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Seco de Cordero


This dish is one of those dishes that Peru is known for. “Seco” means dry and “Cordero” is lamb, so this dish is translated something like a dry lamb stew. Its main ingredient is coriander which makes a colourful and flavuorsome sauce. It is one of those stews where you can use those tough cuts of meat and slow cook them all day and although shoulder is the most common cut used, I have chosen to use lamb shanks as I find this cut incredibly tender.

If you are one of those people who do not like red meat, not to worry, this recipe is also able to be used with poultry and fish. You would just have to adjust the cooking time and maybe start cooking the sauce for an hour before adding your meat.

The test came when my partner sat down to eat. He started by telling me how his Mother usually makes it, with a salsa on the side of onions in lemon juice with chilli on it. Then alerted me to the fact that there was not enough liquid and usually a lot more coriander (I have added extra to the recipe below)…….but other than that pretty good. Meat was soft and juicy (tick), flavour was correct (tick tick) and just for the record he has never seen his mum use beer as many traditional recipes state (well I didn’t so that is another tick).

I have altered this recipe so that it is gluten free and easy on sensitive stomachs, but I have noted the changes.

Seco De Cordero

Serves 6

6 large lamb shanks, frenched

3 cloves of garlic

3 stalks celery halved and chopped

1 tsp cumin

2 tbsp aji amarillo

5 large coriander bunches

2 cup dry white wine**

3 cup chicken stock

10 small potatoes

2 cups rice

1. Brown the lamb shanks and set aside.

2. In a mortor and pestle grind up the coriander with some olive oil, in batches and set aside.

3. In a large pot sweat the garlic and onion until translucent, add the cumin, 1 tbsp of aji paste, the coriander paste lamb shanks and liquids. Stir and simmer for 2 hours, sitting occasionally so that it does not stick.

4. Once the stew is almost done boil the potatoes in water with the remaining aji paste until tender. Chop in cubes to serve.  Cook the rice in plain water until cooked.

5. To serve plate up the meat, some rice and potatoes in a bowl then spoon the liquid over.

* I used celery instead of onion which may irritate some peoples stomachs.

** Traditionally beer is also used in the recipe so that there is 1 cup beer and 1 cup white wine, but I have removed this so it is a gluten free dish.

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