Seco de carne
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Recipe: Seco de carne (Peruvian beef & coriander stew)

Lamb is not a very popular meat in my hometown. It is in the highlands, but for some reason the urbanites prefer beef. This is a beef version of the lamb seco I published a while ago. Now, I know that this will sound insane… but I decided to use kombucha instead of chicha de jora, knowing that a) the stuff is not cheap, and b) the cooking process kills the beneficial bacteria. But taste-wise it made sense. The result? I’d say I won’t be buying chicha any time soon.

I adapted this recipe from a very well known Peruvian chef. A quick note on tradition: this stew usually contains peas and is served with rice and potatoes or rice and beans. My mum used to serve it with rice and cassava prepared the way I indicate in the recipe.

Seco de carne

Seco de carne

This is a beef version of the lamb seco I published a while ago.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Marinating time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Peruvian


  • 1.5 kg gravy beef diced


  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1/3 cup pisco or brandy
  • 1 pinch black pepper and cumin


  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 large red onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp ají amarillo powder or any other chilli, to taste
  • 2 bunches coriander leaves and stalks, chopped
  • 1 cup kombucha or apple cider/gluten-free beer/white wine
  • 1/2 cup grated pumpkin
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 oranges juiced

To serve

  • cassava
  • butter or ghee


  • Marinate beef with crushed garlic, pisco, pepper and cumin for at least one hour or overnight.
  • Drain beef (discard marinade) and brown in a heavy-bottomed pot with one tablespoon of ghee. Reserve.
  • Lower heat, and in the same pot melt another tablespoon of ghee. Cook onion, minced garlic and chilli until very soft, approximately 10 minutes.
  • While the aderezo is cooking, blend coriander with kombucha.
  • Add pumpkin to the pot, cook for a minute, stirring often.
  • Add meat, blended coriander, and stock to the pot. Season with salt and pepper and simmer covered until soft (1.5 to 2 hours).
  • While you wait, boil cassava in water until soft. Drain and reserve.
  • Add orange juice. Let reduce with the lid off if there's too much liquid for your liking.
  • Fry cassava in butter and sprinkle with salt. Serve.
Keyword beef, coriander, Peruvian cuisine, Peruvian food, stew

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