I think that this dish is one of the most classic ones in latin culture; every single country in Latin America has its own interpretation of how this dish is made, eaten, prepared and enjoyed. For people who live in the United States I think that their first contact with this dish is through Cuban food but as I said, everybody has its own version.
For me this dish brings me memories of my aunt, one of the most important and relevant women in my life who I love like my own mother and even call her as such. She is my mother's sister and raised me for a few years when I was little so I became extremely close to her. As I was growing up, part of the highlights of my summers was going to spend it with my aunt who lives in a different city from the rest of my family. When I was there, it was about enjoying what she liked to cook and prepare and living in a southern city (Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara) the flavors were different yet familiar with a similar flavor that my mother had. She would prepare this dish and serve them in tostadas but what it was the star of the dish was that she would make a spicy salsa with the broth of the meat and put it on top of each tostada when serving.... I can't tell you how watery my mouth is getting just of thinking of those flavors and the great memories along with it.
Taking inspiration from that dish I want to share with some tweaks because I've been editing the recipe a few times and now even my older daughter (who is an extreme picky eater!) is now enjoying this dish and asking for MORE! that is priceless for me! As a good Mexican I would serve this dish with rice and beans on the side but if you want to go the European route (like my husband) creamy polenta with roasted garlic makes an outstanding bed for this dish to enjoy.
2 large organic carrots
2 organic celery stalks
1 big shallot ,peeled and roughly chopped
4 cloves of garlic
1 medium white onion roughly chopped
3 roma tomatoes roughly chopped
1 cup (or maybe more if needed) of red wine (not sweet.. prefer to use cabernet, chianti)
1-2 cups beef broth
1 tbsp freshly ground Mexican oregano
1 tsp black malabar pepper
Salt to taste
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 tsp cumin (optional for enhanched Latin flare)
2-3 lb. beef roast with some fat (not much) for flavor
- One thing before you start is that as I said, my older daughter is an extreme picky eater and when chop the vegetables and leave them on the meat like that she would not even try them. My trick to sneak veggies on her food is I liquefy all ingredients making a sauce and that way she eats them with no problem.. even compliments how great the meat taste!! so chopped or liquefied is your choice!
- In the blender put 1/2 of the wine, 1/2 of the beef broth, the tomatoes, garlic, shallot, onion, celery and bell peppers. Liquiefy at high speed to make a sauce. Add more beef broth if needed.
- In a big pot (I use my Le Creuset largest one) place the roast, add the sauce and the remaining wine/broth making sure it gets cover with liquid for the most part.
- Add the dry spices and bring to a boil.
- Simmer for about 2-3 hours on the stove or if prefer, in the oven at 350F until the meat is fully cooked, extra tender that falls apart when you press with a fork.
- Remove from heat and take the piece of meat out to allow cooling.
- Using two forks shred the meat into smaller pieces then put it back to the broth in the pot you still have. Simmer for additonal 20-30 minutes
- If you want to serve this the latin way you may do it with refried beans, tostadas and rice or going the European fusion of it... make roasted garlic polenta and serve it on top.. it is an outstanding dish!
- If you want to make the spicy broth reserve about 1 cup of the broth before putting the meat back to the pot. Take 1-2 del arbol peppers previously rehydrated in hot water for about 15-20 minutes and liquefy to a "hot broth" this sauce must be hot when pouring on top of the meat as ir or in the tostadas for better taste