Today is Peruvian Independence Day! Time to celebrate with a Peruvian recipe! Soups in Peru are a big deal. There are restaurants specialised in particular kinds of soups, and some of them are known for their hangover curing properties. Today is Peruvian Independence Day and I celebrate with a soup recipe.
While most of the soups have a pretty standard recipe and are fairly simple to make, there are no rules when it comes to sancochado. The simplest versions are cooked on weekdays in ordinary households (my aunties cooked a killer one every single Friday of my life), and the most elaborate are prepared with dozens of ingredients served buffet-style in some upmarket restaurants. My version is doable on a weekday, while including 3 kinds of meat to keep things interesting.
Yield: 8 servings
- 4 pieces beef osso buco
- 600 g pork belly
- 1 leek, coarsely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2 celery sticks, coarsely chopped
- 500 g cassava
- 4 medium potatoes (I used Nicola), peeled and halved
- 4 chorizos
- 2 cups pumpkin, diced
- 1/2 green cabbage, sliced
- salt and pepper
Pseudo huancaína sauce:
- 4 Peruvian yellow chillies in brine (or fresh yellow chillies, seeded and coarsely chopped)
- 1/4 small red onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 4 tablespoons goat’s milk curd
- 100 g goat’s feta cheese
- 1 red onion
- 4 – 5 limes
- 2 small hot chilies (optional)
- coriander leaves
- Brine the osso buco in water and about 2 tablespoons of sea salt for at least 2 hours. Do the same with the pork belly.
- Rinse the meats and place in a big pot. Add leek, carrots, celery and enough water to cover. Cook on medium-low heat until the meats are tender (1.5-2 hours).
- While the meats are cooking, boil the cassava for 30 minutes or until soft.
- Also halve and pan-fry the chorizos. When done, keep warm.
- When the meats are ready, remove from the pot and keep warm.
- Add potatoes to the pot and 2-3 teaspoons of salt. Cook for 15-20 minutes.
- Add pumpkin and cabbage, cook for about 10 minutes more, until the pumpkin is tender. Check seasoning.
- Plate the solids and pour the broth in a cup. Serve with pseudo huancaína sauce and salsa criolla on the side.
Pseudo huancaína sauce:
- Melt the ghee in a small pan over low heat.
- Add the onion and garlic, cook for about 10 minutes until soft. If using fresh chillies, throw it in the pan, too. Let cool down.
- Mix all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.
- Finely slice the onion.
- Optional but recommended: soak onion in cold water for a few hours, then drain in a strainer.
- Add lime juice, finely chopped chilies (if using) and finely chopped coriander leaves. Chill in the fridge until serving.