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Atole de arroz

Passport & Plate - Salpicón

Mexico | Thursday, 5 March 2015 | 5 photos


Ingredients
• 1 kg of cuete de res meat (beef bottom & eye of the round cuts).
• 2 onions
• 4 cloves of garlics
• 2 cup of radishes
• 1 cup of coriander
• 3 or 4 lemons
• Salt
• Corn tortillas

 

How to prepare this recipe
1. Put the cuete into a pressure cooker and fill it with water until the meat is completely submerged. Close the lid of the cooker and cook over high heat.
2. Once steam is let out of the pressure cooker, lock the lid. Continue cooking over high heat for 30 minutes.
3. Carefully remove the lid from the cooker, releasing the pressure inside. Take the meat out of the cooker and let it cool. This will take about 25 minutes.
4. Mince the onion, the cloves of garlic, the coriander and the radishes into very small pieces. Put them into a big bowl and stir.
5. Once the meat has cooled, cut it into two-finger wide slices. Then, mince those slices into small pieces.
6. Add the minced meat into the vegetables bowl and stir.
7. Squeeze the juice of the lemons into the bowl and add salt to taste.
8. Serve the salpicón in soft corn tortillas in the form of tacos.

 

The story behind this recipe
“We used to sneak into the kitchen to loot chunks of meat from the big piece of cuete, just as my mom waited for it to cool so she could continue cooking. The smell of freshly cooked meat would fill our whole house, and that was our cue”. As my dad tells me his story I can tell he’s going back to the days in which he was just a child, living with his two sisters and his parents in the lush city of Villahermosa, in southeast Mexico. “Naturally, my mom was not happy about it, so as soon as we got our mouths full we would sprint out of her sight. She was really scary when she got mad, you know? She would not mess around, she’d go straight for a belt and once that happened there was no running that could save us”.
Even though my dad has been living in Mexico City for decades now, he has never stopped cooking the meals that hail from his homestate of Tabasco. My grandma’s recipes never fail to transport him back to the places of his childhood. Whenever he decides on cooking one I always get to hear some of the memories he has of the experience of eating it as a child. Salpicón is no exception.
Made out of a handful of mixed minced ingredients (beef bottom round or cuete, coriander, onion, radish), seasoned with fresh lime and finished off with just as much salt as the cook finds fit; salpicón is a dish served cool. It may seem quite simple, but it precisely in its simplicity that lies its greatness. I can only imagine how refreshing it must have been to eat in the midst of the scorching temperatures of tropical Tabasco. My dad recalls that his mum would cook up to 5 kilos of cuete at once, so the whole family would eat salpicón for at least four straight meals. And no one ever complained. “Did you know that, to this day, every time your aunt Rosa María finds out I’m cooking salpicón she asks me to give her some of it?” my dad asks. To be honest, my dad’s question does not surprise me at all. For as long as I can remember his salpicón has been delightful to eat.

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