Saturday, January 27, 2007

Recipe: Bolices

Bolices (bow-Lee-chase) is a chorizos stuffed Cuban pot roast kind of thing. We had dinner with Florida cousins at Gloria Estefan’s restaurant on South Beach one time, and I was introduced to this fabulous Cuban ‘special occasion’ meal. I’ve only tried to make it a few times since, so the recipe is still in a state of becoming, and the photos are limited. But that’s no reason you shouldn't start experimenting with your own version!

This is one of those 'marinate overnight and then cook for several hours' dishes, so plan ahead and leave plenty of time.

Here’s what you’ll need . . .

2 – 3 lb. eye of round
3 chorizos
3 – 6 cloves of garlic
oregano, about 1 Tbsp. dried or a couple Tbsp. fresh, or mix and match
paprika, a goodly sprinkle, maybe about ½ tsp. or so
lemon juice, at least 1 lemon, about 1/3 cup or a little more
lime juice, ½ lime should be fine
coarse (Kosher) salt
Tellicherry, of course
olive oil
onions, 1 or 2 sliced
jalapeños, pickled, 3 – 12 slices, to taste
red and green bell peppers, chopped, a couple of Tbsp., total
bay leaves, 2 or 3
beef broth, at least 2 cups or so, I use 3 – 4 Tbsp. demi glace in 3 cups of water
orange juice, about ½ cup
sherry, at least ½ cup

Here’s how you do it.

The hardest part of this dish is planning it a day ahead of time! You really want the meat to marinate overnight, if at all possible. But if not, at least get the meat into the marinade early in the morning; if you can’t let it sit for at least 4 hours, don’t bother with the dish.

I usually start by chopping the garlic and oregano together, so their flavors can meld for the time it takes to get the meat stuffed and the rest of the marinade made. You’re going to use the garlic/oregano mixture as a rub for the meat, so, chop it fairly finely, or you could mash it all together in a mortar and pestle, if you prefer. I’ve tried it both ways and am not sure I could tell a difference.

Next, I like to get the chorizos into the meat. Find your longest, skinny bladed, sharply pointed knife and use it to poke three holes through the length of the beef. The chorizos will go into these. Pick your locations so that the sausages will not bump into each other, and be careful with that knife! Remember that a knife cuts on the motion, so slice in and out a bit, don’t just try to press the knife all the way through the beef. After you get the knife through once, pull it out, rotate the blade 90 degrees and make a second cut through that same hole. I find that if I make three cuts for each hole, I can get the sausage in most easily.

After the beef is stuffed, use the tip of that knife to make shallow little slits all over the outside of the roast (don’t slit the end faces). Now, roll the roast in the garlic/oregano mixture, and rub it into the slits. When all the galic mixtures is attached to the meat, sprinkle the whole thing with paprika, a dozen grinds or so of Tellicherry, and a little bit of the coarse salt.

Now, put the seasoned meat into a zip lock bag and squeeze on the lemon and lime juices. Seal the bag, squeezing out all the air (so the marinade is in contact with the surface of the meat all the way around), and into the refrigerator overnight.

The day of the feast, remember to get the meat out of the refrigerator at least an hour, preferably two hours, before cooking time, so the meat can come up to room temperature.

While the meat is coming up to room temperature, cut up the veggies, prepare the beef broth, gather the rest of the ingredients, and dig out your Dutch oven.

Bolices veggies

Depending on the relative size of your baggie as compared to your roast, either drain the marinade into a bowl and then remove the meat, or remove the meat leaving the marinade in the baggie. You don't want to lose a drop of the marinade, nor do you want to scrape any of the coating off the meat while getting it out of the baggie.

Bolices liquid ingredients

Preheat the Dutch oven to searing and brown the meat quickly on all sides (including the end faces). Remember, if you're using a non-stick pan and an electric stove, preheat the burner before you put the pan on; when the burner is red(ish), put the pan on, turn the heat down to medium, count to no more than 22, add a splash of olive oil and toss in the meat. Non-stick coatings do not like high heat, particularly when the pan is empty!

Bolices brown the meat

When the meat is just seared/sealed on the outside, probably no more than 3 or 4 minutes, remove it from the pan and let it rest while you get the sauce started.

Bolices browned meat

Toss the veggies, including the bay leaves, into the Dutch oven and turn the heat down a little more. If you need to, add some more olive oil. Saute the veggies for 4 or 5 minutes, just until the onion is translucent and beginning to soften.

Saute the veggies

Put the meat back in the pan, add in the reserved marinade and the rest of the liquids. Or at least most of the rest. You don't want to cover the meat; but about half way up the side is fine. If you have beef broth left, save it for later!

Bolices add back meat & liquids

Crank the heat and bring the liquids just to a boil. As soon as you get to the boil, turn the heat way down, cover the Dutch oven, and let the meat slow-simmer for a couple of hours.

You can lift the lid once, after 1 hour has elapsed, just to make sure that there's still an hour's worth of liquid left in the pan. The level should still be about half way up the roast. If you need to, add some more broth, lid back on, don't touch for at least another hour.

At the end of the second hour, you know the meat is thoroughly cooked, so take it out and let it rest for at least 15 minutes, 30 would be better. While the meat relaxes, toss any remaining broth into the Dutch oven, turn the heat up to medium or so, and reduce the liquid by half to make a sauce for the meat. If you don't have any broth left, add half a cup of plain water, just to dilute the cooking liquid a bit before reducing.

To serve, cut the roast into big thick slices, at least ½ inch; ¾ or 1 inch thick slices are just fine. Pour the sauce over the meat and have a feast.

I have served this with rice and vegetables, rice and black beans, and one time, with potatoes. I put the peeled and halved potatoes into the Dutch oven after the first hour of cooking. They were great – firm, creamy texture, and delicious. But however you decide to accompany your meal, do try out bolices, and experiment, experiment, experiment!

1 comment:

  1. I like this blog is fantastic, is really good written. Congratulation. Great photos…this looks delicious ! :-)