Aporreado de Tasajo (Jerked Beef in Creole sauce)
Serves 4. Recipe is from Maria Darden, who says, “This is one of my Dad’s favorite dishes. He likes it served over harina or polenta.”
5 lbs. tasajo (see note)
3 bay leaves, divided
1 cup Spanish olive oil
4 medium-size onions, thickly sliced
4 medium-size green bell peppers, seeded and cut into thin strips
12 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 cups prepared tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups dry sherry
1 1/2 tsps. dried oregano
3/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. cumin
3/4 tsp. sugar
3 tsps. apple cider vinegar
1. Cut the beef into 1-pound portions and soak overnight in water to desalt. Change the water several times. No need to refrigerate while soaking.
2. Place the beef and 1 bay leaf in large pot with cold water to cover and bring to boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and cook covered for about 2 hours or until meat is tender. Remove from pot and cool. Cut into 2 chunks and shred, discarding any fatty tissue. Reserve liquid.
3. Heat the olive oil in large pot and sauté onions, bell peppers and garlic about 5 minutes.
4. Add the tomato sauce, sherry, and remainder of ingredients and simmer for about 10 minutes.
5. Add the beef and cautiously add about 1 cup of reserved cooking liquid and simmer uncovered 25 to 30 minutes. Test for salt. If needed, add more reserved cooking liquid.
6. Serve over white rice and black beans or over Harina de Maiz (Polenta) (see recipe).
Note: Tasajo is available at PitaBoy International Grocery, 11197 Muriel Ave., Baton Rouge, and other international grocery stores, Maria Darden said. She suggests calling in advance as the product may need to be special ordered. She ordered the tasajo for the birthday party from La Casa de Carnes in Miami.
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