Cuban Vaca Frita

Vaca Frita

Cuisine Cuban
Servings 3


  • 1.25 lb skirt steak or brisket
  • 1 green bell pepper quartered
  • 1 green bell pepper halved & sliced
  • 1 large onion quartered
  • 1 large onion halved & sliced
  • 2 cups rice
  • 5 cloves garlic or more to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp lime or lemon juice
  • olive oil
  • salt

Culinary Spice Kit

  • Pouch [1] Cumin, orange peel, oregano
  • Pouch [2] Chipotle pepper, ancho pepper


  • Cook rice according to package instructions.
  • In a POT, add meat, the quartered bell pepper & onion, 2 cloves garlic, salt to taste. Fill with water to cover. Close POT. Bring to boil. Turn heat to low.
  • Cook 2-4 hours until meat is tender.
  • Shred meat into 1/2 inch thick chunks.
  • In a PAN, heat 1/2 cup oil over medium heat. Fry sliced onions and bell pepper with a pinch of salt until translucent. Scoop vegetables out for later. Keep the remaining oil in the PAN.
  • In the same PAN, over medium heat, add meat, 3 cloves chopped garlic, Cuban Spices [1], and Cuban Spices [2] to taste. Fry for about 5-10┬áminutes until golden brown.
  • Return vegetables to PAN to reheat.
  • Turn off. Add lime juice and salt to taste.
  • Serve with rice. Enjoy!


Recipe changes for variation with Mojo Sauce (spiced fried onions):
  • Step 5: Fry onions and bell peppers separate.
  • Step 6: Don't use Cuban Spices [2].
  • Step 7: Return only bell peppers to the PAN.
  • Step 8: Don't use lime juice.
  • New Step: To mix the Mojo Sauce, place fried onions in a BOWL and season with lime juice and Cuban Spices [2] to taste.
  • Step 9: Top with Mojo Sauce.
Recipe for fried plantains as a typical side:
  • Peel plantains and cut them into 1/2 inch slices.
  • In a PAN, heat 1/4 cup of oil over medium heat.
  • Fry plantain slices until they turn golden on both sides.
  • Season with salt to taste.
Recipe for black beans as another typical side:
  • In a POT, heat 2 tbsp oil over medium heat.
  • Add 1 can black beans (rinsed).
  • Season to taste with salt, cumin, and black pepper.
  • Fry beans for a couple of minutes.
  • Add 1/2 cup of the broth from cooking the meat.
  • Cover POT and bring to boil.
  • Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Keyword ancho, chipotle