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Anticuchos - Chilean barbecued meats

What's the big idea?

As with Feijoada from Brazil, this dish traces its roots back hundreds of years and reflects something of the country's colonial past.
It is said that the Spanish settlers used to let the slaves - whom they had brought with them from Africa - eat the parts of the cattle that they did not want themselves. Hence the original recipes for anticuchos mostly consisted of heart, liver, etc. Indeed, some early recipes also included meat from the local llamas.
Other versions of the story state that anticuchos were already enjoyed by the indigenous peoples before the Spanish arrived. Whatever the origins, the dish gradually became popular throughout Chilean (and Peruvian) society, and the types and cuts of meat used gradually changed over the years to include almost anything, including chorizo sausage.

Serve as part of a barbecue or buffet-style meal, with grilled corn-on-the-cob and rice, or a green salad. Remember to allow time for marination.

Shopping List

Here's the list of what you need:

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chilli powder
  • 100ml vinegar
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 8oz of each of the following, cut into 1½ inch cubes:
    • Beef/steak - cut of your choice
    • Chorizo
    • Beef heart or other offal of your choice
  • About 20 cherry tomatoes, whole
  • 2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into chunks
  • 2 red onions, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • Skewers

What To Do

  • In a large non-metallic bowl, mix together the oregano, garlic, cumin, chilli powder, vinegar, salt, black pepper and vegetable oil
  • Mix in the meats (excluding the chorizo), cover and refrigerate for at least three hours
  • Thread the meats onto the skewers, alternating different types of meat with tomatoes, pepper and onions
  • Grill or cook on the barbecue, turning regularly and basting with remaining marinade, until cooked through

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