Vaca Frita

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Vaca Frita

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800 gr beef brisket
2 onions
1 green pepper
1 lime lime juice or 1 lemon juice
1 cup clear beef broth
4 garlic cloves
3 spoons Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Parsley chopped
1 bay leaf
A pinch oregano
A pinch cumin
A pinch black pepper
Salt as desired
  • Medium




Vaca Frita means, “Fried Cow” or “Crispy Beef” and this dish is just that. As beef is not very popular in Cuba, this dish is almost always served at special occasions. It is beloved for its unmistakable crunchy texture. It is basically a boiled and shredded beef dish, where the cooked beef is then marinated in a little lime or sour orange, and salt.

How to Make Cuban Vaca Frita:

  1. Cut the onions and the green pepper into julienne strips. Set them aside to use later.
  2. Cook the beef in a pot at medium-high heat for approximately 45 to 50 minutes.
  3. Add oregano, cumin, the bay leaf, a pinch of salt and one chopped garlic clove. (If you use a pressure cooker, the meat will get tender easier; in this case, cook it for 20 to 25 minutes).
  4. When the meat is ready, take it off of the heat, drain it, and let it cool to room temperature.
  5. Once the meat has cooled a bit and we do not run the risk of burning ourselves, carve it into thin slices.
  6. Heat the olive oil in a frying pot at medium heat. Add the rest of the chopped garlic cloves and the already-cut black pepper and onion. Sauté for 2 minutes and then add the meat.
  7. Sauté until the meat gets a golden color and a crunchy texture. Then, add the lime juice and the black pepper.
  8. Check the amount of salt and if we find it necessary, add a pinch more. Cook for one more minute and at the end, add the chopped parsley.
  9. Take the meat off of the fire and serve it hot with white rice, black bean stew and fried ripe plantain.

Vaca Frita

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