This recipe serves 8
1 pound of charque (beef) (see note below)
2 cups of rice
1 large red onion, chopped fine
1 large tomato, diced
2 teaspoons powdered red chili pepper (cayenne pepper works too)
2 cubes of beef bullion
5 plantains (should be yellow, not too green)
Charque is like beef jerky, only it is shredded.
BOIL one pound of beef with about 4 tablespoons of salt, for 10 minutes. Do not throw out the water. Take the beef out of the water, set aside, and when it is cool, you shred it with your hands. (For this you should use a very tender beef.)
Chop the onion in a little oil until transparent. Add the diced tomato and the powdered red chili pepper and cook 5 more minutes. Add 1 cup of the water in which you cooked the beef to the onion and tomato, along with the 2 cubes of beef bullion.
Separately, add three cups of fresh water to the three cups of water you boiled the beef in (you now have 6 cups of water in your pot). Add the onion/tomato/pepper mixture from the pan and the shredded beef into the water. Boil the rice in this water along with everything else.
While this is cooking, you peel the plantains (you usually have to use a knife). Cut them lengthwise into thin strips about ½ inch thick (not too thin). Fry the plaintains in hot oil just until toasted on the outside. They should remain soft inside.
(If you use plantains that are very green, they will be tough and dry and have no flavor. Yellow plantains are slightly sweet. The plantains, when cooked, should not be crunchy like a potato chip, they should be bendy and soft, sort of like a sliced pickle.)
When the rice and beef have cooked, serve hot with a fried egg on top and the plantains on the side.