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Vegetables and Shredded Beef in Vinaigrette

Cookbook

The Food and Life of Oaxaca

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Editor's Note: With its use of fresh and in-season vegetables, this recipe for Vegetables and Shredded Beef in Vinaigrette is perfect for summer. This salad is hearty enough to serve as a main dish and will be a refreshing addition to your list of go-to summertime meals. It is also elegant enough to serve at a casual evening meal with friends. This salad recipe takes several hours to prepare, making it ideal for a late-night meal or a leisurely lunch on the patio. You'll enjoy the abundant use of flavors in this recipe!

Gaspacho or gazpacho hasn’t always been just a blenderized cold soup. There have been many versions going back far into Spanish culinary history and featuring anything from a thick bread salad mixture like an Italian panzanella to marinated seafood. So this dish that I was surprised to find being called gaspacho in a little restaurant probably isn’t as weird as it looks. It’s a salad of shredded cooked beef with tomatoes, avocados, and other vegetables, all moistened with vinegar. My version is a free-form interpretation using an oil-based vinaigrette in place of plain vinegar and allowing a short marination period for the meat to absorb the dressing.

Serves6 servings

Cooking MethodBraising

CostModerate

Total Timeunder 4 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party

Recipe CourseMain Course

MealDinner, Lunch

Taste and TextureCrunchy, Herby, Juicy, Meaty, Savory, Tangy

Type of DishMain Course Salad

Ingredients

  • One 2-pound flank steak
  • 1 medium onion, unpeeled
  • 3 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 12 sprigs fresh mint
  • ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns, bruised
  • 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes (about 1½ pounds)
  • 3 fresh green chiles such as serranos or jalapeños
  • 1 bunch radishes (about 8 to 10), trimmed and scrubbed but unpeeled
  • 2 ripe Hass avocados

Instructions

  1. Place the meat in a large saucepan or Dutch oven with the onion, 2 of the garlic cloves, 6 sprigs of mint, the peppercorns and 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste). Add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat; quickly reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, partly covered, until the meat is well cooked, about 1½ to 2 hours. Remove the meat, saving the stock for another purpose.

  2. When the meat is cool enough to handle, cut it across the grain into 3 large chunks and pull into fine shreds. Transfer the meat to a bowl large enough to hold all the remaining ingredients.

  3. Make a vinaigrette: Peel the remaining garlic clove and using a mortar and pestle or the flat of a heavy knife blade, crush it to a paste with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the crushed garlic with the vinegar, olive oil, and freshly ground pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the shredded meat and toss to combine. Let marinate, covered, for 1 hour at room temperature.

  4. Prepare the other salad ingredients: Finely chop the tomatoes. Remove and discard the tops and seeds of the chiles; mince the flesh. Slice the radishes thinly and cut into fine julienne. Peel and pit the avocados; cut the flesh into ½-inch dice. Strip the leaves from the remaining mint sprigs and chop coarsely. Add all these ingredients to the marinated meat and toss to combine thoroughly. Taste for seasoning; add more salt and pepper if desired.

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