Lately we've been exploring recipes from South America, in particular Peru. We love spicy food, but sometimes we get tired of the standard Tex-Mex style spicy cuisine. South American cooking is largely a fusion of influences from various cultures, and Peruvian cuisine seems to epitomize this.
One of the easiest types of Peruvian food to cook is anticucho/anticuchero, which is basically grilled and marinated meat on skewers. For this recipe* we are preparing fresh beef tenderloin and marinating it in a off-the-shelf anticucho marinade then pairing it with a simple pepper sauce for dipping. This dish comes together in minutes (after the meat has marinated) and involves only a few ingredients and a few simple steps.
- 1 13oz jar Anticucho Marinade
- 1/2 cup Aji Rocoto Paste
- 1-2 green onions
- 1.5 - 2 lbs beef tenderloin
- cooking spray or oil
- Some skewers
*This is a modified and simplified version of a recipe found in Gaston Acurio's book PERU.
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Step 1: Cube and Marinade
Cube the beef tenderloin into chunks of about 1.5 - 2 inches square. Place the cubed beef in a glass container suitable for marinating (so your plastic containers won't get stained), and pour the marinade over the top. Mix well and then cover and refrigerate for about three hours.
Step 2: ...Three Hours Later...
Preheat a grill or stove-top cast iron grill to medium to medium/high heat. While it is preheating, chop up the green onions.
Step 3: Beef Skewers Time
Carefully place the meat on the skewers, taking care to leave about three inches of skewer free to use as a handle - this will also help to prevent overloading the skewer and having them break during cooking. Once the meat is on the skewers, it is time to make some dipping sauce.
Step 4: Saucy!
Divide the ricotto paste between 2 small bowls. Add the chopped green onions and stir. Garnish the top with a few more green onions.
Step 5: Time to Grill
Lightly oil the grill or spray with cooking spray. Place the beef skewers along one side of the grill for 2 minutes. Roll the skewers 1/4 turn and add more skewers. Grill for 2 more minutes. Keep this 1/4 turn, 2 minutes,1/4 turn process going until all the skewers have grilled on all 4 sides. The goal is to heat the meat but leave it succulent and tender inside. 2 minutes per side should result in medium-rare meat. If you prefer purple centers, shorten the time to 1.5 minutes per side. The skewers that come off the griddle first will get just the right amount of time to rest while the others continue through the process.
Step 6: Plate and Enjoy!
We served our beef skewers in a traditional fashion with a couple of skewers on a corn husk and a half ear of corn along with a small bowl of our dipping sauce.