Editor’s Note: In advance of Hispanic Heritage Month which begins September 15th…here’s another great celebrity recipe to start the celebrating!
When I was growing up, my mother had a weekly menu, of sorts. Every Sunday, she made arroz con pollo (chicken and rice). On Saturdays, we ate boliche. And boy, did I look forward to Saturdays. Boliche is a Cuban pot roast, seasoned with naranja agria, oregano, and garlic, then cooked slowly with white wine, chicken broth, and onions, until the meat is so tender it practically melts in your mouth. That’s the way we cook most meats in Cuba, slowly, so that they’re falling off the bone by the time that we serve them. But cooking the boliche slowly allows the meat to soak up the garlic and wine.
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Like with ropa vieja and carne con papas, some people like to just serve the boliche over white rice so that the sauce and rice mix. Or you might want to have some Cuban bread on hand so you can soak up the sauce with it while you eat the meat.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
8 cloves garlic, crushed (using a garlic press or mortar and pestle)
1 cup naranja agria (sour orange) juice
1 tsp. dried oregano 5 lb eye round
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large white onions, sliced
1 cup vino seco or dry white wine
3 ba leaves
2 ½ cups chicken broth
- Make the marinade by combining the garlic, naranja agria (you can substitute the naranja agria with 2 parts lemon juice to 1 part orange juice), and oregano in a mixing bowl. Piece the eye round with a fork, then place in a deep bowl, add marinade and refrigerate overnight.
- When you are ready to cook, remove the meat from baking dish and reserve the marinade. In a large pot of Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat so it is hot enough to sear the meat. Then add the roast and brown on all sides, being careful not to scotch it.
- Remove the meat and set aside. Ad the onions and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add the reserved marinade and allow to simmer for approximately 5 minutes. Add the vino seco, bay leaves, chicken broth and meat. Then reduce the heat to medium low and cover the pot, leaving the lid slightly ajar.
- Simmer the ingredients for approximately 75 minutes. Remove the meat from the pot and slice against the grain into 1/2 –inch thick slices, then place the sliced meat back into the pot and simmer over low heat for another 60 to 90 minutes or until the meat is tender.
- When meat is sufficiently tender, remove it from the pot and reserve the cooking juices. Working in batches, take about 1 cup of the cooked onions, and pan juices at a time and pass through the sieve into a bowl to make a serving sauce.
- Top off each serving of boliche slices with some of the serving sauce and serve with white rice and black beans and plantains or platanos maduras on the side.