In this gloriously colorful dish, Latin-fusion is the name of the game, as the traditionally Cuban vaca frita matches up with Canadian poutine (made with yuca, however), black bean soup and an inventive banana chimichurri.
CUBAN BLACK BEAN SOUP
FOR THE BLACK BEAN SOUP
- Rinse the beans under cold running water. In a large soup pot, soak the beans in 1 gallon water for 8 hours. Cook the beans in the same water over medium-high heat until soft, about 1½ hours. Remove 1 cup of beans and mash in a separate container. Add mashed beans back to the pot to thicken soup.
- Heat ½ cup olive oil in a frying pan. Add onion, garlic, bell pepper, salt, pepper, oregano, bay leaf, Casero Total Seasoning and sugar and sauté until vegetables are translucent.
- Add the vegetables to the pot with the beans. Allow soup to simmer over low heat for 1 hour.
- Add the wine and vinegar and continue to cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes longer. Season with salt to taste. Add 4 tablespoons olive oil just before serving.
FOR THE BANANA CHIMICHURRI
- In a blender, process all the ingredients until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
FOR THE VACA FRITA
- In a large saucepan, combine the meat, bell pepper, onion, bay leaf and sherry. Add water to cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat and let simmer until meat is fork-tender, around 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool down.
- Transfer the meat into a bowl and shred it using two forks or your fingers. (Reserve the strained broth for another use.)
- In a bowl, combine garlic, salt, lime juice, olive oil and julienned onion. Heat a large sauté pan until very hot. Working in batches, spread the shredded beef on the bottom of the pan in a thin layer and season with salt and pepper.
- Cook over high heat, turning once or twice, until sizzling and crispy in spots, about 6 minutes. Fry the yuca sticks in a deep fryer, drain and season with salt and pepper.
- In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and fry the eggs until they turn crispy and golden around the edges.
- In a shallow bowl, ladle 3 ounces black bean soup. Top the soup with vaca frita and yuca fries.
- Drizzle with banana chimichurri and top with a crispy fried egg. Garnish with Cotija cheese and chopped cilantro leaves.