For many Chileans, tomaticán is summer on a plate. It’s a quick dish with bright flavors, perfect for eating after a hard morning’s work. Though many might consider it a stew, the beef, the corn, and the tomatoes each maintain their integrity, and we like to think of it as more of a juicy sauté.
Some people prefer tomaticán with rice, and some prefer it with boiled potatoes, serving about ⅔ tomaticán to ⅓ starch. That much we can agree on. But the debate is on about whether tomaticán is best served over the starch (which the mixers insist on) or beside it (which separatists prefer). There are usually representatives of both camps in each family, and no one, in the history of Chile, has ever been able to convince anyone else that their way is the right way. As it is a quick and simple meal, in Chile it would be unusual to serve tomaticán to guests. But if you do, your guest might help to tip the delicate mixer/separatist ratio. ~Eileen Smith + Pilar Hernandez
Reprinted from The Chilean Kitchen: 75 Seasonal Recipes for Stews, Breads, Salads, and Cocktails, Desserts, and More by Eileen Smith, Pilar Hernandez, and Araceli Paz (2020) with permission from Skyhorse Publishing. Click here to purchase your own copy.
- 1 pound top sirloin, cut in 2-inch-long strips
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 yellow onion, cut in half and then in thin slices
- 1 cup frozen whole kernel golden corn
- 3 tomatoes, cut in wedges
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- Season the meat with salt and pepper.
- In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high flame. Add the meat and let it cook undisturbed for 2 minutes, then turn the pieces over and let them cook for 2 additional minutes. Remove meat from the skillet.
- In the same skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil and add the onion. Sauté for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the corn, tomatoes (including juice), cumin, salt, and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the meat with its juices and cook for 2 minutes. Adjust the seasoning and serve.