If I ran a (completely unscientific) survey among my Latino friends, I think that, right after cebiche, lomo saltado would come up as the quintessential Peruvian dish. Born of the fabulous combination of Spanish, Pre-hispanic and Asian influences, it provides a rich combination of flavors that -at least to me- makes it irresistible and difficult to stop eating. It is definitely my maternal family’s favorite meal and my grandma made it a staple of our Bolivian table. So much so, that my uncle didn’t know (or had forgotten) it is Peruvian, when a few weeks ago he called my mom and told her: “Hey, I went to Astrid y Gastón. Did you know lomo saltado is a Peruvian dish?”
Lest anybody else mistake it or forget it, here it is.
Yield: About 8 servings
- l.75 lbs sirloin steak, sliced in strips, about an inch in length and 1/4 inch in thickness
- 1 red onion, julienned
- 4 tomatoes, each cut up in eights
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 heads garlic, green center removed, and chopped
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- half ají amarillo, chopped, or about 1 teaspoon ají amarillo paste (see note on Chupín de camarón recipe for info)
- salt and pepper
- about 1/4 c cilantro leaves, chopped
- green onion, only green area chopped, for garnish
- 2 cups cooked white rice
- 4 russet potatoes or 6 red ones, peeled and sliced in sticks, fried.
- Heat the oil in a wok or large pan over high heat. Brown the meat to sear it and remove it from the pan.
- Keeping the flame on high, add the onions, tomato, ají and garlic to the juices and oil left over.
- Cook for about 3 minutes and return the meat to the pan.
- Add the vinegar, soy sauce and broth.
- Cook for another 5 minutes and add the cilantro.
- Season to taste and serve immediately over the white rice, topping with the green onions and fries as garnish.
NOTES: High heat and speed are the key elements to this dish, not only so that the meat browns fast, but so that your vegetables are still crunchy when you serve the complete product. I prefer to use a wok, as I feel it distributes heat better and adds a smoky hint.
While the fried potatoes are used as a garnish in the prep instructions, in reality the quantity I call for above is because you use them as part of the side-dish that the rice is. Besides, who can have “just a bit” of fried potatoes?