Bolivian Silpanchos (thinly sliced breaded beef) recipe-
- 2 pounds beef sirloin cut extremely thin, about 1/8” to 3/16” thick. (This is important, you may even want to ask your local butcher to do it for you)
- 6 large eggs
- 6 large potatoes
- 2 cups bread crumbs
- 1 cup rough chopped red onions
- 2 Roma plum tomatoes, chopped rough
- 1 fresh locoto pepper, seeds left in, chopped fine (if you can’t get locoto, you can use habanero or serrano, for the same level of hotness)
- 1-1/2 cups of uncooked rice
- Cooking oil of your choice (I use corn oil, it is commonly used in Bolivia)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Peel the potatoes, and boil them whole until tender, but not mushy soft. The way I do this is to bring the water with the potatoes in it up to a vigorous, rolling boil, then cut the heat off. Let the potatoes cook in the gradually cooling water until you can reach in and handle the potatoes. They will be just the right consistency at that point
- Now chop each potato into rather thick slices and fry them in a saucepan with some oil, until a rich, golden brown. When done, place on a baking sheet in a warm oven.
- Boil 3 to 4 cups of water, and then reduce the heat to a simmer, leave it on the stove for now.
- Toast the rice in a hot saucepan or skillet, stirring continuously to prevent burning. Do this for about 3 minutes, to cook the moisture out of the rice grains.
- Put the toasted rice in the pot with the simmering water, add in a little salt, and cook over low heat until the rice is done and tender.
- While the rice is cooking, place each thin piece of beef on a cutting board, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and pound it until tenderized. You really can’t overdo this. The pounding will stretch the size out, make the beef even thinner, and even more tender.
- Heat some oil in a saucepan or skillet over medium-high heat.
- Spread the breadcrumbs out evenly in a casserole dish or high walled baking sheet, and dredge the beef slices through them, pressing down, turning over, pressing more, to make sure each piece is well coated with the crumbs.
- Sauté the slices in the skillet, gently turning them over several times, to make sure the breadcrumbs don’t burn. When both sides are a deep brown the slices are well cooked. Place them on a platter, and place in a warm oven.
- Fry the eggs. I like my silpanchos topped with a soft fried egg, the soft yolk adds a texture to the eating experience I enjoy. But fry them to your and your guests’ likes.
- To serve, place a bed of rice on each serving plate, then lay one silpancho on top of the rice. Place one egg in the center of the silpancho, and cover the egg completely with a generous garnishing of chopped tomatoes and onions. Add to one side of the silpancho a helping of the fried potatoes, and enjoy!