Mexico City Alambre de res, Lebanese vibes, online life
This month makes a year since the Coronavirus was found to be in the U.S., which began discussions of lockdowns, quarantines and living our lives fully online.
As somebody who was born in an analogue world and grew up with digitalization, I never thought that one day most of my work, and even social life, was going to be fully in that new thing called “the Internet.”
Though some adjustments have been difficult, something new and fun that I experimented with was a cook along class via video call.
A few months ago, Rebecca Whyte, Yelp Community Leader of Baton Rouge, invited me to share a recipe and lead a cook-along with the Yelp Community all over the United States and Canada.
As it was Hispanic Heritage Month, I decided to make Alambre de res, Mexico City Style.
People went out and bought the list of ingredients and, from the comfort of their home kitchens, connected via Zoom to follow my instructions as we all cooked together! It was such a fun event! Many enjoyed cooking their own food, and lots shared pictures of how their dishes looked, while I got the chance to share the delicious recipe from my own home here in Baton Rouge.
Alambre de Res is the Mexican version of the shish-kebab. There is an urban legend that says the dish was originally brought by a large Lebanese group of immigrants that, many decades ago, moved to Mexico, and somehow with time, it ended up being a Mexico City street food, without the skewer, with the addition of pork and Mexican spices.
Today, I wanted to share this recipe with my dear friends. Alambre can be made with chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, and there’s even a vegetarian version (substituting meat with mushrooms).
Make sure you enjoy them with some tortillas and salsa!
Alambre de res Mexico City Style
1 lb. of flank steak, cut into pieces (feel free to substitute with your favorite cut of beef – I just prefer flank or skirt for this recipe)
½ lb. of Queso Oaxaca cheese (can substitute for mozzarella cheese)
2 bell peppers (different colors), chopped into 1-inch pieces.
2 serranos or jalapeños, chopped (omit if you prefer mild)
1/2 onion, chopped *
6-7 ounces of bacon chopped
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 teaspoon Maggi Jugo seasoning sauce **
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Salt to taste
Black pepper, to taste
1 lime, sliced
* I prefer to use red onion; though, the classic alambre uses yellow or white.
** Can be found in the international section of your local market, or in a local Hispanic store.
You can also substitute with 1/2 teaspoon of soya sauce and 1/2 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce.
The night before (if possible): Chop the meat in 1-inch pieces. Marinate the meat with Maggi Jugo, a little bit of vegetable oil, garlic, a bit of salt and pepper. (If you can’t marinate overnight, marinate as long as you’re able to before cooking in the skillet.)
1. In a large skillet, over medium heat, add the bacon, sauté for about a minute, or until cooked.
2. Add onion and bell peppers. Sauté until onion is translucent and add garlic, meat, Maggi Jugo, cumin, salt and pepper.
3. Sauté over medium high heat until the meat is cooked. Remove excess juice with a spoon—do not remove all the liquid, a small amount of liquid in the pan will keep the meat tender. Stir for about 3 minutes or until the meat browns to a beautiful golden-brown color.
4. Taste and adjust seasonings.
5. Turn off the stove and cover top with cheese, cover with a lid allowing the cheese to melt.
6. Heat your corn tortillas. Serve with lime and salsa.