Peruvian Anticuchos

"Beef heart marinated, skewered, and seared over the grill. This is a very tipical and popular Peruvian dish. People line up at the good "anticucherias" (anticucho restaurants) every evening! It takes some work but it is so worth it! I taught myself to make them because I missed them so much! A very special addition to any barbecue party! And the delicious smell will bring over all your neighbors to check it out!"
photo by TheGeek photo by TheGeek
photo by TheGeek
Ready In:
1hr 50mins
30-40 skewers




  • Place the pieces of heart in a glass or ceramic tray.
  • Previously, soak the chiles in hot water until they are soft, devein and take the seeds off. If you want you can keep some of the seeds to make it spicier. In Peru we use aji panca, but this works well too.
  • Blend the vinegar, garlic, aji panca (or dried chile), and all other ingredients with 1/2 cup of the oil until you have a soft paste.
  • Pour it on the pieces of heart and distribute evenly so all pieces are well covered and can absorb the marinade. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Do not let them marinade for too long or they will dry out because of the vinegar.
  • In the meantime, place thick bamboo skewers to soak in water so they don't burn when they go on the grill.
  • Use a charcoal grill and make sure the coals are very hot before you start.
  • Stick three or four pieces of heart in each skewer, so that the meat lays flat.
  • Save the rest of the marinade in a cup or small bowl and add the rest of the oil to it, mixing well. This will be used for basting the anticuchos on the grill.
  • Tie some pieces of fresh corn husk with a string made out of some more husk and shred them half the way to make a kind of brush and use it for basting. (You can use dry husk too but you need to soak it for a while in warm water to make it flexible and then pat it dry before you use it).
  • When the coals are ready and the grill is hot place the anticuchos flat on the grill and baste them generously with the leftover marinade and oil mix.
  • This will drip and cause the coals to flame, make sure it flames over because this is what gives the anticuchos their distinctive flavor.
  • Let anticuchos cook for about 1 minute and a half on each side. DO NOT OVERCOOK! They will dry out and become tough. Medium or medium well is fine. Turn them over continuously and keep basting and flaming until they are done.
  • Hold two or three at a time to turn them over quickly.
  • At the same time, place the pieces of corn and potatoes on a corner of the grill, baste them with the same marinade and allow them to be flamed too.
  • Serve three skewers in each plate, accompanied by one piece of corn and one potato. You can also cut the potatoes in half (across not length wise) and stick a piece at the end of each skewer.
  • Serve hot, right out of the grill, don't let it get cold! ENJOY! :P.
  • What takes the longest time is to slice and cut the heart in squares and stick the pieces on the skewers; as you get practice doing this it will be faster, allow yourself some more time of preparation the first couple of times.
  • You can also use regular beef, chicken, fish, prawns, or lamb to make anticuchos, but the original and traditional recipe calls for cow heart. Hope you like it! :).

Questions & Replies

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  1. dubielziggy
    WOW! These were super flavorful and delicious. I used 4 guajillo chiles for the dried chiles because they are available at my local hispanic grocery store. And I saved the extra marinade in the freezer and used it the next week to grill chicken. Fantastic!
  2. uge_ponce
    Bien, yo creo que esto de usar cilantro y no usar ni aji panca ni aji Amarillo es una simple blasfemia
  3. sparky403
    I made this this weekend it was a hit and I will do again. <br/><br/>I had some friends that had been to Peru for the real deal and they said this recipe was dead on (I followed it pretty closely). <br/><br/>Here's my feedback: <br/><br/>- Aji Panca, IMO is not completely necessary (it's very easy to find in SF where I live so I went for the real deal). The paste tastes like a much tamer version of Chipotle Peppers in adobo. I think a mild Mexican pepper reconsistuted would work just as well. <br/><br/>- I marinated for about 4 hours this seemed adequate. However the marinade, even though I used at least a cup of red wine Vinegar wasn't as vinegary as imagined it would be (so if it went longer I think this would be okay). <br/><br/>- It's a bit of work to butcher the heart and remove all the silver skin (Pericardium?) It is pretty thick, not hard to remove but it doesn't come off in one piece either. <br/><br/>- My Friends (98%- anyway) were anxious to eat it and not a grossed out by the idea of eating organ meat (a couple were). 2 grass fed beef hearts (maybe 3lbs) were gone in 10 minutes or so. <br/><br/>- Use an *Extremely Hot* Grill ( NASA HOT:-) <br/><br/>- getting an even thickness is important. Being that the heart is various thicknesses you have to cut across, through, in half, etc to get even strips do it! - The muscle is much different than traditional beef cuts and it tolerated this well (I think 3/8 to 1/2 in thickness is just right - I wouldn't go thicker than 1/2 inch). <br/><br/>- It was very good, fun, and good change. I won't do it for every gathering. but aside from the butchering - it was easy (not to mention cheap:-).
  4. Meredith C-ville
    Great recipe. The flavor of the marinade is incredible and I will be using it for other meats as well. The favors create a rich blend, but you can still taste different aspects, and there is a nice heat without being overly hot. It was my first time with beef heart, which I found at a local farm. I went to you tube for some guidance on trimming it. Some parts ended up being tough but most of it was tender and wonderful. I think they only needed about four minutes on the grill. I found this searching for what I had at a Peruvian restaurant. Now I can make it myself!<br/>Note: based on another recipe online, I use 1/4 cup of aji panca paste for the pepper.
  5. jamieinperu
    Totally missed on this recipe. The main ingredient is Panka pepper sauce, which can be found at most Latin markets. Way too much camino. Camino is very strong. Honestly, I can figure out how you could have eaten this. I will give you 1 star, only because you must have eaten it after you made it.


Hi! I am Peruvian but I live in North Idaho USA. I am an early childhood teacher, I love to read and dance. I miss my Peruvian food very much and it is hard to find it here so I taught myself to cook many of the dishes we have in Peru (in addition to the ones I already knew). My passion is working with children.
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