On a trip to Cancun last week we scouted out some beef at Sam's Club. I am not a great lover of beef, especially in Mexico, but Miguel really likes it so I buy it when I can; otherwise he threatens to start clucking because of all the chicken I've been feeding him.
Sam's doesn't have any of the cuts I like to cook, and I didn't feel like buying two huge hunks of meat (club-sized packaging). So I bought a package of thinly sliced beef, like skinny steaks. (I'm sure there's a name but I can't think of it at the moment, per my earlier post about memory issues).
I often make chicken adobo at home. I tried to add a link here so you could see what I'm talking about, but none of the links use the same ingredients I use, so either my recipe is one I made up, or I didn't google long enough.
Anyway, one of the basic ingredients is the adobo paste that I buy at the mercado. When asked how much I want, I cup my hand and tell them 'enough for one chicken'. That gets me a blob about the size that fits into a closed fist, plopped into a plastic bag. Along with the adobo I buy an onion, and two sour oranges (the juice is used to mix with the other marinade ingredients). Add cumin, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper, and that is Sue's adobo recipe.
I was thinking that the beef I'd bought in Cancun would taste good if I used the same adobo marinade and we cooked it on the BBQ. So I bought the ingredients for the adobo at the local mercado. I prepared the meat and started to put together the marinade, but then I encountered a problem.
When I cut into the oranges, they were the color of sweet oranges, not sour. I went ahead and squeezed them by hand with my little plastic squeezer. A lot of pulp came out, and that does not happen with sour oranges. I tasted - yup, I'd bought sweet oranges. Darn! The mercado was closed by now so I decided to go ahead and make the adobo marinade with the sweet orange juice. Maybe it would taste oriental? Like sweet and sour orange beef?
The beef marinated overnight, and the next day it was a nice red color. Miguel started up the BBQ and we cooked some potatoes and peppers, and some sausages, and then put on the beef. Miguel has a tendency to turn beef into shoe leather, but this day he was on, and the beef was cooked perfectly.
It wasn't until we sat down to eat that I confessed to Miguel about using the wrong type of oranges. But we dug in, and it tasted ok. Miguel really liked it - maybe he was just really hungry?
The next day I slivered the beef and sauteed it along with multiple colors of peppers, an onion, some hot chili, and at the end I threw in a bunch of manchego cheese and made a gooey mess. We had barras (buns) so fresh from the store down the road that they were still warm, and I cut them open and slapped the goop inside.
You know what? Those were about the best sandwiches we've ever tasted!
(Mexico Cooks! - if you're reading this, please don't cringe). :-)