Anticuchos are a popular street food in South America, especially in Peru. The most traditional Peruvian anticuchos are made of beef heart, but marinated chicken (anticuchos de pollo) or steak anticuchos are also popular.
Peruvian-style anticuchos are seasoned with garlic, vinegar, cumin, and aji panca, a mild red chile pepper with a smoky flavor that is widely used in Peruvian cooking. You can find dried aji panca or jarred aji panca paste in specialty stores or Latin food markets, or online.
Anticuchos are best if the meat is allowed to marinate overnight before it is grilled.
- 12 cloves of garlic
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1/4 cup smoky mild chile pepper paste (aji panca, if available)
- 1/2 cup vinegar, divided
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
- 2-3 pounds steak (sirloin, tenderloin)
- Wooden skewers
- Cut the beef into 1 1/2 inch pieces and place the pieces in a nonreactive bowl or dish.
- Mash/crush the garlic with a heavy utensil, or with a mortar and pestle. Add a little water if necessary to make a paste.
- Prepare the marinade: in a small bowl, mix the crushed garlic, 1/4 cup of the vinegar, 1/4 cup chile pepper paste, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 tablespoon salt, and 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper.
- Pour the marinade over the beef and mix well. Cover and marinate the beef overnight in the refrigerator. If you are pressed for time, marinate the beef for at least 1 hour at room temperature.
- Prepare the grill. Place the pieces beef onto the skewers (about 4 pieces on each skewer, depending on size).
- Make a basting mixture of 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1/4 cup vinegar, and a pinch of cumin.
- Grill the skewers for about 5 minutes on each side, or to the desired doneness. Baste the meat several times during cooking.
- Serve the anticuchos with rice and corn on the cob.
Makes about 8 skewers, depending on size.