Chef Ramses Garcia of Las Palmas Cafe shares Vaca Frita recipe

Posted at 1:49 AM, Jul 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-24 01:50:44-04

Chef Ramses Garcia, Las Palmas Café, was a guest on Good Morning Tampa Bay Weekend Edition Sunday, July 23. He demonstrated the art of making a traditional Cuban dish, Vaca Frita, which translates to Crispy Beef in English.

Chef Ramses shares his recipe with ABC Action News viewers:



1 ½ Pounds Flank Steak

2 Onions

3 Garlic Cloves

1 Table Spoon of Granulated Garlic

1 Table Spoon of Black Pepper


4 Garlic Cloves (Minced, or use Mortar & Pestle to mash)

½ Cup of Olive Oil

4 Tablespoons of Lime Juice


Clean Flank of any fat with knife, cut to 4 pieces. If a Pressure Cooker not available use a 8 quart pot. On pot, or pressure cooker add 8 cups of water bring to a boil. Add a clean onion cut in half, one tablespoon of Granulated Garlic, and one tablespoon of Black Pepper. After water is boiling add the cut pieces of Flank (on pressure cooker, add lid close and cook for 15 minutes) on Pot add meat and boil for One hour and a half, or until meat breaks up easy but not too soft.

After Flank is cooked set aside to cool down, and it’s easy to pull apart with hands.


Squeeze enough lime juice for 4 teaspoons and set aside. Minced garlic or mash with Mortar & Pestle, and on a small tall pot add the lime juice, and garlic. IMPORTANT: PLACE TALL POT WITH THE GARLIC AND LIME JUICE INSIDE THE KITCHEN SINK. MAKE SURE THERE IS NO RUNNING WATER.

On stove top place a small pot with half cup of olive oil and bring to about 340 degrees. With a DRY towel grab handle of hot olive oil and slowly pour onto the garlic, lime juice Tall pot in sink. 

Stir mojo with a long spoon and set aside.


Place skillet on stove top, set on high add olive oil when oil is hot add already pull apart Flank meat, and onions. Fry both ingredients until meat starts to crisp on outside. Add salt, pepper to taste. After 1 ½ - 2 minutes add mojo, and cook for another minute or two depending how crispy you desire the meat to be.

Serve over white rice, and black beans with a side of tostones, or ripe sweet fried plantains.