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Prep 6 hrs 15 mins
Cook 8 mins
A very popular street food in Peru. Grilled corn makes a good accompaniment. Adapted from Planet Barbecue and Time/Life Foods of the World. Prep time includes marinating time. Number of servings is for appetizers; serves 4 as a light main course.
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 tablespoon cumin seed (or ground cumin)
- 3 tablespoons hot Hungarian paprika (or 1/4 cup aji panca paste, preferred, or 2 canned chipotle peppers plus 1 tablespoon of the liquid)
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons annatto oil
- coarse salt
- 1 1⁄2 lbs beef heart, cut into strips 3-inchx1 1/2-inchx1/4-inch
- 2 tablespoons annatto oil, for basting
- Heat a dry cast-iron skillet over medium heat.
- Place garlic in skillet and brown lightly on all sides, 6-8 minutes.
- Remove and let cool.
- Add cumin seeds to skillet and toast until fragrant and lightly browned, 2-4 minutes. (If using ground cumin, toast 1-2 minutes.).
- Remove and let cool.
- If using cumin seeds, grind to a fine powder in a mill or using a mortar and pestle.
- Place garlic, cumin and aji panca paste (or paprika or chipotles) in a food processor and puree to a fine paste.
- Gradually add vinegar and enough annatto oil to make a thick paste.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Weave meat onto bamboo skewers, 3 pieces per skewer.
- Arrange in a nonreactive baking dish and spread seasoning paste over meat, thickly coating both sides.
- Cover and refrigerate for 6-12 hours, turning occasionally.
- Preheat grill to high.
- Brush and oil grill grate.
- Drain kebabs and discard marinade.
- Grill until golden brown and cooked through, 3-4 minutes per side (medium-well to well-done is preferred), basting with oil after first 3 minutes.
- Serve hot.
- NOTE #1--To make annatto oil, heat 1/2 cup vegetable oil in a saucepan over moderate heat. Stir in 1/4 cup annatto (achiote) seeds. Stir for 30 seconds. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cool, and strain. This will keep several months if tightly covered and refrigerated, but it will lose flavor as it ages. You may also use purchased annatto oil, or substitute olive oil.
- NOTE #2--the coward's way out. If you absolutely cannot find beef heart, or you cringe at the thought of eating it, beef rib eye or sirloin may be substituted. It should be prepared the same way, but marinated for only 2-4 hours.