Cuban Braised Shredded Beef
Serves 6 to 8.
Note: From “Cook It in Your Dutch Oven,” by America’s Test Kitchen.
• 1 (2-lb.) beef brisket (1 1/2 in. thick, fat trimmed to 1/4 in.)
• Salt and pepper
• 5 tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
• 2 onions, halved and sliced thin
• 2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and sliced into 1/4-in.-wide strips
• 2 anchovy fillets, rinsed, patted dry and minced
• 4 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 tsp. ground cumin
• 1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
• 1/2 c. dry white wine
• 2 c. chicken broth
• 1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
• 2 bay leaves
• 3/4 c. pitted brine-cured green olives, chopped coarse
• 3/4 tsp. white wine vinegar, plus extra for seasoning
• Lime wedges
• Hot cooked rice
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Cut brisket against grain into 2-inch-wide strips. Cut any strips longer than 5 inches in half crosswise. Season beef with salt and pepper.
Heat 4 tablespoons oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown beef on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes; transfer to plate. (You may need to do this in two batches.) Add onions and bell peppers to fat left in pot and cook until softened, 10 to 15 minutes; transfer to bowl.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in now-empty pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add anchovies, garlic, cumin and oregano, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in wine, scraping up any browned bits, and cook until mostly evaporated, about 1 minute. Stir in broth, tomato sauce and bay leaves, and bring to simmer. Nestle beef into pot, adding any accumulated juices. Cover, transfer pot to oven, and cook until beef is just tender, 2 to 2 1/4 hours, flipping meat halfway through cooking.
Remove pot from oven. Transfer beef to cutting board, let cool slightly, then shred into 1/4-inch-thick pieces using 2 forks.
Meanwhile, add olives and reserved vegetables to pot and bring to simmer over medium-high heat. Cook until sauce is thickened and measures about 4 cups, 5 to 7 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Stir in beef and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Off heat, stir in vinegar and season with salt, pepper and extra vinegar to taste. Serve with lime wedges and hot rice.