No I’m not pregnant, YET. But every once in a while, the Cuban blood in my veins thumps around for something in particular. Something that I’ve not had in a while. Today it was Pan con Bistec. In Miami I would go to the Sergio’s in Bird Road, the one across the Bird Bowl. Man, those guys made a mean Pan con Bistec. It was the ONLY place where I did not have to specify the no mayonnaise clause. It was really heavenly! So here I am in March, in a small rural town in Rhode Island with a Pan con Bistec craving.
But what am I to do? No Cuban bread; not even French bread. Ahhhhhh but there is always a way to curb a Cuban girl’s cravings! El Cubano siempre resuelve! So, if you are in my situation (and even if you have access to Cuban bread) here is what you will need to enjoy a delicioso Pan con Bistec:
- Beef round sandwich steak (cubed or uncubed)
- Salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder
- Thinly sliced onions
- Loaf of Italian, French or Cuban bread (in this case it was Italian)
- Lettuce leaves
- Sliced tomatoes
- French fries – you know, the kind that come in the can (don’t worry you’ll see the pictures)
So with my trusty camera guy (ie. Alan my loyal husband) here we go!
Heat a tablespoon of Corn Oil in a non-stick skillet. While the oil heats up, slice the onions and then cut the slices in half. Make sure, and this is very important, that the slices are as THIN as you can make them out to be.
Season your Bistecs, with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder to taste. Try not to overkill but enough to give it that Cuban taste.
When the oil is hot enough, then throw in the bistecs. If the oil is not hot enough, then the bistec will release water and it won’t dorar properly. It will look more like a bisctec hervido than fried…and nothing grosses me out more than boiled bistec!
Back to the Bistec, fry for about 5 minutes on each side, you know so it gets a nice color. Right before you are about to turn the bistec throw the onions in. This will add enough juice without burning the onions.
Once the bistecs are done, and the onions are a bit darker than honey then you are ready to start assembling this gift from God that is a Pan con Bistec. No, I’m not exagerating! Cut the bread to the size of sandwich you will want, and halve it horizontally. The first step is to place the bistec on the bread. Sometimes, depending on the mood, I put some papitas first and then the bistec.
Make sure you put those onions on top of the bistec as well! Next we go for the papitas, so place those on top the bistec and onions.
Those papitas are HIGHLY addictive. Alan never understood why I liked them so much until he learned just HOW MUCH I absolutely LOVE Pan con Bistec. That said, make sure you keep some extra papitas to serve on the side. Yes, they are messy to eat, but the combination of the salty papitas, with the onions and the bistec and its juices is just to. die. for. No, I’m not kidding.
Now for the last step, place a couple of leaves of lettuce (Romaine or Iceberg, it’s really your preference) and two to three slices of tomatoes. You can use big tomatoes or Roma tomatoes. I like the big ones. Oh and yes, I peel them before too. Don’t worry you don’t have to; eating peeled tomatoes can become addictive as well.
The next step, is the easiest – place the other bread half on top and ENJOY! Before you bite into this wonderful Cuban concoction, they should look something like this:
Notice the papitas on the side! Aside from mover el esqueleto Friday nights at La Covacha, this is one of the things I miss the MOST from my Miami years. You can literally have this almost anywhere in South Florida and what’s even better at any time. Hungry in the morning? Pan con Bistec! Want something for lunch? Pan con Bistec! Try something different for dinner? Pan con Bistec! Late night munchies? Pan con Bistec!
Try this at home, it’s great for watching Football games, Baseball games, Soccer games….. well you get the picture. It’s really GREAT even by itself! Enjoy!