One of the most comforting dishes of typical Peruvian food, Seco de Cordero is real treat. I opened the freezer this morning and to my delight found a small plastic container with some left over from the previous week. Here in Peru many households are fortunate to have a nanny to help with the kids. And mine just happens to be able to cook some really tasty Peruvian dishes of which Seco de Cordero is one.
Coming from England the word lamb instantly conjures up images of roast dinner on a Sunday, served with mint sauce. But this succulent dish is a great alternative, the Peruvian take on lamb stew.
Where to try Seco de Cordero
Those living in the north of Peru, in Trujillo and Cajamarca would obviously say that is where you have to try it. But to be honest it is found throughout most of Peru, although not so much in the Amazon. Here in Cusco we have a plentiful supply of lamb from the high altiplano between Cusco and Puno so Seco de Cordero appears on the plates of almost all of those good value restaurants that serve lunchtime menus. And with the rise of Peruvian cuisine on a world scale, you can of course find top chef´s own versions in some of the best restaurants in Lima, as well as Peruvian restaurants in London and New York.
As with so much of the typical Peruvian food this dish arrived in Peru with the Spanish.That said it is not a Spanish dish but rather has its origins in arab world as can be seen by its use of cumin and coriander. In many ways it is similar to a Moroccan Tagine. It is one of many Peruvian dishes in which fried meat is added to a thick sauce and simmered for a while.
Seco de Cordero recipe
Cut lamb ( shoulder) into medium pieces and season with salt, pepper and cumin, brown in a large pan then put aside.
Saute onions, garlic, cumin, aji amarillo and carrot and peas, then add lamb back in and stir to coat.
Add chopped coriander, and cover everything with beer or chicha, put a lid on the pan and simmer for twenty minutes. NB Traditionally this dish was made with chicha, a kind of homemade beer. Now some make it with commercially produced beer and some even add a bit of wine. Failing that lamb stock would do although the flavour will not be the same.
Add white or yellow potatoes sliced in half on top of the lamb and put lid back on and simmer for fifteen minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.
Serve with white rice or beans.