ox heart anticucho

Peruvian Anticuchos

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Anticuchos are skewers of meat or fish, marinated and cooked on a chargrill. They are traditionally made with ox heart but they may also be made with chicken breast, chicken thighs, chicken liver, steak, lamb or fish. They are a popular party food in South America.


  • 1lbs of fresh beef heart, thinly sliced and cut into 2 inch squares
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 5 big fresh garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons of finely minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons of finely minced fresh coriander
  • 4 dried chillies (Aji Panca)
  • 1cups oil
  • 10 -12 ears corn on the cob, cooked (save some of the husk/leaves)
  • 10 -12 boiled potatoes, peeled



  1. Soak the chillies (Aji Panca) in hot water until they are soft.
  2. Remove the veins and seeds from the chillies. (Keep some of the seeds if you like the dish to be spicier.)
  3. Blend the chillies with the vinegar, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, parsley, coriander and  1/2 cup of the oil until you have a soft paste.
  4. Place the pieces of heart in a bowl
  5. Pour the chilli paste on to the pieces of heart and distribute evenly so all pieces are well covered and can absorb the marinade. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Do not let them marinade for too long or they will dry out.
  6. In the meantime, place thick bamboo skewers to soak in water so they don’t burn when they go on the grill.
  7. Use a charcoal grill and make sure the coals are very hot before you start.
  8. Push three or four pieces of heart on to each skewer, so that the meat lays flat.
  9. Pour any leftover marinade into a cup or small bowl and add the rest of the oil to it, mixing well. This will be used for basting the anticuchos on the grill.
  10. To make an authentic basting brush, tie some pieces of fresh corn husk (the outer leaves) with a string made out of a husk strip and shred them half way up (You can use dry husk too but you need to soak it for a while in warm water to make it flexible and then pat it dry before you use it).
  11. When the coals are ready and the grill is hot place the anticuchos flat on the grill and baste them generously with the leftover marinade and oil mix.
  12. The marinade will drip onto the coals and cause the coals to flame over the anticuchos, which gives them their distinctive smokey flavour.
  13. Cook the anticuchos for about 1 minute and a half on each side. Turn them over continuously and keep basting and flaming them until they are done. DO NOT OVERCOOK! They will dry out and become tough. (Medium or medium/well done is fine.) 
  14. At the same time, place the pieces of corn and potatoes on a corner of the grill, baste them with the same marinade and allow them to be flamed too.

While the original and traditional recipe is for ox-heart anticuchos , you can replace the ox heart with ordinary beef, chicken, fish, prawns or lamb if you prefer.