Well, the oddest constellation of all. A group of friends that has become, like all constellations, a great source of beauty, inspiration and light in my life.
These beautiful, crazy and super creative ladies, really do feel like family, and even though sometimes it seems like we come from different planets (especially you Sandra haha) the encouragement, support and sheer fun that we share is truly a great treasure that I am most grateful to have in my life.
Last week, Martina, the Slovakian baby of the group, turned 32 (ONLY 32!) and so to mark her passing into adulthood, I made them a Bolivian Pique Macho.
Pique Macho is a dish from the region of Cochabamba in Bolivia… which is an area very much like Kent, also dubbed the ‘Garden of Bolivia’. Cochabamba is famous for two things: its great weather and its HUGE FOOD PORTIONS. To give you an idea, one of its most famous dishes is the Silpancho, a sort beef Schnitzel that is often described in menus as being the size of an s Elephant’s Ear…and they are not joking.
Similarly the ‘Macho’ bit in the Pique Macho refers to having the guts (literally) to finish the HUGE & SPICY portion that you probably didn’t know was coming. I read a great blog from a lady from Cochabamba that encouraged all women to ‘test’ the worthiness of their future husbands by presenting them with a biggest/spiciest Pique possible and to only to accept their proposal if they were able to finish their plates… and soak up the juices at the bottom of the plate with a bit of bread. I love it. It should definitely be featured in one of those Man Vs Food programmes… with the wedding at the end.
Anyway, it’s actually a very easy dish to prepare last week I tried making it on my Slow Cooker for the first time, with great results. The recipe and photos are below.
Just remember to wear loose trousers!!!
- 500 gr stewing steak
- 400 gr Spanish chorizo
- 2 large onions
- 3 peppers
- 2 tablespoons of Aji Panca (or a teaspoon of chilli flakes)
- 500 gr of frozen chips
- 1 hard boiled egg
- 5-4 olives for decoration
- 2 beef stock cubes
- 1 glass of beer (larger)
- 2 teaspoons of mixed herbs
- Cut the onions and peppers into long pieces and place them in the slow cooker
- Brown the chorizo until it releases its juices, then place in the slow cooker
- Brown the meat in the chorizo oil and then place in the slow cooker
- Add the spices, stock and beer.
- Switch on your slow cooker on Auto or slow for 6-8 hours until the beef is tender and the juice has thickened
- Add the Aji Panca to taste before serving
- Cook your frozen chips according to their instructions
- Place a bed of chips, topped by the Beef stew and decorate with a few slices of egg and olives
- Serve with bread to soak up the juice at the end