Peruvian beef casserole with socca
Sometimes the best things happen by accident. This casserole is one of those things. I’d seen a recipe in the August edition of BBC Good Food magazine for lomo saltado – a Peruvian beef stir fry. I thought it looked good and bought all the of the ingredients.
Unfortunately, I hadn’t read the recipe properly – I thought it was a casserole recipe and had bought cubes of stewing steak. On the day I was going to cook it, I realised that it was actually a stir fry recipe. My stewing steak was not going to stand for being flash cooked in minute!
So I had to adapt. This delicious casserole recipe is the result of me adapting the stir fry recipe to make a casserole. I loved it, it was one of the best things I’ve cooked in a while. The beef was so tender it fell apart and was so tasty from the marinade. The casserole itself was rich and with great texture from the vegetables.
The discovery of socca is also a real revelation. I’d bought chickpea flour to make chickpea fries recently, and had some left flour over. Thanks to The Kitchn for the instructions on how to make it. They were light but filling and perfect to dip in the casserole. I will definitely be making them again!
Ingredients (serves 3-4)
For the marinade
– 4 chopped garlic cloves
– 75ml light soy sauce
– 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
– 2 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce
– 1 teaspoon each dried oregano and ground cumin
For the casserole
– 400g beef, cut into cubes (choose a cut for casseroles or stewing)
– 400ml passata
– 1 red onion, peeled and cut into wedges
– 2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
– 1 red chilli, thinly sliced
– 100g frozen peas
– 2 tablespoons vodka
– 10g chopped parlsey
For the chilli paste
– 2 garlic cloves, chopped
– 1 red chilli, sliced
For the socca (makes four thick pancakes)
– 250g chickpea flour
– 250ml water
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– pinch of salt
– 20g parsley, chopped (you can substitute the parsley for another fresh herb of your choice or leave it out, if you prefer)
1. Mix all of the marinade ingredients together in a bowl then add the beef. Make sure all of the beef is coated with the marinade then leave cover and leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or overnight if possible.
2. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Take a pan that is oven-proof and hob-proof. On the hob, brown the marinated meat for 2-3 minutes. You don’t want to cook it, just seal the outside.
3. Pour the rest of the marinade over the beef, along with the passata. Cover and put in the oven for 2-3 hours until the meat is tender. Now is a good time to make the socca mix (see below).
4. Make the chilli paste by cooking the garlic in a small pan with some olive oil until softened and fragrant. Add the chilli and stir for another 3 minutes. Set aside to cool, then blend to make a smooth paste.
5. Heat some oil in a large frying pan and cook the onion wedges for 1 minute. Add the tomato and chilli slices and pour over the vodka. Cook for another minute. You want the vegetables to retain some crunch.
6. Take the meat out of the oven and place back on the hob on a low heat. Stir in the chilli paste, the vegetables and the frozen peas. Leave to simmer gently (so that the peas cook!) while you cook the socca.
7. Serve with socca wedges to dip and sprinkled with chopped parsley.
To make the socca
1. Mix together the chickpea flour, water, oil, salt and parsley. Leave to stand to half an hour to 2 hours so that the flour can absorb the water.
2. Heat a heavy based pan on a high heat. Add some oil to the pan. Pour a ladle and a half of the mixture and swirl it around to coat the pan. Cook like you would a normal pancake – once the underside is firm and lightly browned, turn over and cook the other side. Each side will probably take about 3 minutes.
3. Transfer to a plate and keep warm in the oven until ready to serve. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.
4. Cut into wedges and serve.
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