Meat and home made french fries
I love it when you suddenly get reminded of a classic old dish or a cake or something else intensely flavorful, while realizing you have all the needed ingredients at home. That was the case with home made French fries the other day. Making them at home, you'll get them exactly as burnt and crispy as you want them and these were just disgustingly delicious.
Let me clear out a confusion by the way. Wikipedia is often very reliable but sometimes, in particular with food items translated into different languages, it sometimes gives the wrong information. The meat that I spoke about here isn't called Sobrebarriga here at all. There is something called just that, but it is not to be mistaken with the wonderful thin flank steak/bavette that I presented in the image.
Another English name of the meat might also be flank skirt, though it's often refereed to as only thin flank steak.
I know my meat when I see it, but the words in different languages gets confusing and I wouldn't want you to order a sobrebarriga when looking for a flavorful thinly cut red meat, as the sobrebarriga in fact is more dull in flavor and has a more pinkish colour reminiscent of pork and is also way more chewy. Something we learnt after ordering it in a local restaurant. The sobrebarriga is apparently another part of the cows belly and thus they call it flank steak here without being anything close to the real thin flank steak I am referring to.
If we rely on another source, this beef glossary tells me that the bavette aloyau/thinly cut flank steak/flank skirt that I showed in my photo and which is the one we're always looking for, is something they call vacio/carne de falda in Spanish - but then again, it all depends on which Spanish spoken country you happen to be in. It's all very confusing. And it doesn't help that many tellers in the local supermarkets are equally confused. Note to self: find nearest real butcher and stick to it.
Above pictured meat is a (bit too) thinly cut lomo ancho which is the same as beef tenderloin but the French fries were the real masters of the show this time.
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Making your own French fries might sound intimidating but it's anything but. Takes approximately 15-20 minutes, we all have that sort of time. This is how you make them easiest:
} Peel potatoes and cut lengthwise into sticks. Soak in cold water if not ready to fry.
} Heat oil in a large sauce pan, I used canola oil. Fill with oil until pan is half full.
} Drain the potatoes well and try to get rid of most moist, maybe by patting them with a paper towel before throwing them into the hot pan.
} Now fry the potatoes, given the pan is hot hot hot. Toss in about 10-20 potato sticks at a time, more if thin sticks, less if larger ones. Takes about 7 to 9 minutes per round to get them almost burnt and super crispy as we love them, 4-7 minutes if you like them less burnt. Make sure to stir and separate the potatoes often so they don't stick together. When done, sprinkle with salt.