This dish brings me straight home to Venezuela! To escape the noise and crowds of Caracas, my family would take day-trips to the mountains right outside the City, to places like “El Junquito” and “La Colonia Tovar”, a German colony.We would find a clear space off the road and improvise an outdoor cooking station to make BBQ or what we call “parrilla”. My mom did most of the prep work the night before: marinating the beef, boiling the yucca, and making the Guasacaca: Venezuela’s salsa, which it is typically used to top barbecued meats. As it is tradition, they always included chorizo and morcilla (blood sausage) in the parrilla but I rather keep it healthier–skip those two, double the portion of guasacaca and make a little mojo to serve on the side. You know that’s how I roll in the kitchen: a whole lot of healthy with a little bit of naughty :)
Grass-fed NY steak with yucca, guasacaca, and mojo
Guasacaca (Venezuelan salsa)
¼ cup shallots, finely chopped
1 large hothouse tomato, chopped (around 1 heaping cup)
1 large avocado, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 sweet onion, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 lbs fresh yucca (approximately 2” thick), peeled
Canola Oil for frying
- 4 garlic cloves, pressed
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
- 2 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 4 1½-inch-thick grass-fed New York strip steaks
Guasacaca (Make ahead)
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, drizzle with lemon juice, and toss lightly. Chill until ready to serve and up to 1 day. See note below.
Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until tender and translucent, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, cayenne pepper and stir to blend. Add lime juice to onions and simmer for about 3 minutes or until liquid has slightly reduced. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Remove onions from heat. Set aside.
In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add yucca and boil for 25-30 minutes or until yucca is tender. Drain and let rest on a tray for 10 minutes. Cut it into ¾-inch-wedges.
In a cast iron pot or a deep-fryer heat canola oil to 350˚ F. Quickly fry the yucca until golden brown and crispy. Work in batches, if necessary, to avoid overcrowding. Sprinkle with salt to taste as soon as it comes out from the pot.
Combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl to blend. Slowly whisk olive oil and season mixture with salt and fresh ground pepper. Place steaks in a platter and pour mixture over, rubbing both sides of each steak. Cover with plastic wrap and let it stand at room temperature 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Brush large heavy oven-proof skillet with oil. Heat over high heat. Cook steaks for 5 minutes, until brown. Turn steaks and immediately transfer skillet to oven. Roast for 12-15 minutes (or until internal temperature reaches 135° for medium rare). Remove steaks from oven and let rest for 5-7 minutes. Thinly slice crosswise.
√ Steaks may be served topped with Guasacaca and with yucca and mojo on the side.
DO IT LIKE MAMA DOES IT:
Make guasacaca ahead, store with seed. “As long as the avocado seed never leaves the bowl, the avocado will not turn brown”–that’s a trick my Mama shared with me when I was little, and it works :)
Marinate steak for a few hours. Steaks can be marinated the day before and refrigerated in a ziplock resealable bag. Bring out of the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking. MUCHO flavor!