Anticuchos from the Heart

These ABC’s has gotten me going not just with Spanish lessons but also with Bolivian cooking.  I got up this morning with the thought of Bolivian dishes that start with A. Suddenly the word “Anticucho” popped in my head (and my stomach).  I wished so badly I could go to the Anticuchera to satisfy my antojo.  I could see the flames cooking the antichos. Yumm, almost smell them,  and have them fresh served with potatoes and peanut sauce.

Looks yummy doesn’t it?

Living in the country has its pros, but it is hard to get ahold of your antojos.   I called my farmer neighbor to buy some cow’s heart, and she did not have any for sale. She uses it for her dog’s food, I could not believe it!.    The other Organic farm that usually provides me of this unusual beef cut is at least 35 miles away.

What to do if my antojo is growing by the minute?.  Use chicken instead!.

I do not have chicken’s hearts, besides, probably I would have to sacrifice all my hens to fill one skew, and we are a family of 8!.  I thought chicken breast would do. And guess what, it worked!

Just if you ever want to do this extra delicious Andean dish, you will need.

  • 2 pounds of fresh beef heart, thinly sliced and cut into squares (2″ squares) or chicken breast thinly sliced
  • 1 cup red vinegar (red wine vinegar is better)
  • 1/2 Ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • Parley
  • Cilantro
  • Aji Amarillo
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 10 -12   boiled potatoes, peeled


Place the pieces of heart in a deep glass bowl

Blend the vinegar, garlic, aji Amarillo (or dried chile), and all other ingredients  with 1/2 of the oil until you have a soft paste.

Cover the meat with the marinate and let sit in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

Save the rest of the marinade in a cup adding the rest of the oil, for basting the anticuchos and potatoes on the grill.

Skew the meat in the wet wooden skewers.  When the coals are ready and the grill is hot  place the anticuchos flat on the grill . Baste them generously with the leftover marinade.

The flames produced by the oil will make the anticucho even yummier.

When the meat is almost ready place the boiled pealed potatoes on the grill and baste them also with the mix, grilled them until they look yummier, they looked grilled and are browned.

Serve the skewers in each plate accompanied by the potato.  You can also cut the potatoes in half (across not length wise) and stick a piece at the end of each skewer.  In Peru they serve this plate with grilled corn also.

Serve hot, right out of the grill.

I like to accompany mine with peanut sauce and a salad.  My husband loves colors in the food so ensaladas are just perfect for us.

Here a picture of my Anticuchos!!


Facts that I did not know about this yummy food.-

  • According to the text file from the National Library in Lima (Peru), it is believed that the term comes from the quechua antikuchu (anti: ‘Andes’ + kuchu: ‘court’ or uchu: ‘porridge, mix’)..
  • Anticuchos can be found on street-carts and are sold by anticucheras in Peru, Chile and Bolivia.
  • A similar dish, shish-kebab is found in Mediterranean cuisine.
  • Anticuchos can be traced as far back as the 16th century,
  • The Conquistadores, added garlic to the recipe. Also, they started to use beef instead of Llama.
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