The name Carne Mechada is used throughout Latin America in more than one way.
A little while ago I posted the recipe for Carne Ripiada Shredded Beef) and had an exchange with our friend Amity, who has spent a lot of time both in Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. I mentioned that unlike Venezuela, where Carne Ripiada is known as Carne Mechada, in the Dominican Republic Carne Mechada (Braised Beef Roll) was known to a lot of people as an entirely different dish.
I promised her I would share the recipe”soon”, for clarity’s sake . Soon, by my standards anyway.
After all those months of working to relaunch our site I have been posting a “new” recipe at least every week (sometimes more). In some cases the recipes are just the recipes that we already had in our archives, only re-written for clarity and with new pictures to match our new format. But I have also been adding a lot of recipes that I have in my must-do list.
I think I have found a good rhythm for the site, but I want to apologize in advance if at some time during the next weeks I seem to be a little slow. Right now life is a bit of a mess at Casa Aunt Clara.
We have just returned from a trip, school is ending for my daughter, we are staying at a hotel while we do some urgent repairs in our home and I have other family matters to tend to. Life is complicated, and it seems at times that the old Dominican adage al dedo malo todo se le pega (the sick toe attracts everything) is, more often than not, true.
That out of the way, I am glad I have enough material ready for weeks of posting as I had anticipated some of this, after all, cooking Dominican is not an special event around here.
- 1 large onion cut into strips , divided
- 2 bell peppers cut into strips , divided
- 1 teaspoon of dry oregano
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon of pepper (or more, to taste)
- 2 teaspoon of salt (or more, to taste), divided
- 2 lb [0.8 kg] beef (tenderloin, or flank)
- 1/2 lb [0.23 kg] longaniza (or other spiced raw pork sausage)
- 1 small carrot , cut into strips
- 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil (corn, soy or peanut)
- 3 cups of water (may need a bit more)
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup pitted olives
- 1/8 cup of capers (optional)
- 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
In a food processor blend half of the onion, a quarter of the bell pepper, oregano, garlic, a pinch of pepper and a teaspoon of salt.
Cut the meat into a tube by inserting the knife lengthwise (in the same direction of the fibers). Season the meat inside and out with the blended mix. Stuff the beef with the longaniza, some onion strips, some bell pepper strip and some carrot strips. Marinate covered in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
After the hour has passed, heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot (6 qt [6 lt] over high heat. Remove the meat from the marinate, reserve the marinade for later use. Pat dry the meat with a paper towel. Place the meat in the heated oil, carefully to avoid burning yourself. Brown the meat, turning every few minutes to get a uniform brown color all over.
While the meat browns, mix water, tomato sauce, flour and the remaining marinade. Remove the meat from the pot and pour in the tomato sauce mixture into the pot, stirring to incorporate all the browned bits. Stir in the olives, capers and the remaining carrot, bell peppers and onion. Place the meat back into the pot.
Lower the heat to a minimum, cover with a tight fitting lid and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, rotating the meat every half hour so it cooks uniformly. The sauce should have been reduced to half, if it is too dry, add additional water.
Once this time has passed, remove the meat from the sauce, place on a cutting board and cut into slices, being careful not to burn yourself. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the sauce into a serving plate and place the slices on top. Sprinkle with parsley.
I have made some minor changes to the traditional Carne Mechada, changes that after much experimentation I have found improve the recipe considerably. I hope you like them as much as I did.