El Puchero

El Puchero
4.5 from 2 ratings
Traditional Andina Broth. This classic recipe is served all over the Andes in homes and from street stalls. Traditionally, it’s eaten at carnival time, during February. The slow-cooked broth releases aromas that fill the air to mark the beginning of the festival season. — Martin Morales, author of Andina
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 1/2 ounce dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained
  • 3 1/2 ounce piece of beef brisket
  • 3 1/2 ounce piece of pork loin
  • 3 1/2 ounce piece of lamb neck fillet
  • 3 1/2 ounce cecina, bresaola or air-dried ham
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 choclo corn or corn-on-the-cob, cut into 6 chunks
  • 1 celery stick, cut into large chunks
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 large potato, peeled
  • 1 cassava or parsnip, peeled and halved
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 4–6 thick slices
  • 1/2 head of a green cabbage, cut into 2 wedges
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large casserole. Add the onion and sauté over a high heat for 2 minutes, then reduce the heat to low and add the garlic. Cook for a further 2–3 minutes until the garlic softens.
  2. Pour 1.5 litres of water into the casserole and add the chickpeas. Increase the heat and boil fiercely for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat until the liquid is simmering gently. Add the 3 meat pieces, then watch for a few minutes and skim off any mushroom-coloured foam that collects on the surface of the water. You can stop watching when the foam becomes white (about 4–5 minutes). Half-cover the casserole with a lid and leave the soup to simmer for 30 minutes, then add the cecina (or alternative), oregano, choclo or corn cob, celery, carrot, potato, cassava or parsnip, and sweet potato. Season with salt and pepper, half-cover again and simmer for a further 45 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Then, add the cabbage and cook for 3–4 minutes until the cabbage has wilted down but is still a fresh green colour. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
  3. To serve, transfer all of the meat and vegetables to a big serving dish, pour over some of the hot broth and serve in the middle of the table, with the remaining hot broth on the side for everyone to help themselves.
  4. Recipes excerpted with permission from Andina: The Heart of Peruvian Food by Martin Morales (Quadrille November 2017)