Seco de cordero – Peruvian lamb stew

Rosana serves up her seco de cordero recipe, a Peruvian lamb stew flavoured with coriander and cumin for a comforting midweek meal packed with South American flavour.

First published in 2017
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Seco de Cordero is a typical Peruvian lamb stew eaten all over the country. Seco has its roots in Arab cuisine and was brought to Peru at the time when it was a Spanish colony. It was traditionally prepared with mutton and herbs, such as coriander. Coriander, which is the primary herb in this recipe, was also brought to Peru from Spain.

Seco, which is made with ají, squash and Chicha de Jora (a local corn-based fermented beer), is a fine example of the coming together of two worlds. The excellence of Peruvian cuisine lies precisely in this cultural heritage.

Each Peruvian province has its version of Seco de cordero. In the north, they cook it with goat meat and squash. Seco huachano, on the other hand, is served with beans, white rice and boiled Peruvian yellow potatoes. The ubiquitous little pot with ají (chilli) that accompanies every meal, is a must.

In this recipe, I have replaced the Chicha de Jora with a light beer, which is close enough to the original.




Seco de cordero


Start by making the coriander purée. Blend the coriander leaves in 100ml of water and set aside for later
Dice the lamb leg into 2.5cm pieces and season with salt, pepper, cumin and oregano
Brown the meat in a large skillet with canola oil (or any other flavourless oil) over a medium to high heat. Work in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan
When golden, remove the lamb from the pan and reserve until needed
In the same pan, add some more canola oil and sauté the diced onions and garlic. Add the ají amarillo paste and mix well
Add half of the coriander purée to the garlic and onion mix – this will help deglaze the pan and incorporate all the nice lamb juices
Return the lamb to the pan and pour half of the stock and all of beer. Turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes
Combine with the rest of the coriander purée, the other half of the stock and the diced carrots and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes
Add the peas and turn off the heat. Mix well, season and serve with steamed rice and white beans
First published in 2017

Brazilian food and travel blogger, living in London.

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