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Anticuchos de Corazon (Peruvian Beef Heart Skewers)

Anticuchos de Corazon (Peruvian Beef Heart Skewers)

Peru is a relatively small Latin American country with a huge influence on the world’s culinary styles. Peruvian chefs were cooking in a fusion method before the rest of the world embraced its benefits. Demonstrated in the comingling of native cooking ways and flavors with those imported to the country from European and Asian immigrants, the popularity of Peruvian food has spread, aided by the inherent deliciousness of the food.

Cooking with skewers, anticuchos, is believed to have started in the Andes pre-dating the period that the country was being colonized by Italians and Spaniards. In order to gain the most benefit from a slaughtered animal, it was important to find a palatable way to prepare as many meat cuts as possible. Organ meat, especially the heart, was marinated in vinegar and spices for tenderizing and flavoring and then cooked over an open fire. Today, street vendors in Lima use a small charcoal grill, often transported in a shopping cart or set up in a small stall in the mercado, to prepare and sell their delicious skewered meats to locals and visitors.

Many fine, modern Peruvian restaurants offer beef heart skewers on their menus. Marinated in vinegar flavored with garlic, one of the European spices introduced to the indigenous peoples of Peru, dried chili peppers and other spices, the skewered morsels are cooked very rapidly over a hot, open flame to seer in the juices and tenderness. Traditional sides with anticuchos de corazon are boiled potatoes and corn. An additional selection of hot sauces is a usual accompaniment, so each person can add spice and heat to the meat to match their preference.

There is no need to travel to South American to enjoy Peruvian flavors. La Costanera is a local Peruvian restaurant that offers anticuchos de corazon and other traditionally prepared Peruvian foods. At La Costanera Restaurant enjoy Peruvian food, private dining and fine wines.

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