Vaca Frita (or crispy shredded beef) is a classic Cuban recipe made with flank steak that's boiled then shredded, marinated in garlic and citrus, and pan-fried to perfection. Your family will thank you for this flavorful Cuban dish!
In a Dutch oven or large pot, add flank steak, bay leaves, salt, and enough water to cover the meat in the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook at medium-low until the meat is tender, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours (In a pressure cooker, this takes about 30-40 minutes). Strain the beef broth and save it for another recipe.
Transfer the flank steak to a platter. Using two forks or your fingers, shred the meat until you get that pulled, shredded look.
In a large bowl, add shredded meat with fresh lime juice, 2 tablespoons of oil, minced garlic, complete seasoning, and salt + pepper to taste. Gently toss and marinate the meat at room temperature for 30 minutes.
In a large skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Remove meat from the marinade. Discard marinade. Add the shredded beef to the skillet in an even layer. Do this in batches so as to not crowd the pan.
Pan fry for 5 minutes, undisturbed, pressing down with a spatula until the meat is crispy. Flip and pan-fry the other side of the meat for another 4 minutes, pressing down with a spatula, until the meat is sizzling and crisp. Careful not to burn it!
Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in the sliced onions and saute with the meat until onions have softened about 4-5 minutes. Serve with white rice, black beans, and lime wedges. Enjoy!