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Recipe: Olluquito con Charqui

Recipe: Olluquito con Charqui
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We’ve talked several times in this blog about how Peruvian food excels at forming nutritive and filling recipes. It is quite common to find Peruvian meals that have all macro nutrients and food families in one same plate, and a great example of this is Olluquito con Charqui. 

 

It’s amazing how they take exotic ingredients that contrast greatly and make them complement each other with their strong and juicy flavors. In general terms, Olluquito con Charqui is a stew that consists of a tuber and charqui, making it the perfect lunch filled with carbs and proteins mixed together. 

 

But what is charqui, you ask? It’s a traditional Peruvian ingredient, basically it is dried alpaca beef. Charqui has a strong, jerky-like taste and texture. If you can’t find charqui to make the original andine recipe, you can use sirloin steak chopped or sliced, you can even use ground meat; although it will taste a lot less strong than the original Peruvian Olluquito con Charqui.

 

The main ingredients for Olluquito con Charqui are actually quite simple, but you can easily add potatoes, beans and peas to the recipe to pack it even more with protein and vitamins. With this recipe, you’ll get a surprise with its tender and juicy presentation that will double as a delicious sauce for the white rice that accompanies it.


What is Olluquito?

Olluquito, which is also known as ullucus, is a tuber vegetable grown in the Andean region of Peru. Basically, olluquito is an exotic cross between potatoes and jicamas, and it has a shiny and smooth skin. They have big amounts of vitamins B and C, and they are very low in salt. 


In Peruvian cuisine, olluquito is used mostly in soups and stews, occasionally on some salads. They are perfect for these types of dishes because they are super watery, it’s also noticeable that they can be eaten either raw or cooked. 


But back to the recipe! Olluquito con Charqui is considered as a main Peruvian dish. It takes about 20 minutes to prepare and from 45 minutes to 1 hour to cook. The amount of ingredients we share are good enough for 6 servings. 


Ingredients for Olluquito con Charqui:

  • 2 lbs of Olluquito. Prepare the olluquito beforehand by slicing them into fine julienne. 
  • 1 lb of charqui (dried beef) or ground meat, you can use sirloin steak if you don’t find charqui. If you want your meal to look more even and aesthetic, you can also slice the steak like the olluquito or shred the charqui. 
  • 1 cup of onion, finely chopped
  • 2 big garlic cloves, you can either mince them or chop them
  • 2 tablespoons of ají panca paste. You can get it here.
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano 
  • 3 tablespoons of parsley, finely chopped 
  • 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of meat stock to soften the meat and season the stew
  • 1 teaspoon of  cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

  • To prepare the olluquito you must slice them finely or do them julienne. After slicing the olluquito, wash it in plenty of cold, salt water, let them sit there for an hour. 
  • Take a large skillet, add the vegetable oil and turn it on high heat. Put the meat in and stir-fry it until it turns a golden brown color, be careful not to let it dry out. Take the meat out of the skillet and reserve. 
  • In the same skillet on medium heat, add the onion, garlic, cumin and aji panca paste. Stir constantly and add the paprika, cumin and oregano. Cook for another 3 minutes. 
  • Drain the olluquito you had in salt water and add them to the skillet with the mix, let them cook for a few minutes.
  • It’s time to put the beef or steak back in the skillet and then slowly add the meat stock and salt and pepper to taste. Let the dish cook over low beef and let the stock make the olluquito tender and juicy. This should take between 15 and 20 minutes. Don’t forget to stir constantly. 
  • Lastly add parsley to the dish, check if it needs more seasoning and mix well. 
  • This dish is best served with fluffy white rice to highlight the Olluquito con charqui taste. You can get it here

What are you waiting for? Get to know a bit more of Peruvian cuisine with Olluquito con Charqui and surprise your family for dinner time. Remember you can always add several ingredients to improve its nutritional value.

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