Lomo Saltado for Unearthed 193 Course Meal – Peru:
I am a big fan of Unearthed foods and so when I heard about their 193 challenge, cooking a meal that involves recipes from 193 countries I was keen to join in by donating a recipe. But, the obvious choices of Italy and Spain went quickly – and so I stuck my hand up and picked Peru. Why? Well, actually because I like Ceviche and I have made it on a number of occasions. So that’s what I was planning. The fates conspired against me in the nicest possible way when I was sent a fabulous case of meat from Heggies of Hereford. It contained a lot of fabulous beef – mostly the sort that I’d really rather not freeze. So, in the interest of avoiding food waste I started doing a little research and found a dish called Lomo Saltado.
I know from eating in restaurants like Coya that Peruvian food is often a fusion of traditional South American ingredients with Japanese cooking techniques. Peru was the first South American country to accept Japanese immigrants who started to arrive from Yokohama in 1899. The influence of the Japanese immigrant population is evident in fish dishes like Tiraditos, a kind of hybrid Sashimi and Ceviche. And in this rather wonderful beef stir fry with potatoes, Lomo Saltado. I found several recipes on the internet, most of which asked for chips or french fries and served the final stir fry on a bed of rice. This version, which I adapted from the about.com recipe here relies on excellent quality beef, like the sirloin steak sent to me by Heggies, which shouldn’t be over-cooked. And, I used roast new potatoes in an effort to create something just a little healthier than the original dish. I also left out the rice completely.
Did you know that there are over 3,800 varieties of potato in Peru – historically one of the staple foods of the Incas and early Peruvian cultures. The Spanish Conquistadors brought the potato back to Europe from Peru and other Latin American countries around 1570. Lacking both time a sense of adventure this time, my version of this dish uses baby new potatoes from the supermarket, though I’d be quite happy to visit Peru and try making a more authentic version!
I really loved this dish. It’s quick to make and very comforting. The soy and vinegar makes a rich sauce with the cumin adding piquancy. I like spicy food but if you have a more sensitive palate, you may want to reduce the amount of chilli. I’d recommend it as a way to make one good sized steak feed two people (unless you are feeling greedy) with style – using steak in a stir fry is a great way to use high quality meat. You can tell this particular sirloin was a good one, look at the marbling and the colour. And, it is beautifully thick which made it easy to cut into strips for the stir-fry itself.
Thank you to Heggies for my hamper of meat. So far highly recommended, the beef is sourced to the farmer and comes nicely packaged in 2 portion sealed bags lined with waxed paper. Hereford beef is known for excellent quality and unique flavour and although this recipe had quite a piquant sauce, the flavour of the beef cut through very well . I will be making a few more dishes over the next week, but if you are already yearning for some, please do check out the Heggies website.