Today, the term mechado is used to refer to any stew (usually beef) with potatoes, tomatoes, bay leaf and soy sauce.
The traditional dish mechado uses a Spanish culinary practice of threading strips of pork back-fat through thick pieces of cheaper lean beef to render them more tender and less dry. The name mechado from the Spanish mecha meaning “wick.” The larded pieces of beef are marinated, browned quickly on all sides in hot oil, and then slowly braised in its marinade with the addition of soup stock until the liquid is reduced to a thick flavorful gravy.
1 kilo beef, lean
1 strip of pork fat to be used as mecha or “wick”
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon vinegar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 big onions, chopped
3 medium-size tomatoes, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 four-ounce can tomato sauce
1 cup water
- Make a lengthwise cut on the beef.
- Insert fat strip.
- Marinate in soy sauce, vinegar, pepper, salt, onions and tomatoes for two hours.
- In a deep pan, fry meat until brown. Remove.
- Put the remaining marinade in the pan and cook for a short while.
- Add the meat, the bay leaf, tomato sauce and water.
- Cook for one hour or until tender and sauce is thick.
- Serve meat sliced crosswise to exhibit the “wick.”