Sunday, May 23, 2010

Carne Fria

I think by now, those of you who have been following this blog are aware that I am learning as I go. Oh yes I've been cooking Cuban food for many years and there are some dishes that I have mastered, but a handful of recipes isn't enough to fill a blog, so I have to venture into unchartered waters. I have never made carne fria before. I remember standing next to my grandmother in the kitchen watching her prepare this dish, so I'm not unfamiliar with it, I've just never made it.  This is a cold meat loaf this is usually served at parties along with crackers.  I encourage comments that may point out something that I may have missed or a better or simpler process for preparing carne fria. So here we go on another adventure.

I'm not exactly sure that I had exactly these propotions, but these are the ingredients I used. The easiest way to prepare this dish with is with a food processor, if you don't have one, chop everything very finely. You will need:


1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1/2 lb ground ham
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp worchestershire sauce
1 medium sized onion
queen sized pimento stuffed olives (optional)

4 eggs well beaten
1 1/2 cups cracker crumbs

For the water
4 garlic cloves, whole
1 onion, cut into 4
1 bay leaf
2 tsps salt
1 tsp oregano

Grind your pork and ham in a food processor if you bought it whole. You can drop in your onion and galic in the food processor as well. Take off your rings, this gets messy: in a large bowl combine your ground beef, pork and ham along with the onion, garlic, cumin, salt, worchestershire suace, bread crumbs and eggs.

In the meantime, in a large pot bring approximately 4 quarts of water to a boil with the garlic, onion bay leaf, salt and oregano.

Separate your meat mixture in three and shape into a flattened square. Lay out our olives in a row in the center horizontally and bring the meat up from the side to form a cylinder. Double wrap with in cheesecloth and tie the ends with twine. Repeat this for the other two rolls and drop them in the boiling water. Cover and reduce the heat to simmer for two hours. Add more water as needed.

After the allocated time has passed take the loaves out of the water and remove the cheesecloth. Wrap each roll in aluminum foil. Let cool then refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Slice and serve with crackers or bread  – goes well with a cold beer.

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