Lomo Saltado

Lomo Saltado
Hola! Hola to all my Peruvian visitors - you're few and far between, but you are there ... so this one is for you. I hope I did it well?

Chef Martin Morales was on the BBC's 'Saturday Kitchen' yesterday and he made up a simple dish, which I guess is kind of comfort food for Peruvians (much akin to the British obsession with Fish & Chips, I would think) ... and it looked good, tasty and something I really fancied doing.

Chef Morales tells us that this is actually a fusion dish - Chinese traders brought their influence to Peru, namely soy sauce and spices. I'm not going to use soy sauce, but I do know what it tastes like so can work in a number of complimentary flavours to get the same effect.

Lomo Saltado is beef, marinated in vinegar and spices. It's that simple and so we should keep it simple ... and primally approved.

Maybe an hour before you want to eat, get the marinade started.

Lomo SaltadoI used red wine vinegar, tamarind paste, anchovy paste, garlic, ground coriander, black pepper, lemon juice, tomato purée and chilli paste. Mix well. I would have used ground cumin too, and you should, but my Mrs abhors the smell and taste ... so it was left out.

Basically, we've got a red wine vinegar with a sort of Worcestershire cum Soy Sauce ... from scratch.

Drop in your meat - sirloin is good, fillet, perfect. Skirt, I believe is a popular cut for this, as it topside. I went with fillet, cut into good sized chunks maybe an inch and half square.

Let that marinate for an hour.

Lomo Saltado is a simple dish and the remainder of the ingredients are: onion, tomato and chips. Red onion is often used, but don't stress if you only have white - shred it; the tomatoes are skinned and de-seeded, then chopped into slices; the chips (that's fries for continental and States-side folk) are quite thick-cut.

I went with potato chips/fries, par boiled by dropping into cold water and raising the temperature quickly on the hob until the water just begins to boil, then drying off and shallow fried in goose fat.

If potatoes are not within your ancestral template, there is an abundance of roots and tubers which could be used. Sweet potato jumps to mind, but having now eaten this, celeriac or jicama would be perfect, even just raw juliennes alongside. Mooli, likewise, raw julienne.

While the chips are cooking through, bring a heavy-based pan up to temperature and with a little coconut oil, just soften off the shredded onion until it begins to colour. Toss in the beef pieces, leaving the residual marinade behind and keeping it moving - "jumping beef", they call it! In with the tomatoes so they don't simply mash up and finally, a good handful of roughly chopped flat leaf parsley.

Serve up ...

Many pictures online, you'll see the chips/fries mixed in with the beef. I served them side by side.

I have since found Chef Morales' recipe online. Although I don't "do" recipes, I think I did it justice.

We enjoyed a fine wine alongside. Malbec is perfect with beef and I'm sure there are good Peruvian Malbecs out there, Argentine, certainly, but that would be culturally offensive! I went with French, finding Argentine often too much in flavour and completely lacking the subtlety of old French. Discuss.

La Patrie Cahors Malbec 2011