Cook's Country (February/March 2016)
Bittens, we have eaten so. much. chicken. this winter.
Chicken breasts. Chicken thighs. Whole roasted chicken. Grilled chicken. Chicken stir-fry. Chicken paillard. Chicken chili. It's a wonder we're not clucking by now.
Spring is starting in full force here in D.C., and with it, we're craving something -- well, anything -- other than chicken.
It had been some time since we've made some beef. So we decided to branch out and try something new, setting our sights on this Flank Steak in Adobo.
We think this is a perfect dish for bridging the space between seasons. Sure, it's a simmered dish in the vein of a chili. But this dish produces big, bold flavors that are (at least in our kitchen) on the unusual side.
It all starts with the adobo itself, which is nothing more than oven-roasted dried chiles, blended with salsa verde, broth, orange juice, sugar, lime juice and spices. Even uncooked, the adobo is incredibly fragrant.
The flank steak is first simply browned in a Dutch oven, and then combined with the adobo and some browned onions, and left to simmer for an hour and a half. The dish is served with queso fresco and tortillas.
We loved this Flank Steak in Adobo. It's deeply complex, and full of savory flavor and an insistent heat.
This one is worth a spot on your menu. Just tell everyone it's a winter going-out-of-business dish.
Takes roughly 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
For the Adobo:
1 1/2 ounces dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
1 ounce dried pasilla chilies, stemmed and seeded
3/4 cup salsa verde
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup lime juice (2 limes)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
For the Flank Steak:
2 1/2 to 3 pounds flank steak, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped fine
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
12 (8-inch) flour tortillas, warmed
4 ounces queso fresco, crumbled (1 cup)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1. FOR THE ADOBO: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange anchos and pasillas on rimmed baking sheet and bake until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Immediately transfer chiles to bowl and cover with hot tap water. Let stand until chiles are softened and pliable, about 5 minutes. Drain.
2. Process salsa verde, broth, orange juice, sugar, lime juice, oregano, salt, pepper, and drained chiles in blender until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside.
3. FOR THE FLANK STEAK: Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees. Pat beef dry with paper towels and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add half of beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned on all sides, 6 to 9 minutes. (Adjust heat, if necessary, to keep bottom of pot from scorching.) Using slotted spoon, transfer beef to large bowl. Repeat with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and remaining beef.
4. Add onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt to now-empty pot. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes, scraping up any browned bits. Add garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in adobo, beef, and any accumulated juices until well incorporated and bring mixture to simmer.
5. Cover pot and transfer to oven. Cook until beef is tender and sauce has thickened, about 1 1/2 hours. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with flour tortillas, sprinkled with queso fresco and cilantro.