sure it’s not burning. Flip over any sections that need to brown a little more. Keep checking and flipping until the beef is golden and crispy on the outer layer.
  • When the vaca frita is done, remove the skillet from the heat and place the beef on a plate or pan. Add the sliced onions to the skillet; place it back over the hot burner (with the heat off). Let the residual heat cook the onions, stir frequently.
  • Serve the vaca frita with the onions and extra lime wedges, white rice, black beans or your favorite side dishes.

Nutrition

Calories: 326kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 1000mg | Potassium: 717mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 5.2% | Calcium: 5.3% | Iron: 16.6%
Vaca Frita is shredded beef that’s quickly, fried in a little bit of oil to create a crispy crust. It’s a popular Cuban dish that’s really easy to make and absolutely delicious. #vacafrita #crispyshreddedbeef #shreddedbeef #Cubanfood #Cubanrecipes

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