Anticuchos (Peruvian Beef Kebabs)

Prep Time
Cook Time
8h 10m
Ready In

"A very popular street food in Peru. Grilled corn makes a good accompaniment. Adapted from Planet Barbecue and Time/Life Foods of the World. Prep time includes marinating time. Number of servings is for appetizers; serves 4 as a light main course."

Original is 6 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (135.3 g)
  • Calories 231.1
  • Total Fat - 15 g
  • Saturated Fat - 3 g
  • Cholesterol - 140.6 mg
  • Sodium - 139.1 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 2.9 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 1.3 g
  • Sugars - 0.6 g
  • Protein - 20.8 g
  • Calcium - 20.2 mg
  • Iron - 5.7 mg
  • Vitamin C - 2.9 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.3 mg

Step by Step Method

Step 1

Heat a dry cast-iron skillet over medium heat.

Step 2

Place garlic in skillet and brown lightly on all sides, 6-8 minutes.

Step 3

Remove and let cool.

Step 4

Add cumin seeds to skillet and toast until fragrant and lightly browned, 2-4 minutes. (If using ground cumin, toast 1-2 minutes.).

Step 5

Remove and let cool.

Step 6

If using cumin seeds, grind to a fine powder in a mill or using a mortar and pestle.

Step 7

Place garlic, cumin and aji panca paste (or paprika or chipotles) in a food processor and puree to a fine paste.

Step 8

Gradually add vinegar and enough annatto oil to make a thick paste.

Step 9

Season with salt and pepper.

Step 10

Weave meat onto bamboo skewers, 3 pieces per skewer.

Step 11

Arrange in a nonreactive baking dish and spread seasoning paste over meat, thickly coating both sides.

Step 12

Cover and refrigerate for 6-12 hours, turning occasionally.

Step 13

Preheat grill to high.

Step 14

Brush and oil grill grate.

Step 15

Drain kebabs and discard marinade.

Step 16

Grill until golden brown and cooked through, 3-4 minutes per side (medium-well to well-done is preferred), basting with oil after first 3 minutes.

Step 17

Serve hot.

Step 18

NOTE #1--To make annatto oil, heat 1/2 cup vegetable oil in a saucepan over moderate heat. Stir in 1/4 cup annatto (achiote) seeds. Stir for 30 seconds. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cool, and strain. This will keep several months if tightly covered and refrigerated, but it will lose flavor as it ages. You may also use purchased annatto oil, or substitute olive oil.

Step 19

NOTE #2--the coward's way out. If you absolutely cannot find beef heart, or you cringe at the thought of eating it, beef rib eye or sirloin may be substituted. It should be prepared the same way, but marinated for only 2-4 hours.

Tips & Variations

  • Bamboo skewers

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