14 March, 2013

Epic Fail: Bistec Encebollado

You can't win them all. Clearly. Case in point: Tonight's meal.

I've been on a REALLY good run here with picking some OUTSTANDING dinners - and I've been doing a darn good job of holding it together and getting them to the table. I don't know what happened tonight.

I go back to this really cute Marine I knew when I was a teenager, the Puerto Rican one (And no, it's not the jarhead I'm married to, just so we're all clear). And I've mentioned how awesome his Grandmother cooked, and I have no idea what it was but it was good. Obviously I'm not her. LOL. No hablo espanol - and I don't cook it either apparently.

Okay, so here's the skinny.... I read through the recipe and then scrolled the comments. I ALWAYS scroll the comments because you can see what people changed, or whether or not it totally sucked. Note: Nobody said it sucked. I did see a comment that said the following:

You are missing two very important ingridients!!  The bistec trade mark flavor, at least here in PR, is the tangy vinegar and oregano. You need to marinate the meat with salt and pepper, much oregano, maybe a powder sazon if you like, some beef boulion and 2 to 1 ratio of olive oil + vinegarand of course lots of white onion rings. If you let all this ingredients marinating overnight  the flavor will be heavenly. When cooking just throw all in the potm let it boil ten lower to simmer for 40 mins aprox.  

So, I threw all the ingredients she mentions here, chopped the onions, and put it in a freezer bag, even wrote the directions on the bag - and into the freezer it went, like so:

Seems idiot proof, right?
Then I forgot about it for about a week. Everyone in the darn house is whooped - especially my Hubby. So, I pulled it out last night and stuck it in the fridge. This morning I put it on the counter to thaw the last little bit and marinate in all that vinegar, olive oil, sazon, oregano, and whatever the heck else I put in there.

Now, all I had to do was pour everything in the bag in the pan and let it simmer for 40 minutes... It looked fabulous and smelled AMAZING!

SEE!!!
It simmered, and simmered. Hubby is the rice guru, so he got that going. Once it cooked I snagged a piece off the corner and it tasted fine. Then I took everything out and plated it....

Kinda looks like Liver and Onions doesn't it?
We learned lots of important things tonight - like we were out of Krystal. HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN? We also learned we will never fix this again. Not even some well placed Srirracha could save it. It was tough, WAY too vinegary, it just was not good.....

Um, no. Just no.
So, out of failure comes learning. Like, next time, if there ever IS a next time, I'll do these like I cook my collard greens - I find the oldest African American woman I can find in the produce section and ask her how she fixes hers. Apparently I need to find some sweet Puerto Rican lady to show me the error of my ways.

My dear sweet hubby though, he kept a brave face while the munchkin was at the table. It was the best thing ever until she cleaned her plate and headed back outside. That's probably the most ironic part of it all - my picky child ate it with no problems and never complained. She didn't ask for seconds, but I didn't have to figure how close I could get to DCF showing up at my house to get her to eat either.... (For the record, we haven't had a food showdown in forever, I'm a little nervous about that one....)

Once the munchkin was out the door, it was instant gag reflex. We have secretly decided we will be going to McDonald's later. I don't care if I'm over my fast food budget for the week, and I don't care that it's unhealthy and probably the last thing we should be eating so late at night....

I immediately got up and cleaned my kitchen spotless so I could erase the disaster that was this meal. I looked over at my Husband who was helping for a few minutes and said "I'm really sorry that I fed you that tonight". He immediately said "SEE, I know shouldn't have said a #$%$#@#$ word". (The explicative is something that was tattooed into his vocabulary the minute he graduated bootcamp). Poor guy felt so bad he had said something negative about my cooking. So I said "It's okay. I just wish I had made something good!" To which he replied "Well, they can't all be good. We'll just try again - and not with this one please". :P Silly Jarhead!

I was also advised by a friend to try something Cuban.... so if anyone needs me, I'll be putting my kid to bed in a minute and sneaking out to McDonald's while the Hubby feeds the furbabies. Then I'll be planning my menu and looking for something Cuban on Pinterest.... If at first you don't succeed, try another country........

So, if you have tried this and had more success than me, please let me know. I'd be slightly willing to try it again, if someone will come hold my hand.

*** Updates: I forgot to unclude the website the recipe came from: Modern Mami
                      I've also had some reviews that this recipe REALLY is delicious. So, take my experience with it as more of a what-not-to-do, and try it for yourself before you make a final decision!

Until next time!

Red
XoXoXoXo

3 comments :

  1. I know this post is pretty old but here is where you went wrong. You do not leave anything marinating in anything acidic for a week. Now that, that is out of the way. I cook my bistek encebollado differently. I brown my steak first in a bit of olive oil seasoned very simply with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and oregano. I take it out to the side and let it sit while I prepare everything else. To the pan, add a bit of olive oil. Sauté the onion (I prefer Vidalia because they're sweet) then when they're a bit browned add a bit of vinegar(more if you like it tart and less if you don't) and lemon juice for flavor. Season your onions as well with a pinch of salt and pepper. I season as I go. I usually just measure out a teaspoon of salt and use it as I go along. Sometimes, I need less, sometimes more. After the onions are a tad bit translucent and browned, add sofrito, tomato sauce and stir. Now you place the beef back in the pan on top of the steak with a tad bit of water maybe like a 1/4 cup, cover it and let the steak cook until it's tender and juicy. Add more water if necessary. The steak should be well done, juicy, the onions should be translucent and browned (like a soy sauce color) and you should have a bit of sauce in the bottom of the pan to serve over the rice. I usually serve this with rice, salad, and avocado. I hope you give this another try. It really is a delicious dish. Buen provecho!!

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  2. I just stumbled on this because I am looking into making the yummiest bistek encebollado. I enjoyed reading this and I also laughed! My mother (RIP) made the best bistek ever which I am pretty sure no one makes it the way she did. I remember she used some type of orange. Do not give up, I haven't and I think mine is getting better everytime.
    Woman on a mission gives great advice, thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I just stumbled on this because I am looking into making the yummiest bistek encebollado. I enjoyed reading this and I also laughed! My mother (RIP) made the best bistek ever which I am pretty sure no one makes it the way she did. I remember she used some type of orange. Do not give up, I haven't and I think mine is getting better everytime.
    Woman on a mission gives great advice, thank you!

    ReplyDelete