Peruvian seco

3 Nov


Seco is a traditional Peruvian stew. Chunks of meat – lamb, chicken or beef – are simmered for hours until the meat is  tender to the point of falling apart.

Like dhania chicken, seco is definitely for coriander lovers only. It’s also pretty spicy, so I tone things down a notch when preparing it for the girls.

There are lots of recipes for seco out there. Mine is based pretty closely on this one from A Cozy Kitchen.

Peruvian seco
(serves 4)

  • 1 large bunch coriander, leaves only
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
  • 400ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 500g stewing beef, cubed
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 bottle of Corona (or other lager)
  • 4 waxy potatoes, cubed
  • 1 cup frozen corn
    1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
    2. In a food processor, blend the coriander leaves and peppers with 1/4 cup of stock until smooth.
    3. Heat 2 Tb of olive oil in heavy, ovenproof pot over a medium flame. Brown the meat in the hot oil. Remove from the pan and set aside.
    4. Heat the remaining 2 Tb of olive oil in the pot, and cook the onion until golden. Add the garlic and cook a couple of minutes more.
    5. Stir in the cumin, pepper, paprika and salt.
    6. Pour in the beer, scraping the bottom of the pot to deglaze. Return the meat to the pot, then add the cilantro mixture and remaining stock.
    7. Cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Cook for about two hours, or until the meat is  tender. Check on it occasionally, adding more liquid if it seems too dry.
    8. After two hours, stir in the potatoes and corn. Cook for an additional 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
    9. Season to taste, and serve over quinoa or rice.

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