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Vaca Frita

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“I was 'turned on' to Vaca Frita after a good friend of mine married a man of Cuban descent. I was glad she did (marry him) because I discovered many good recipes since then and this one is my favorite.”
1hr 45mins

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 12 lbs skirt steaks
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1 tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 carrot, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • To Finish the Dish
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice or 3 tablespoons sour orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, sliced as thinly as possible


  1. Combine the beef, quartered onion, tomato, carrot, and garlic cloves with 6 cups of water in a large pot.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. Skim off the scum that rises to the surface.
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer the beef, uncovered, skimming often, until tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
  5. Strain the meat, discard broth or save for another use.
  6. Let the meat cool.
  7. Using the tip of a knife, or your fingertips, tear the meat, along the grain, into the thinnest possible shreds.
  8. Toss the meat with the minced garlic, salt, and lime juice in a mixing bowl.
  9. Let marinate, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes, or as long as overnight.
  10. About 5 minutes before serving, heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan until smoking.
  11. Add the meat and saute over medium-high heat until crisp, 3 to 4 minutes.
  12. Transfer the meat to plates or a platter with a slotted spoon or tongs.
  13. Add the sliced onion to the pan and fry until lightly browned, about 2 minutes.
  14. Top the Vaca Frita with the fried onion and serve at once, preferably with white rice and black beans.

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