Anticuchos are a Peruvian street food, grilled hot and fast, served with boiled potatoes, salad and corn, and made from beef heart.
Now before you get all squeamish, beef heart is a dark and richly flavourful cut of beef and it tastes like beef not offal. It is all lean muscle, which is good because all the heart does all day is work, so of course it’s muscle. (Though some people may notice a little liver flavour, it’s not significantly more than they would notice from a poorly prepared steak.)
These Anticuchos are so tasty, you have to try them.
Now, beef heart is not as easy to find as you might think. I made a lot of phone calls in town and had zero success with my go-to butchers. Since I was cooking this dish at a friend’s farm, I tried the butchers near the farm. Still no heart. I finally started calling the slaughter houses in the area. Success! They don’t normally sell retail, but since I wanted an offcut they were able to hook me up. We had an adventure finding the place, driving up and down, through woods and towns, and winding along country roads until we found the turn off just by the big tree in the small dip, if you get to the fence you’ve gone too far. (I love this kind of adventure.) And for $5 we snagged heart.
We had a nice chat with Doug about the industry, meat and heart. If you think you’ve never eaten beef heart before, you may be wrong. There is so little call for it in the North American market, it is often ground into the ground beef. In fact, the heart we bought was going that route too. Until we rescued it from the butcher, well slaughterhouse, to make anticuchos.
Many people think that the only way to cook beef heart is long and slow, and that works very well. But a quick hot grill to medium rare will produce excellent results too. The marinade and hot quick grill make these Anticuchos absolutely fantastic.
- 1.5 lbs beef heart (approximate weight)
- 250ml roast garlic
- 50ml good olive oil
- 150ml lime juice
- 50ml orange juice
- 200 grams achiote
- 5 grams cumin
- 5 grams Mexican oregano
- 5 grams black pepper
- Clean the beef heart of all skin and sinews. Dice the heart into bite-sized pieces.
- Make the marinade by pureeing all the other ingredients until smooth, keeps well refrigerated
- Coat the beef heart pieces in the marinade and refrigerated overnight in a non-reactive bowl or container.
- Skewer the pieces on a bamboo skewer. You should have 4-6 skewers total.
- Have a hot grill ready.
- Brush the grill with oil.
- Salt the skewers and grill to Medium Rare.
Oniony salad is a nice accompaniment
I improvised an “oniony salad”, as follows:
- 1 large onion
- 1 head iceberg lettuce
- 3T cider vinegar
- 6T olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- half the onion and slice it thinly
- Rip the lettuce into small bit sized pieces
- Combine the cider vinegar and olive oil drizzle over the salad
- Toss the salad, taste and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
I like a little extra pepper on this salad since I find it works well with the anticuchos.
Big thanks to Chris sharing this recipe!
Learn More about Chef Chris McDonald
Note: this post is part of my Canadian Beef Brand Ambassador series. For more information on my relationship with Canada Beef Inc read about my Foodie Adventure: I’m a Canadian Beef Brand Ambassador. #LoveCdnBeefand my disclosure statement