Today’s Chef Feature comes from Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar’s Concept Chef Guillermo Pernot. Orlando, Philly and Atlantic City have already been nibbling up his traditional and updated cuisine, now we’re lucky enough to have his genius in Penn Quarter.
What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
A very sharp Global knife
What is the most overrated food/technique in restaurants today?
Foams and sous vide
If you were to open a restaurant with a different type of cuisine than what you are cooking now, what would it be?
What is your favorite local product or purveyor to work with?
In Lancaster county, PA, Glen Brendel.
What is your biggest customer pet peeve?
What do you drink/eat after work?
Fresca, what ever is left over in my refrigerator, or an fried egg sandwich.
What is your favorite thing to cook at home?
Fish, any type.
Keep reading for the recipe for Ropa Vieja from Chef Pernot…Created by Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar Concept Chef Guillermo Pernot
Yield: 8 servings
For the Beef Marinade:
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon ground cumin
¼ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup Spanish onion, julienne
½ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped parsley stems
1-2 pounds brisket
Directions: In a non reactive bowl, mix the first six ingredients, making a loose paste.
Place the brisket in a large, non-reactive container, making sure that the meat is well
covered with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least one day (two days is ideal).
For the Braising:
¼ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons kosher salt
½ cup Spanish onions, ½ inch chopped
¼ cup peeled carrots, ½ inch chopped
¼ cup peeled celery, ½ inch chopped
2 bay leaves
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 cup red wine
3 cups veal stock
3 cups water
Directions: Heat a large braising pot and add the oil. Remove the meat from the
marinade and season with salt. When the oil is very hot, sear the brisket on all sides,
remove and set aside. To the same pot, add the carrots, celery, onions, bay leaves and
peppercorns, sautéing the vegetables, without burning, until they are caramelized. Add
the red wine, scraping pan to loosen the browned bits; cook for 2 minutes or until liquid
almost evaporates. Place the seared brisket in the pot and cover with the stock and
water. Bring to a simmer, cover and braise for three hours. Remove the meat from the
braising liquid and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, remove any excess
fat. Pull the meat into strings with your hands and set aside. Strain the liquid through
a fine strainer. Set aside three cups to use for the sauce. Store the remainder in the
freezer for another use.
For the Sauce:
½ cup olive oil
3 cups red onion thinly julienne
2 red bell peppers, ¼ inch strips
2 green bell peppers, ¼ inch strips
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons sherry vinegar
3 cups reserved braising liquid
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 bay leaves
4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Directions: Heat a large Dutch oven over high heat and add oil. When hot, add the
onions and sauté until golden brown. Add peppers, garlic and spices. Reduce heat
to medium, and cook seven minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in vinegar,
scraping pan to loosen browned bits, and cook for two minutes or until liquid almost
evaporates. Stir in braising liquid, tomato paste and bay leaves. Simmer for 30 minutes
and adjust seasoning. Add the reserved pulled brisket; bring back to a simmer. Cover,
reduce heat, and cook for another half hour. Discard bay leaves and stir in cilantro.
Serve with Maduros (ripened plantains) and a side of white rice.