Monday, August 1, 2011

Cuban Braised Beef with Avocado Onion Salad

We were recently given a Florida avocado, which is MUCH larger than a Hass avocado, by a Cuban woman at our church whose parents live in Florida and have a few avocado trees. Everyone except Mr. R. likes avocado we were excited about using it. When the hubby asked what all they use avocados for in Cuban cooking, she mentioned that they eat it like you would a salad - sliced with some onions then drizzle with an olive oil and lime dressing, and sprinkled with salt and pepper. I had some leftover venison steaks and wanted to make something "Cuban" in flavor to go along with the avocado salad.
I began searching the internet for recipes and came across the following dish, Cuban Braised Beef and Avocado Onion Salad. I happened to have fresh red peppers and cilantro in my garden as well as carrying all the other items (except the limes) in my pantry.
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 red bell peppers, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced (this was not in the original recipe but I had a bunch of them ready in my garden)
  • 1 onion, cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano (I used fresh from my herb garden)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds flank steak, cut crosswise into thirds (I used venison steaks)
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 Florida avocado or 3 Hass avocados, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 small red onion, very thinly sliced  (I used vidalia)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lime
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  1. In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine the tomatoes, bell peppers, onion, oregano, cumin, 1½ teaspoons salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Nestle the steak among the vegetables. Cook, covered, until the meat is tender and pulls apart easily, on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours.
  2. Twenty-five minutes before serving, cook the rice according to the package directions.
  3. Arrange the avocado slices on a platter and top with the onion. Drizzle with the olive oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the cilantro and set aside.
  4. Using two forks, shred the beef and mix it into the cooking liquid. 
  5. Serve with the rice and the avocado onion salad.

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