Laphin meat wasn’t too expensive when I was growing up so my mom would buy a lot to cook. Usually flank steak in Bolivia comes with a layer of thick fat on one side. My mom would make perfect rhombus cuts in the fat side and then rub papaya on the meat and let it rest the entire night. The part that I liked about cooking this dish was peeling the fava beans, which are my favorite beans. The sound of opening the beans pods and eating raw beans was rewarding after peeling at least 8 lbs of them, yes we were a large family. Fava beans are only available early in the summer to late spring and they like cold weather to grow. So go out and look at your local Farmers Market for this wonderful ingredient and cook a delicious laphin!
1 lb Flank Steak (laphin in Bolivia)
2 lb fava beans
1/2 papaya with the skin no seeds
salt and pepper
8 large red potatoes or 16 small red potatoes
4 ears of corn
1/2 red onion
1 large red tomato
1/2 green pepper or jalapeño
2 tbsp cilantro
1/4 cup fresh cheese (optional)
Prepare the ingredients, you can find papaya at any Latin American store. The papaya needs to be ripe and not green.
For the meat, prepare 2 hours ahead, clean the meat and make slices on one of the sides in a rhombus (tilted rectangle) shape. Take the seeds out the papaya and half lemon and rub the lemon on the meat. Smash the papaya with your hands onto the meat and rub it. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.
If you want to prepare a night ahead to have a softer meat just use double the amount of papaya and leave out the lemon.
Fava beans are hard to find them but they’re getting more popular in the USA. I found mine at a local farmers market.
You want them to be as fresh as possible, fava beans have two layers of skin. When you are buying look for the greenish ones and for the ones don’t bend easily. Open the pod and you will find the beans inside.
For this recipe will leave the layer of skin on the bean, but if you are using fava beans in soups, you want to remove the second layer.
Boil the fava beans for 10 min don’t overcook them. You know they are ready when they turn bright green.
Prepare the salad the same way we prepared it for the Picante de pollo. I would add the jalapeño peppers to this salad and (if you can find it) definitely quesillo (fresh cheese).
Boil the potatoes with the skin on. I love the small red ones, they have a similar taste to our Bolivian papas.
Heat 4 tbs oil and fry the laphin side with the cuts first for about 5 min and then turn over and cook for 5 min. Cover the frying pan for the last 5 min and reduce the heat.
Meanwhile boil the corn.
Serve hot. I hope you enjoy making this dish as much as I did!