Trevor’s Request: Lomo Saltado

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This post is dedicated to Trevor.  Trevor was my former dentist and now, a fellow foodie.

A couple of months ago, Trevor was trying to numb the lower half of my mouth.  While we were waiting for my teeth to give in, I naturally started to talk Trevor’s ear off.  I told Trevor that I was a food blogger and he shared his love for cooking at home.  I, of course, asked Trevor to visit my blog.  Not too long after that, he kindly put in a request to develop a recipe for the traditional Peruvian, Lomo Saltado–one of his favorite dishes.

I’ve never made this dish before.  I’m not even Peruvian.  Challenge accepted!

Here is what happened. Oh, but wait.  Heads-up…

There is a reason why I created this dish the way I did.  I highly recommend going through my notes towards the end of this post for my thought process.  Now that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

The Sprightly Kitchen’s Lomo Saltado & Peruvian Style Garlic Brown Rice (Serves 4-6 generous portions)

Meat

  • 1lb of beef sirloin, sliced thin

Meat Marinade

  • 1 tablespoon of Aji Amarillo Paste
  • 1 tablespoon of regular soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
  • ¾ to a teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon pink or sea salt
  • ¼- ½ teaspoon of fresh cracked black pepper

Veggies

  • 1 lb of cherry tomatoes (I used the San Marzano variety), sliced in half
  • 1 large onion, cut into half-moon shapes
  • 1 large bell pepper, chopped into 1/2 inch slivers
  • ½ lb frozen french fries (Or a pound…Because why not?)

To finish the Lomo Saltado:

  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves of freshly minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped (optional)

Slice the sirloin into thin strips with a stupendously sharp knife.  Set aside.

 

Mix ingredients for the marinade.  Adjust seasonings as needed.

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I love the Golden Mountain Oyster Sauce brand.  Best one I’ve found so far.  The Aji Amarillo packs a serious punch.  So spicy!

In a plastic bag or bowl, combine the sirloin and marinade together and give the meat a little massage.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or marinade over night before you stir-fry.

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I like putting marinade bags in a bowl to prevent a messy fridge. 

Follow the package directions on the oven fries.  While you bake the fries, let’s have you do the rest.  If you prefer fresh french fries over frozen, please check out how I make fresh ones below!

After washing the tomatoes, peppers, and onions, make sure that everything is dried.  No need to seed the tomatoes.  Cut the vegetables and set aside.

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Like this. 

In a frying pan, heat the oil on high. When you see a waft of a little smoke coming, turn down the heat to medium-high so you don’t burn yourself.  Sear the sirloin strips on each side. (Turn the heat back up if you think you need to).  Set aside. Reserve the juices!

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See how quickly the sirloin strips sear on the edges?  This is what you want. 

In the same pan, add a little more oil as needed.  While on high heat, stir-fry the onions and bell peppers for about 2 minutes.  Add the minced garlic.

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Add cracked pepper if you need more spice.

Once you smell the garlic, add in the tomatoes and stir-fry for another 2 minutes.

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Oh yeah. 

When you see the juices from the tomatoes start to render, add the stir-fried beef with its juices.  At this point, pour in the vinegar.

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Right before you put the fries in, it should look something like this.

Once you give the stir-fry another toss, add in the fries and toss it again. Serve onto a large platter with all of the juices.  Top with cilantro.

Easy, right?

Peruvian-style garlic brown rice

  • 2 cups of brown basmati rice
  • 2 ½ cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 3 cloves of freshly minced garlic
  • 1-2 teaspoons of chicken soup base or bouillon (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of pink or sea salt
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The rice. 

Rinse off the rice in cold water to remove any dust or loose bran. Drain the rice. Once drained, add 2 ½ cups of cold water to it. Soak the rice in the water for at least an hour before you cook it.

