Anticuchos – (Skewered Spiced Beef Heart with Chili Sauce)

Anticuchos are popular and inexpensive dishes that originated in Peru, and popular also in other Andean statesconsisting of small pieces of grilled skewered meat. Anticuchos can be readily found on streetcarts and street food stalls (anticucheras). The meat may be marinated in vinegar and spices (such as cuminaji pepper and garlic), and while anticuchos can be made of any type of meat, the most popular are made of beef heart (anticuchos de corazon). Anticuchos often come with a boiled potato on the end of the skewer. (from Wikipedia)

Serves: 8 to 10

Marinade Ingredients:
1 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1 tbls. Fresh Hot Red Chili (finely chopped, seeded and deribbed)
4 tspn. Finely Chopped Garlic
2 tspn. Ground Cumin Seeds
2 tspn. Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Sauce Ingredients:
1/2 cup Dried Hontaka Chilies
1 tbls. Annatto (achiote) Seeds (pulverized with a mortar and pestle)
1 tbls. Olive Oil
1 tspn. Salt
1 4 to 5/lb. Beef Heart (trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes)

1. In a large bowl, combine the vinegar, fresh chili, garlic, cumin, salt and a few grindings of pepper. Add the cubes of beef heart. If the marinade doesn’t cover the beef heart, add more vinegar. Refrigerate, covered, for 24 hours. Remove the beef heart from the marinade and set them both aside.

2. Break the dried chilies in half and brush out the seeds. Place the chilies in a bowl, pour 3/4 cup of boiling water over them and let them soak for 30 minutes. Drain the chilies and discard the soaking water. Combine the chilies and 3/4 cup of the reserved marinade, the annatto, oil and salt in the jar of a blender and puree at high speed for 15 seconds. (To make the sauce by hand, puree the soaked chilies through a food mill into a bowl. Discard any pulp left in the mill. Stir in 3/4 cup of marinade, the annatto, oil and salt.)

3. Light a layer of coals in a charcoal broiler and let them burn until white ash appears on the surface. Or preheat the broiler of the oven to its highest point. String the beef heart cubes on skewers and brush them with sauce. Broil 3 inches from the heat for 3 to 4 minutes, turning the skewers frequently and basting once or twice with the remaining sauce.

Serve hot.