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Peruvian Anticuchos (Beef Cow Heart) Skewers Recipe

Peruvian Anticuchos (Beef Cow Heart) Skewers Recipe

Anticuchos (cow heart) skewers are an absolute staple of Peruvian cuisine. Not only can you find them all over Peru served from street food carts, but they’re also cooked at home and eaten as a typical Peruvian meal.

The aji panca sauce is the hero of cow heart anticuchos skewers, also eaten throughout the rest of South America, it makes the marinade and the end product incredibly flavorsome and feel so authentically Peruvian.

The earthy flavors from the marinade contrast beautifully with the yellow pepper sauce which adds a tangy, spicy taste from the scotch bonnet peppers.

Of course, feel free to moderate the heat by cutting down on the chillies and scotch bonnets if necessary.

Peruvian Anticuchos (Beef Cow Heart) Recipe

Peruvian Anticuchos Skewers Recipe

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Anticuchos are an incredibly delicious Peruvian staple and traditional recipe. The earthy flavors from the marinade contrast beautifully with the yellow pepper sauce which adds a tangy, spicy taste from the scotch bonnet peppers.


  • 1 Cow heart
  • 2 Red chillies
  • 2 Yellow scotch bonnet peppers
  • 2 bulbs Garlic
  • 1/2 cup Aji panca paste
  • 3 Yellow peppers
  • 1 White onion
  • 1 tbsp Ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup Olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Bamboo skewers sticks


  1. First make sure you clean the cow heart by cutting out any dangling bits to leave you with a nice lump of meat. Cut into thick squares that will thread well on to a skewer.
  2. Create the marinade by mixing the aji panca paste, garlic, cumin, red chillies, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix in the meat to the marinade, cover and put in the fridge for 4 hours or longer if possible.
  3. Soak your bamboo skewer sticks in cold water so that they don’t burn during cooking. Once your meat has finished marinating, start to thread the meat on to the skewers, keeping your leftover marinade in a bowl for later.
  4. Meanwhile, start up the barbecue so it’s ready for grilling. (If you don’t have a barbecue, a grill will work fine).
  5. Set aside your skewers whilst you prepare the yellow pepper sauce.
  6. Cut the yellow peppers in to quarters and place on a baking tray adding chopped chillies, large chopped chunks of white onion, a bulb of garlic and a wedge of lemon.
  7. Drizzle over olive oil, salt and pepper and then roast in a pre-heated oven (200°C) for 30 minutes, or until they start to brown.
  8. In a food processor, place your cooked and peeled yellow peppers, your roasted garlic (minus the skin), your scotch bonnets (de-seeded), the flesh of your lemon and a drizzle of oil.
  9. Whizz the ingredients in the processor into a nice yellow paste. Add more olive oil if needed.
  10. Now begin cooking your skewers on the barbecue or grill, basting with your leftover marinade once or twice to keep the meat coated. Turn once or twice throughout cooking, they will only need around 5 minutes to fully cook.
  11. Once cooked and browned, take them off the grill and serve with the yellow pepper sauce. You can also serve with rice, corn or potatoes.
  12. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 322Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 156mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 3g

Of course, anticuchos are best enjoyed whilst travelling Peru and taking in the sights and smells of Peruvian food.

Head over to the Travel Food Atlas blog to check out some more amazing destinations.

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