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Two meaty, tasty recipes: Pork tenderloin, Ropa vieja

Two meaty, tasty recipes: Pork tenderloin, Ropa vieja

LAKE STEVENS — A while ago I received a wealth of recipes, collected over a period of more than 30 years, from reader Vicky Paulson.

Vicky assured me that all the recipes have been tested and served over the years, including this pork tenderloin and ropa vieja (a Cuban dish, usually with braised flank steak) from one of Vicky’s first neighbors in Lake Stevens.

“Lisa’s Cuban/Puerto Rican heritage contributed the following two delicious recipes to our family,” Vicky wrote. “All parenthesis notes are hers, as she was a great cook and assumed we knew what she was up to.”

We share Lisa’s recipes largely as they are, to preserve her words and methods. Garlic lovers, you will especially like the first one.

Lisa’s Pork Tenderloin

2 (or 1) pork tenderloin

2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil

1 tablespoon peanut oil

20 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/4 cup dry sherry

3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons black bean chili sauce

1 bunch of coriander

Roast pork tenderloins in a 325 degree oven for 15 to 17 minutes (I cut slices in the middle). Meanwhile, heat sesame oil and peanut oil (I use olive oil if I don’t have peanuts) in a pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, then add the sherry and the rest of the ingredients except the coriander (it’s cooked after all).

Slice the tenderloin and pour the sauce over it. Finish with coriander.

Lisa’s Ropa Vieja (Vicky’s husband’s favorite)

2 pounds* beef steak

1 cup flank stock (see below)

One large yellow onion, diced (not Vidalia too mild)

One green bell pepper*, diced

A bunch of garlic (5 or 6 cloves)

16 ounces (two 8-ounce cans) tomato sauce

1 tablespoon oregano

Big splash of red wine

A few dashes of wine vinegar

A few shakes of cumin

2 tablespoons sugar

3 or 4 bay leaves

Salt and pepper

For the sauce, fry the yellow onion, green pepper and garlic (easy). Let all ingredients set for about 20 minutes. Toss in about 16 ounces (2 cans) of tomato sauce, oregano, flank stock, red wine, wine vinegar, cumin, sugar, and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper.

Let it cook for about 45 minutes on medium heat.

Meanwhile, start shredding the flank – Lisa uses scissors – and shred the large chunks by hand. Toss it into the sauce, mix it up and let it cook on low for 30 minutes or as long as you like. Serve with peas on top. (They are the bomb)

*Taylor’s comments: I couldn’t find the amount of flank steak in the recipe, but I’m estimating about 2 pounds based on similar recipes. I assume a green sweet or green bell pepper would work here.

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