Okay, here’s a real, down-home family recipe for you. In fact, it’s so “down-home” that I don’t have exact measurements, but I think I can describe how to make this pretty well. Fideo is sort of like Mexican spaghetti. (Pronounced fee-deh-oh.) It’s got chunks of tender beef, a beef broth/tomato base, onions, peppers and vermicelli noodles. It’s absolutely delicious – one of my family’s favorites.
1 small pkg or bag of vermicelli noodles (or angel hair pasta if you can’t find the vermicelli)
Note: vermicelli noodles are often found in the Mexican grocery section of your local supermarket. If it’s a Mexican brand they may be called “fideos”.
3 T oil – corn or canola work fine
1 – 1 1/2 pounds round steak – trim any fat and cube into bite size pieces
1 can beef broth
1 can diced stewed tomatoes with juices
1 onion – diced
1 green pepper – diced
1 jalapeno pepper – slice in half lengthwise, remove the veins and seeds inside then mince
3/4 c loosely packed cilantro – washed thoroughly and chopped
spices: ground cumin, pepper, fresh or powdered garlic and salt if needed
Heat oil in deep skillet over medium-high heat (I prefer one with Teflon so the meat doesn’t stick).
Add cubed round steak and brown meat on all sides. (Note – you can make this with a pound of ground beef for a less expensive meal.)
Add 1 T ground cumin, 2-3 cloves minced garlic (or 1 t powdered garlic) and a few good dashes of black pepper.
Add diced onion, green pepper and jalapeno.
Cook until onion and pepper begins to soften.
Add can of beef broth and can of diced tomatoes (with their juices, do not drain)
Turn down heat to low and cover with tight fitting lid.
Simmer until beef is very tender – about 45 min to 1 hour. If the meat is not simmering gently you may need to turn up the heat to medium-low.
Heat large skillet – no oil, no liquid – just a dry skillet.
Add vermicelli noodles. If they come in wound up little bunches, break them up a bit first. If you are using angel hair pasta, break them into thirds before adding to the pan.
Stir the noodles occasionally. The goal is to brown the noodles on most sides until they are a light coffee color. Don’t turn the heat too high or the noodles will burn.
Toss the browned noodles in with the meat mixture. If there isn’t enough liquid to completely cover everything, add a little water or more beef broth. When the noodles hit the liquid you will probably hear a “hiss” and this is perfectly normal.
Gently stir noodles and beef mixture together, cover and cook on low heat about 20 minutes or until noodles are soft but not mushy.
Add salt to taste if needed. Toss in diced cilantro and serve.
This will make enough for about 4 people.
Serve with refried beans, guacamole and warm tortillas.