Locro

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Locro
Locro
Plain tortilla chips were a perfect accompaniment for this.
Servings:Serves 6
Calories per serving:748
Ready in:3 hours 20 minutes
Prep. time:20 minutes
Cook time:3 hours
Difficulty:Average difficulty
Recipe author:JuliaBalbilla
First published:3rd November 2012
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Seal the lid with tin foil to prevent the stew from drying out
Locro pie with potato dumplings
Locro pie with potato dumplings, ready for the oven

Locro is a hearty thick stew popular along the Andes mountain range. The dish is a classic Ecuadorian cheese and potato soup from the Ecuadorian cuisine. This is also a dish in Peruvian cuisine, which at one point held the centre of the Inca empire. It typical also in Argentina prepared by the different native Indian tribes at the time of the Spanish conquest. Its origin dates to before the Spanish colonial times.

The defining ingredients are corn, some form of meat (usually beef, but sometimes beef jerky or chorizo), and vegetables. Other ingredients vary widely, and typically include onion, beans, squash or pumpkin. It is mainly eaten in winter.

In some parts, such as in the Santiago del Estero Province of Argentina, a red hot sauce made from red peppers and paprika known as quiquirimichi is served on the side.


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Ingredients

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Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan or Dutch oven and sauté the onions and garlic for 4 minutes or until softened and slightly coloured.
  2. Reserve the onions, increase the heat and brown the beef, a handful of pieces at a time.
  3. Add the onions back to the pan, together with the tomatoes and their juice. Also add the lemon juice, stock, ground spices, paprika, chili powder, salt and pepper.
  4. Bring to the boil then cover and simmer for 2 hours.
  5. Stir in the cornmeal to thicken if needed. Add the chorizo, chick peas and sweetcorn and simmer for a further 30 minutes
  6. Transfer to serving bowls and dot with pieces of mozzarella cheese.

Serving suggestions

Serve with crusty bread.

I'm not sure about the authenticity, but plain tortilla chips were a marvellous accompaniment to this dish.

Chef's notes

I find it useful to use a few layers of scrunched-up tin foil under the lid to seal the pot because this prevents the contents from drying out when simmering for long periods of time.

Variations

We used the (frozen) second half of the locro to make a sort of South-American Teviot pie! Whilst not the least bit authentic, it was rather delicious. The potato dumplings were rolled in yellow cornmeal and laid on the top of the locro and covered with slices of mozzarella cheese. This was oven baked for 30 miutes or so at 180° C (350° F - gas 4).

See also

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