Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My experiment with making locro

Although I was disappointed with the locro that I had at El Rancho in Cafayate, it was delicious at Cumaná in Buenos Aires, and I was determined to try to make it soon after getting home to DC.  This is the adaptation that I tried after consulting various online sources.  It turned out great.

I served it with a home-made chimichurri sauce, mostly because I was anxious to try to make that sauce too after all the good experiences we had with it in Uruguay and Argentina.  The recipes I saw tended to suggest a different sauce, made with sauteed onion, garlic, paprika and cayenne.  Next time I have in mind to do both.  And in retrospect, more squash would have been good, and maybe more added for the last part of the cooking along with the extra corn and cannellini.  The recipes I saw called for hominy in addition to yellow corn, and I might well try that too.

4 corn cobs, cooked, kernels stripped
4 cans cannellini beans, drained
1 pound beef strips, cut in small pieces
1-1/2 pounds thick pork chops, cut in small pieces
1 pound bacon, cut in small pieces, then cooked, fat reserved
4 links chorizo, cooked, then cut in small pieces
1.5 pounds onion, coarsely chopped
a few cloves of garlic, minced
most of one medium sized butternut squash, chopped into smallish pieces
3 medium potatoes, chopped into small cubes
1 sweet potato, chopped into small cubes
2-3 tablespoons of cumin seed
1 tablespoon paprika
½ teaspoon cayenne

I preheated the oven at 350°.

I sauteed the onions and garlic in the bacon fat, then drained the fat.  I put everything except two cans of beans and kernels from two of the cobs into a heavy-duty pot, stirred thoroughly, covered with water with about an inch of water above the solids, and baked, covered, for about 4 hours, stirring very occasionally.  When I opened to stir, I checked to be sure there was still water atop the solids.  It had cooked away at one point so I added more water.

After roughly four hours of this, I stirred the pot once more. By now, much of the squash and some of the other vegetable matter had disintegrated.  I then added the rest of the beans and corn, and baked uncovered for about 2 hours.  I did not have to add any water at this point to keep the stew moist.  But when I was ready to serve there was no longer any water sitting on top.

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