In a saucepan (non-stick really is best for this in my opinion), heat the butter and oil over medium-high heat. Add minced garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds. Add the soaked rice (water included), salt and bouillon. Bring to a boil over high heat with the lid on. Once up to a boil, set the heat to low and simmer until the rice has clearly absorbed all of the water. I’d say this takes between 30-45 minutes to do. Patience is key here. If by chance you need a little more water, add it at about ¼ cup and steam again.

If you like, you can take a mold of some kind and fill it with rice and turn it out onto a plate.  Sprinkle the rice with some chopped cilantro for added prettiness. Enjoy with a heaping pile of Lomo Saltado.

Fresh French Fries Option

For the salt water soak:

  • 6 cups of cold water
  • 1-2 tablespoons of pink or sea salt

For the saltwater soak, put water and salt into a bowl.  Dissolve the salt. Taste it. That’s right!  Taste it to see if the salt water is salty enough for you.  If it’s not, adjust as needed.

Once the potatoes are peeled and cut, soak in salt water for about 15 minutes. This will help pre-season the French fries, remove excess starch, and prevent the potatoes from oxidizing (turning brown). While soaking, preheat your oven to 425F.  Drain the potatoes and dry off the excess liquid. On a non-stick baking sheet, put the potatoes on and drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil. Give them a toss with clean hands. Lay them out in one layer and give each a little space to breathe. Bake for about 25- minutes or until they are golden and crispy.

For the saltwater soak, put water and salt into a bowl.  Dissolve the salt. Taste it. That’s right!  Taste it to see if the salt water is salty enough for you.  If it’s not, adjust as needed.

Notes

I cannot guarantee the authenticity of my recipe.  I think it would be safe to say that it is a “watered-down” variation. Ha!  There are a million recipes online, and to be honest, many of them have very similar ingredients. Here are some additional websites where I got some inspiration:

Here. And here.  Many thanks for the inspiration!

I’ve been extremely busy lately and decided to use frozen fries instead of making fresh ones.  When I baked the fries, I baked them a little longer to make them extra crispy.  I did this because I did not want the fries to get too soggy once it was mixed in.

The amount of marinade you will make for this amount of sirloin may not seem enough for some. But I assure you that, because the marinade is so salty, it will be sufficient.  As a result, it is highly unlikely that you’ll need to add any more seasoning while you stir-fry all of the ingredients.  For me, this amount was perfect because the vegetables draw out so much moisture once it hits the pan.  There’s also no need to drain off any excess marinade prior to stir-frying too. But! Please play around with it and adjust the quantity of the marinade to your tastes.

In my experience, brown rice is a pain in the ass to cook. The best advice I can give you for a successful side of brown rice is to soak the rice in water for at least an hour before you cook it. The benefits are two-fold.  For one, soaking the rice cuts the cooking time in half. Second, you will not need as much water as the package directions usually instruct you to do.

It seemed like many recipes call for using red bell pepper as part of the stir-fry. I decided to be a rebel and use green red bell pepper instead. I enjoyed the color contrast and so did those that ate it.

As to the garlic not being in the marinade…Well, I just wanted to stir-fry fresh minced garlic with all of the ingredients.  In my experience, adding fresh garlic to a marinade then letting it sit overnight makes whatever I am marinating taste funky.  It’s just a matter of preference here.

Now, about the vinegar: I saw that some recipes included it as part of the meat marinade. I wanted to marinate the meat over night to ensure maximum tenderness.  I was worried that if I added the vinegar to the marinade, it would cook the beef over night.  This is why I added the vinegar at the end as more of a finishing touch.

Lastly, I added a side of Peruvian style garlic rice—because why not make the meal more “carby” than it already is?  I am trying to incorporate whole grains into my diet, so I used brown basmati rice.

I am not sponsored from any of the brands in my photos for this post.

Thank you for the challenge, Trevor! I hope you enjoy my recipe.

Lots and lots and lots of love,

E.

P.S. – I also want to thank the steady stream of followers who keep coming back to visit my blog.  I really appreciate it and I’m faithfully yours!

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