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Vaca Frita (Cuba)


  • 1 (2 1/2 pound) flank steak, cut in half (or chuck steak or roast)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, cut in half and each half thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

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  1. Place the beef and bay leaf in a large saucepan, cover with salted water, and cook over low heat, covered, until the meat is tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours (chuck roast may take a little longer).
  2. Remove the meat from the stock and allow to cool at room temperature (save the stock for another use).
  3. When the meat is cool, cut into 2-inch chunks, shred it using your fingers, and place in a nonreactive bowl. Add the citrus juices, garlic, salt, and pepper, cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour, or overnight.
  4. Remove the meat from the marinade and squeeze out the excess liquid.
  5. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until fragrant and cook the beef shreds, stirring 6 to 8 minutes.
  6. Add the onions and cook until the beef is crisp, another 5 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve over white rice.