Before I go into the the background of this recipe, let me just tell you how absolutely delicious this dish was, so I don't lose your interest. Because you definitely have to make this. That's how excited I am about this dish. It is that good.
Okay, now the background of this dish......I have to admit that I've never really had Lomo Saltado before. I've been to a Peruvian restaurant a while ago. But I think I ordered something safe, like a Milanesa (thinly sliced chicken or beef, breaded and fried). But as I was searching through some recipes online one day, I came across a Peruvian Beef stir-fry recipe that looked really good. I did some research to find out that the dish was Lomo Saltado and I decided to try to make it.
I learned that Peruvian cuisine has many influences, including Chinese. I also learned that there were different techniques to making Lomo Saltado, which was all a matter of preference. But I finally settled on this recipe from A taste of Peru. The Chinese influence is reflected on this dish by the use of cinnamon and soy sauce and it blended together so well. The recipe calls for using fresh potatoes to make the french fries, but after reading through suggestions from other recipes, I decided to use the frozen french fries, which worked out well. I would suggest, however, to add the french fries at the very end when you're ready to serve, because they get pretty soggy. I also omitted the spicy peppers that the recipe required because I planned on serving this to my 3 year-old. With all the modifications I made, Hubby and I really enjoyed this dish. I had to give myself a pat on the back for this one because it was really delicious :)
1 bag frozen steak fries
1 lb. beef tenderloin (or beef chuck), sliced thin and cut into large strips
1 tsp. ground cumin
pinch of cinnamon
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 tsp. red wine vinegar (or cider vinegar)
1 medium red onion, sliced 1/2 inch thick
3 plum tomatoes, halved, seeded and cut into sixths
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. freshly chopped cilantro
1) In a deep fryer, fry the french fries until crisp and golden brown. Drain on paper towels and season with salt. Keep potatoes warm in a 300 deg F oven while preparing the rest of the dish.
2) In a medium bowl, toss beef with black pepper, cumin, cinnamon and 1 Tbsp. soy sauce. Set aside.
3) Heat enough oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and red bell pepper for 2 minutes. Increase heat to high and add half of the beef strips. Stir fry until browned, about 2-3 minutes each batch. Season with salt. Transfer beef, garlic and peppers to a bowl and set aside.
4) Add more oil to the skillet if necessary and stir fry onion for about 1 minute until it begins to soften. Season with salt and pepper. Add a few drops of vinegar and continue stir-frying until it has evaporated, about 1 minute. The onion should still have some bite to it. Add onions to the beef mixture. Repeat procedure for the tomatoes.
5) Return beef, onions, and tomatoes to the skillet. Add the remaining 2 Tbsp. soy sauce and cook for about 1 minute. Add cilantro and potato fries and toss gently. Garnish with more chopped cilantro and serve immediately with steamed rice.