Colombian panaderias in our area (Bogota) usually offer hot chocolate with cheese, a tamale, huevos al gusto (eggs prepared to your preference), or caldo (broth) with your choice of fresh bread. Added to our list of options at a hotel in the hot plains of Villavicencio, was meat. Liver was one option. The other was carne sudada.
This past Thursday, my husband met with a group of pastors from around Bogota for a monthly breakfast get together. Joel told me that they served the men carne sudada with arepas and a choice of hot chocolate or coffee. He emphasized that the meat was really good, because of the tomato-onion topping that tenderized the meat as well as giving it flavor. The arepa frequently thought of as bland and pointless, found its use in mopping up any extra sauce.
My menu plans for the weekend were a bit upset, because an invitation to lunch was cancelled. No big deal, but I had to think up something to fill in the gap. I had some beef “cadera” in the fridge, so I decided to try to figure out how to sweat the meat like a Colombian.
Using this recipe from Cocina Colombiana as a guide, I got started.
First, rub the meat with a mix of cumin, salt and black pepper.
Next, chop 2 cloves of garlic and half of a red bell pepper, and grate an onion and a ripe tomato.
Saute the garlic in a bit of olive oil before adding the pepper. When those are tender, mix in the onion and tomato. Stir in sugar, mustard, soy sauce and a teaspoon of butter.
I put two of the pieces of beef in the convection oven, topped with the guiso / hogao (sauce) and two bay leaves. So that it would sweat instead of broil or bake, I wrapped the pan with aluminum foil.
The third piece I added to the frying pan that I had used to prepare the guiso. I also put one bay leaf on top of this piece of meat before placing a lid on the pan.
I don’t know how long I cooked it…not very long. The guiso started to evaporate even in the closed environment and the meat was cooked through pretty quickly. It wasn’t really tough, but I think this was more due to the cut of the meat than to the cooking method. The recipe did say to cook it in a sarten (frying pan), but I will not be surprised if most people prepare carne sudada in a pressure cooker.
Comments, corrections, instruction: all welcome.