Lomo Saltado is one of the most popular dishes in all of Peru. It is very similar to a beef stir-fry, and honestly, I used to not think a whole lot of it. I liked it, but I have had plenty of good beef stir-fry in my life. Until… I ate Manuela’s. You may be sick of me saying this, but she really is a superb cook, and I have definitely been learning from the best. The flavor if her Lomo Saltado is out of this world, and I learned today that it is the easiest, quickest, and easiest-to-make-in-the-states Peruvian dish I have come across. Because it is beef steak, Peruvians usually serve it for special occasions–visitors, holidays.
Lomo Saltado (for 6-7 people)
1. Prepare steak, tomatoes, and onion. Keep separated.
2. In a large pot, heat oil until very hot. Add minced garlic and allow to turn golden. When garlic turns golden, add the steak strips and 2 tsp of salt. Put on lid to conserve the juices. Cook and stir after 3-5 minutes.
3. Blend the spices (pepper, MSG, and salt–you can add more salt later if it is lacking).
4. Allow beef to brown on all sides. While browning, prepare the rice.
5. Add onion and spice blend to the pot. Also add vinegar and soy sauce. Cook and continue to stir every so often. After about 10 minutes, add 1 heaping tsp of sugar (Manuela says that any recipe with vinegar and tomatoes needs a little sugar).
6. Continue cooking for 5 minutes more and add the tomatoes.
7. Finely chop the cilantro (one of the big reasons I love Manuela’s recipe).
8. Allow the pot to simmer for about 10 minutes. When you are ready to serve, add the cilantro and turn off the heat. Meanwhile, you should have been preparing the french fries (I have already explained Manuela’s technique for this in the Atomatada recipe).
9. Serve Lomo Saltado over rice with a heaping serving of french fries, and if you grew up with green veges like me, serve with a side of beautiful Peruvian steamed asparagus (doesn’t that look good?!).