Majao is a truly unique Bolivian dish. It features “charque” which is a sort of “shredded beef jerky” cooked together with rice and other vegetables. The first time I tried Majao I was extremely pleased with the subtle textures and excellent blend of flavors. This Majao recipe uses yellow pepper powder, but a variation is to use red pepper powder. Both taste great, it is just a matter of how you wish your Majao to look.
- 1 lb. of charque (shredded beef jerky, instructions below, you will need 1 lb. of skirt or flank steak)
- 2 cups of uncooked rice
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped fine
- 1 large tomato, diced fine
- 1 tbsp. yellow chili pepper powder (or you can use red chili pepper powder)
- 2 cubes of beef bullion, crushed
- 5 plantains
- 8 large eggs
- scallion infused olive oil for sautéing
- Slice the pound of flank or skirt steak into 1″ wide strips lengthwise, and place in a pot of boiling water with 4 tablespoons of salt for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the beef (retain the water in the pot) and set it aside to cool.
- When the beef is cool enough, crosscut the slices a few times, and then shred the chunks with your hands or two forks.
- Sauté the onion in a little oil in a skillet until soft, fragrant and translucent, then add in the diced tomato and the powdered yellow (or red) chili pepper powder and cook 5 more minutes.
- Now add in 1 cup of the beef-boiling water, the 2 crushed cubes of beef bullion, stir all together, and adjust heat to a gentle simmer.
- While the skillet is simmering, add three cups of fresh water to the beef-cooking water you kept in the boiling pot. After the skillet ingredients have simmered for about 10 minutes, add them all into the same pot.
- Add the 2 cups of rice into the pot, stir everything together, and cook the rice in this water along with everything else. Bring to a vigorous boil, then reduce to a lively simmer, and cook until the rice is tender.
- While the rice is cooking, peel the plantains. They are much tougher than bananas, you will need to use a knife. Cut them lengthwise into halves. Fry the plantains in hot oil just until golden browned on the outsides but still soft on the insides.
- When the rice and beef are well cooked, serve your Majao hot, with a fried egg on top of each serving and the sliced plantains on the side.
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