Peruvian stew with rice
Seco De Carne Is The Spicy Peruvian Beef Stew You Need To Know
"Seco," meaning "dry" in Spanish, is a category of South American stews that are simmered until most of the liquid evaporates into a reduced sauce. One variation is seco de carne.
Seco de carne is a spicy beef-based stew that may also include vegetables like carrots, peas, potatoes, and sometimes squash. It's most popularly served with rice and beans.
Popular in Peru and Ecuador, seco de carne traces its roots to Africa, specifically certain Northern, Arab-influenced regions. It's a variation on cumin-heavy stews called tagines.
Originally known as seco tagine, the stew was once made with mutton, likely introduced by slaves brought to Peru. The dish evolved to include various versions and types of meat.
To make this dish, begin by making the aromatic sauce. Blend culantro, a variant of cilantro, with additional greens like spinach or mint-like huacatay in water or broth.
Next, heat up a pan and add chunks of chuck roast or short rib. Sear until brown, then add the aromatics: garlic, onion, aji amarillo, salt, pepper, cumin, and cilantro.
Cook the mixture down for up to three hours, and add potatoes and other vegetables near the end. Once everything is tender, serve the stew alongside rice and beans.