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What Is Boliche?

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  • Written By: Rebecca Cartwright
  • Edited By: S. Pike
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2016
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Boliche is a Cuban dish, a pot roast most traditionally stuffed with chorizo, a type of sausage, and prepared with a marinade that includes sour orange or other citrus juices. Other dominant flavors include onions, garlic, wine, and tomato. Boliche can be prepared on the stove top or in an oven and is also well suited for cooking in a slow cooker.

The usual cut of beef for boliche is an eye round roast, but chuck or rump roast are also common choices. No matter the cut, the roast must be large enough for a pocket to be cut in it to hold the stuffing. The size and shape of the pocket varies with the nature and amount of stuffing used.

Basic recipes call for cutting a single slit and inserting chorizo, a spiced sausage used in many types of Spanish and Latin American cooking. Chorizo can vary from a dry Spanish style to a very soft and wet Mexican version. Boliche can be made with any type of chorizo but a medium moisture sausage, such as that used for Cuban grilling, is probably most authentic. Chorizo comes packed into casings that must be removed before the sausage is inserted into the roast.

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Some recipes do not use sausage at all, substituting a stuffing made of bacon, or ham and bacon. Other versions call for all three types of pork. Seasonings and vegetables can be added to the stuffing and some versions are quite elaborate and use all three kinds of meat, chopped vegetables such as carrot and celery and extra seasonings. When boliche is made with a more elaborate stuffing, the pocket is formed by crossing cuts which can extend most of the length of the roast.

Seasonings and flavorful vegetables used for boliche are characteristically Cuban: onion, garlic, oregano, tomato sauce or diced tomatoes, green olives with pimento. These can be mixed with citrus juice and wine to make a marinade or simply rubbed on the roast. The most authentic citrus choice is bitter orange, also called sour orange, but mixed orange and lime or lemon juice are used when the sour orange is not available.

Most recipes call for marinating the roast for at least three hours. The slit or pocket for stuffing should be basted along with the outside of the roast. Some of the marinade may be mixed into the more elaborate versions of stuffing mix. Boliche is usually cooked in a dutch oven over low heat or in a slow cooker.

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