Dear Readers– Lo siento, we got a little ahead of ourselves with last week’s dessert, alfajores. Skipped over several more savory courses. We’re back this week with Locro. Don’t worry, there will be more dessert to come!
In the words of Chef Chris:
Locro (bean and hominy stew) is a traditional stew throughout the Andes regions of South America often made with squash, beans, corn/hominy and meat including bacon and chorizo. It is considered a Argentine national dish and often served on the anniversary of the May Revolution. It is thick and rich and we thought that is had similarities to chili. We had locro at Cumaña, a restaurant in Buenos Aires popular with locals. It was a bit heavy but would be great on a chilly winter evening.
We tried to recreate the locro we had in Buenos Aires and found many of the ingredients at a local grocery in the Mission district in San Francisco, CA. We used canned hominy and beans (brand: Goya).
Adapted from recipe in Seashells and Sunflowers, which had adapted a recipe by Dan Perlman in his blog Saltshaker. Since we have been on a recent slow cooker kick we made some adjustments accordingly then at the end we simmered the entire stew on low heat for an additional few hours to reduce the sauce and bring out the rich, smoky flavors.
2 tbs. olive oil
3/4 cup white corn (hominy)
3/4 cup white navy beans
1/2 cup chick peas
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 oz. pancetta, cubed
2 oz. chorizo, uncooked
1/2 lb. pork shoulder, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 ears of fresh yellow sweet corn, cut the kernels off the cobs
14 oz. crushed tomatoes
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tbs. paprika
salt to taste
½ tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 cup sweet potato or butternut squash (or both), peeled and diced small
chopped green onion for garnish (optional)
chili oil (see directions below)
crème fraiche topping (optional)
Prepare the chili oil in advance by soaking a teaspoon of ají molido (or crushed red pepper flakes) in a tablespoon of olive oil for 2-3 hours.
In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute onions until they start to become translucent. Reduce heat and add chorizo and garlic until cooked through. Add cumin and paprika and cook for 1-2 minutes. Transfer everything to slow cooker. In separate saucepan, cook pancetta until well done and crispy. Drain fat and transfer to slow cooker. Add pork shoulder.
Drain and rinse hominy, beans and chick peas. Transfer to slow cooker. Stir in the sweet potato/squash, crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook on low for 8-9 hours. Add fresh corn for last 30 minutes.
We then transferred everything into large pot to simmer at low heat. Stir and mash the starchy vegetables using the back of a wide spoon or spatula, press the ingredients up against the sides of the pot so they break down into the soup. As you continue to stir and mash the soup should gradually thicken. Continue until the locro reaches the rich consistency of a stew. Add salt to taste.
Serve in bowls, and garnish with green onions and a touch of chili oil. We also topped off with a dollop of crème fraiche mixed with lemon juice to lighten the heaviness and add a bit of tangy goodness (a la sour cream on chili).
This post is part of the second Spicebox Supperclub, the Comida Porteño con Sabor Latino, celebrating the food and drink of Buenos Aires, Argentina.