Plate of Beef Seco
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Beef Seco
Peru
  -   Seco de Carne
Makes
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
5 main  
***
2-3/4 hrs  
Yes
Typical of the Comida Criolla of coastal Peru, Secos are very popular. they are usually made from beef, chicken or goat, but it is not unheard of to use other meats or fish, or even just vegetables. The key ingredient is lots of Cilantro. As shown, the ingredients are cut for buffet service, see Note-5 for table service.




2
8
3
1-1/2
3/4
1/3
1/2
1/2
4
2
1
1
1
1/3
#
oz
cl
#
c
c
c
t
T
T
T
c
t
t
Beef, Lean (1)  
Onion
Garlic
Potatoes (2)
Cilantro (3)
Water
Peas, frozen
Cumin
Olive Oil
Olive Oil (more)
Aji Amarillo Paste (4)
Water
Salt
Pepper, black
Prep   -   (55 min)
  1. Cut BEEF into 1-1/2 inch cubes (larger for table service).
  2. Chop ONION small.
  3. Crush GARLIC and chop fine.
  4. Peel POTATOES and cube about the same size as the Beef. Hold in cold water until needed.
  5. Pull CILLANTRO leaves from larger stems. Measure is tightly packed - err on the high side. Place in a blender with 1/3 cup water and blend to a liquid.
  6. Thaw PEAS. Measure is thawed.
  7. Grind CUMIN.
Run   -   (1-3/4 hr)
  1. In a spacious sauté pan, heat 4 T Oil and fry Beef over high heat, tumbling until medium browned. I use a 3-1/2 quart sauté pan and fry in two batche. A coverable wok would also work fine. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Add 2 T Oil, heat and fry Onions, stirring until light golden. Stir in Garlic and fry stirring until it is lightly colored.
  3. Stir in Aji Amarillo Paste, then Cilantro, 1 cup Water, Cumin and Beef. Season with Salt and Pepper. Simmer covered 45 minutes or until Beef is very tender.
  4. Stir in Potatoes. bring to a boil and simmer covered for another 20 minutes. Adjust liquid as needed, despite the name "seco" there should be enough sauce to spoon over the meat.
  5. Stir in Peas and simmer another 2 minutes (5 minutes for fresh peas).
  6. Serve hot, accompanied by Steamed Rice and/or mashed Peruano Beans.
NOTES:
  1. Beef:   Any flavorful stewing cut will do fine. Round will take longer to cook tender than Chuck.
  2. Potatoes:   White Rose is a good choice here. Avoid Yukon Gold type potatoes as they turn to mush if cooked just a little long. For details see our Potatoes page.
  3. Cilantro:   That's a lot of Cilantro, don't under-buy. Unlike parsley it's permissible to use smaller stems with Cilantro. Measure is packed firm, but it's springy and not easy to measure, so err on the generous side.
  4. Aji Amarillo Paste:   Fresh Aji Amarillos (Peruvian Yellow Chilis) are very difficult to find in North America, but many markets serving a South American community will have the paste. For details see our Aji Amarillo page.
  5. Service & Variations:   As shown, this dish was cut for buffet service. For table service, the Meat is usually cut into larger 2 to 2-2/2 inch chunks, requiring a little more cooking time. The Potatoes are cut large to match. The plate also usually includes a scoop of white rice and a scoop of mashed Peruano Beans (Canary Beans). A spoon of the sauce is poured over the meat and potatoes. In some recipes, some Spinach leaves are added with the Cilantro to make a greener sauce. Chili leaves would also work for this (they are not hot).
  6. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste

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