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Anticuchos (Peru)

Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 6 people

Recipe Ingredients

1   Beef heart - about 4 pounds
3   Garlic cloves - peeled
1 1/2 tablespoons 22mlCoarse salt
1/8 teaspoon 0.6mlFreshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons 10mlGround cumin
3   Dry red chile peppers seeded
1   Dry ancho pepper - seeded
3/4 cup 177mlRed wine vinegar
1/3 cup 78mlAchiote oil
2 slices  To 3 slices bacon - ( 2 oz)
8   To 10" bamboo skewers

Recipe Instructions

Trim any fat from the heat and remove veins and membranes. Cut into 24 cubes. Place in a bowl and set aside. With a mortar and pestle pound the garlic and salt to a paste. Add the pepper and cumin and continue pounding. Set aside.

Place the seeded red chile and ancho peppers in a bowl, add the vinegar, and let soak for about 10 minutes, or until the peppers are soft. Place the softened peppers with the vinegar in a blender and puree until liquid. Add this mixture to the garlic paste and stir thoroughly. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. Add the Achiote Oil and pour the mixture over the cubed meat, stirring to coat all the pieces. Let marinate, covered, at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours, or in the refrigerator overnight.

Thread 3 pieces of the marinated cubes of beef heat on each of the 8 skewers, reserving the marinade, and set aside.

There are two ways of cooking the beef hearts. Both methods require quick searing.

1. If barbecuing or broiling, heat 1/4 cup of the reserved marinade with 2 or 3 strips of the bacon in a saucepan over medium heat until all the liquid has evaporated and only the Achiote Oil and the fat from the bacon remain. Discard the bacon or reserve for another use. Brush the skewered meat cubes with the flavored oil from the saucepan and barbecue them over a light layer of coals in a charcoal broiler (the coals should be burned until white ash has appeared on the surface). Or broil them in a preheated broiler (about 3 inches from the heat source) for 1 to 2 minutes on one side. Brush the beef cubes again with the flavored oil, turn the skewers, and broil for another minute or two.

2. If using a 12-inch cast-iron skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the reserved marinade, add the bacon, and cook until the bacon is golden. Discard the bacon or reserve for another use. Place the skewered meat cubes in the pan and cook over high heat, while turning them, until the meat is seared on the outside but remains medium rare on the inside. This will take about 5 minutes. Serve the anticuchos hot.

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