The Promised Lamb

Lamb Braised with Peruvian Tamale

Lamb Braised with Peruvian Tamale

I haven’t had this delicious type of meat in many years, so I had forgotten how good it could be if prepared the way you like it (in this case I used a Peruvian recipe) The occasion was Katie’s birthday,  so I wanted to make something I don’t normally make everyday. This recipe was taken from Gaston Acurio’s book  “La Cocina Novoandina” (The Novo-Andean Cuisine) And the result, after 9 hours of cooking, was well worth the wait…

Slow Braised Lamb with  Peruvian Tamale

Ingredients:

4 lamb loin chop (if you can get lamb shank  even better)

1 cup of ground corn (such as Maseca or Purple Corn Flour)

1/2 cup of  lard

4 Tbsp canola oil

2 Tbsp chopped onion (divided on 1 Tbsp each)

1 Tbsp chopped garlic

1 hard boiled egg (cut in 4)

¼ cup olives (botija or kalamata)

3 cups beef broth

1 1/2 chicken broth

4 corn husk

cooking twine

2 Tbsp aji panca paste*

1 Tbsp aji amarillo paste*

1 Tbsp  huacatay paste*

1 1/2 cup chicha de jora*

cilantro for garnish

salt and pepper

* The first two ingredients are Peruvian chili peppers, which can be found in Latin American supermarkets (or “bodegas” as some are called) or by purchasing online.  The chicha de jora is a fermented corn beverage originally created by the Inca in Peru and used for traditional ceremonies and celebrations.  This distinctly flavored drink can also be purchased in Latin markets or online. The hucatay is also a Peruvian herb.  Some also call it “black mint” and again, it can be found in Latin markets or online.

For the Lamb:

Season the chops with salt and pepper and set aside.  In a large  pan on medium high heat, add the oil and then the chops.  Cook until golden on each side, then take the lamb out and turn the heat to medium.  In the same pan, cook the 1 Tbsp of onion, aji panca, aji amarillo,  and huacatay.  Cook for a minute or two, then turn the heat to low and return the lamb to the pan.  Add the beef broth, the chicha de jora, salt and pepper,  then cover and cook for 7 hours or until the meat falls off the bone.

* If you like the sauce of the lamb to be thicker, after the meat is done take it out and cook on high heat until the liquid  reduces.

For the Tamale:

Using a medium sized pot, melt the lard on medium heat, then add one Tbsp of the onion and the garlic.  Cook for a couple of minutes until soft,  then add the corn flour slowly and stir using a wooden spoon.  Add the chicken broth and keep stirring.  Season with salt and pepper and turn the heat to low, cooking for 4 minutes or until the dough is soft then set aside (one way to test whether or not the dough has enough liquid is to make a pea size ball and drop into a glass with cold water.  If the ball floats then is ready;  if it sinks you need to add more liquid)

To assemble the tamales you need to make sure the corn husks are somewhat soft (you can do this by quickly submerging them in warm water)  Put the dough evenly on each husk and put one Tbsp of olives and a 1/4 of the egg in each tamale.  Fold over and secure  it using twine.  Meanwhile bring to boil water in the steamer pot then turn on low heat, making sure the water is not touching the surface of the upper part of the steamer. Put the tamales in and cover with the lid, cooking for about an hour (make sure to check the level of the water every 15 minutes)

To serve, garnish the lamb with cilantro. Buen provecho!

Lamb Braised with Peruvian Tamale too

Lamb Braised with Peruvian Tamale

The Colors in the Rainbow

Baked Trout

Baked trout with huacatay and aji amarillo

The water from the glaciers of the Andes in Peru were the perfect place to raise trout. Introduced by the United States and Canada in the early 1930’s, trout became popular right away due the lack of fish in the mountain regions.  So here again, due to memories of childhood and a love of trout above any other fish, I present today a very simple dish that combines some Peruvian ingredients like aji amarillo and huacatay and an Argentinian sauce called chimichurri, which is becoming more and more popular these days everywhere in the world.

Baked Trout with Huacatay and Aji Amarillo, Rosemary Potatoes and Onion and Tomato Garnish

Ingredients (4 servings):

4 rainbow trout fillets

4 lemons sliced

2 limes

1 tsp of aji amarillo paste

1 tbsp of huacatay paste

4 rosemary sprigs (optional)

2 tbsp of rosemary chopped

8 small red potatoes

1 medium red onion juilenned

1 small roma tomato diced

4 tbsp of garlic (divided in two)

1 cup of fresh cilantro chopped

1 tbsp of fresh oregano chopped

1tbsp of butter

1/2 cup of olive oil

1 tbsp of red vinegar

1 tsp of red pepper flakes

Preparation

For the garnish: simply mix the onions, tomatoes and the juice of two limes, salt and pepper to taste, then set aside

For the chimichurri: Place the oregano, cilantro and 2 Tbsp of garlic in a bowl.  Mix well then add the olive oil, pepper flakes, red vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, then set aside

For the potatoes: Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Cut the potatoes in fourths,  keeping the skin on.  Season them with salt, pepper, and the rosemary. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, until the skin turns a golden color.

For the trout:  Turn down the oven to 325 F.  Coat a baking pan with the Tbsp of canola oil, then place the trout fillets in the pan and season with salt and pepper.  Next rub the rest of the garlic, hucatay, and aji marillo paste inside the trout.  Finally, place the sliced lemon inside of the trout along with the rosemary sprigs (one on top of each lemon slice), then bake for about 17 to 20 minutes.  Add the butter half way through to keep the meat moist if needed.

Serve and enjoy. Buen provecho!

Baked Trout

Baked Trout , just out of the oven

Baked Trout
Baked Trout , close up