Meat & Mashed – Peruvian Style | VinEatsi

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Meat & Mashed – Peruvian Style

Steak With Mashed Yucca Food and Wine

How many recipes have you saved to make “someday”? I have hundreds. And with January gone, I needed to get a jump on my resolution to delve into the collection I have amassed. First up – Beef with Cilantro-Wine Sauce & Mashed Yuca, from the glossy, inspired pages of Food & Wine Magazine.

I chopped and prepared the vegetables for the sauce: red onion, chiles and tomatoes. I couldn’t find a red chile, so I substituted a jalapeno. Then I added the spices, throwing in a few extra cloves for more intensity, followed by the wine and broth, and set it to simmer. I chose a Tempranillo for the sauce base, because of its full body and herbiness. Spiced wine and fried onion aromas hung heavy in the air.

Red Wine Sauce With Tomatoes, Jalapeño, Onions and Cilantro

Meanwhile I started on the yuca, a food I have enjoyed in the past but never prepared myself. In doing a little research I found there are many ways to prepare this root vegetable, also known as Cassava. Grown throughout the world, it’s a hearty starch and a dietary staple. I’m pretty confident shopping the produce section, but I had to double-check with a clerk to ensure I had chosen the right root. It was waxy, heavy and dark brown with an irregular, oblong shape.

Yuca Root Vegetable

Once at home, I peeled the yuca and tried to slice into it. No luck. With vegetables that are difficult to cut, I give them a quick spin in the microwave to soften them. After 1.5 minutes the yuca was easy to cut and the cubes were ready in no time. I ushered them into the bubbling pot.

Instead of beef tenderloin, I decided to broil a basic flank steak for it’s “meatier” texture. I gave it a light sprinkle of salt and pepper, broiled it for five minutes on each side, until it was a perfect medium rare (1.5 in. thick), then removed it from the oven.

Steak With Mashed Yuca And Red Wine

As the meat rested, I prepared the cooked yuca. It’s similar to making mashed potatoes, but with some “gumminess.” I added extra milk for a creamier mash. To add a little green to our meal, I roasted a handful of brussel sprouts: quartered, tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper then roasted for 25 minutes at 400 degrees, for extra crispiness. I dressed the plates with a hefty pillow of mashed yuca, thinly sliced steak and brussel sprout chips, and spooned the sauce on top.

I had invited my sister to join me. She brought over a beautiful bottle of Muga Rioja, a Spanish red wine. It was aged just a few years, with full, bright red fruit. The medium tannins were a good match for the steak, but didn’t overpower the lighter-than-anticipated sauce.

Muga Rioja Red Wine

Overall this meal is a keeper! Yuca is a great alternative to potatoes for a mashed side. The roasted steak and brussel sprouts did not disappoint. The sauce, however, needed a bigger punch and a thicker consistency. If you choose to make this at home, I would suggest thickening the sauce with a roux and doubling up on the spices. For a more decadent sauce, add a bit of heavy cream after removing the sauce from the burner. Get the recipe >>

Wine Pairing Suggestions: The inspiration for this dish is a Peruvian stew called Seco. For a meaty dish with traces of spice, red wines like Spanish Rioja or Tempranillo are great. Portugal is producing some fantastic Portuguese red wines and value prices – look for a red wine from Alentejo.


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