Sunday, October 13, 2013

Recipe of the Week: Peruvian Cilantro Beef Stew (or Seco de Carne)

Two things inspired this week's recipe.

seco de carne

First, our recent trip to Indy. A couple of weeks ago, Zach and I ate at a tiny Peruvian restaurant (Mama Irma in Fountain Square) and I had my first, unforgettable taste of seco de carne. Cilantro is not my favorite herb but its taste is starting to grow on me. If you think cilantro stew sounds overly pungent, be assured that this way of preparing it actually mellows the strong taste. We were so impressed by our Peruvian meal we knew it was something we'd want to recreate at home.

peruvian cilantro beef stew

Second, our overgrown cilantro plant was in desperate need of a trim. We ended up with so much cilantro we decided it was time to come up with a recipe for seco de carne. We found several online and combined all the good-looking ones to come up with this version ...

1-2lb chuck roast, cut into hunks
1 medium red onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, remove tops and seed
2 bunches of cilantro
2 potatoes, cut into large pieces
1/2 cup green peas
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 tbsp ground cumin
1/3 cup white vinegar
2 cups beef broth
salt and pepper, to taste

Season beef pieces with salt, pepper, and 1/2 tbsp of ground cumin.
Blend cilantro and jalapeno peppers with 1/2 cup of water in a food processor. Set aside.

In a hot saucepan, sear beef pieces.

Lower heat, then add onions and garlic and cook until fragrant.
Add cilantro mix and cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes.
Add 2 cups of beef broth, 1/2 cup vinegar, and 1 cup of water. 
Stir well and bring to a boil; then cover and simmer for 2 hours.

peruvian cilantro beef stew

When beef is tender, add potatoes, peas, and carrots; cook uncovered for 15 minutes.
Serve with rice.

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