Peruvian Carapulcra

Pork and Potato Stew

Serves 6-8

1 1/2 lbs. pork loin, cut into ¾” cubes
2 cups papa seca (dried potatoes) soaked in stock*
2 cups chicken stock, or as needed
4 tbs. Canola oil
1 large onion, small dice
4 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 hot yellow aji (peppers), chopped, or dried*
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
½ cup dry white wine
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup roasted peanuts, finely ground in food processor

3 hardboiled eggs, sliced
Black or green olives

Heat the oil in a heavy pan.  Add the pork, season, and brown on all over, about 5-8 minutes.  Transfer to a plate.  Set aside.

Lower the heat and stir the onion into the oil in the pan.  Cook until translucent, about 3-5 minutes.  Add the garlic, cumin, oregano and cloves, and cook for 1 minute more.  Add the hot pepper puree and the wine and cook for 1 minute.  Add the potatoes, stir and cover the pan.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Add the peanuts and stock.  Bring to the boil, and simmer gently for 20-30 minutes.

Return the pork to the pan and bring to the boil.  Lower the heat, replace the lid and simmer for 6-8 minutes, until the meat is fully cooked and tender.  The sauce should be medium thick.  Add a little more stock, if necessary.

Arrange the stew on a heated serving platter and garnish it with the hardboiled egg slices and olives.

*Papa seca is available in Latin markets and should be toasted in a skillet or roasted in the oven to bring about a nutty flavor prior to soaking.  Soak in hot chicken stock to accelerate process, about 2 hrs.

Aji yellow peppers can also be found in Latin markets under the name aji mirasol in dry form.  Or preferably look for fresh aji peppers, core, devein and chop finely.