Anticuchos are small pieces of meat, most often beef heart, marinated in spicy aji pepper sauce, skewered on a stick, and grilled over hot coals. Try this easy-to-prepare recipe of one of Peru's best street foods.
In a large mixing bowl, make the sauce for the marinade. Add the aji amarillo chili paste, crushed garlic cloves, ground cumin, bay leaf, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Stir a little with a teaspoon until a smooth paste has formed. Put aside.
Rinse the hearts under running water and pat dry. Lay on the cutting board, and with a sharp knife remove the large pieces of arteries and veins that are in the upper part of the hearts, as well as the fat pads. Discard.
Cut the hearts in two, crosswise. Take each of the halves, and cut them into strips lengthwise. Finally, cut the strips one by one, making the classic squares of the skewers. Some squares of 2 to 3 cm on each side.
Put the meat in the bowl with the marinade. Stir with a spoon and make sure all the pieces of heart are covered in the mixture. Cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap or a lid and let them marinate for at least eight hours. It is essential that you marinate the pieces of heart for the indicated time. Vinegar not only helps improve flavor; it also makes meat softer.
Dip skewer sticks under running water. If you wish, you can soak them for half an hour before making the skewers. During cooking, this will help prevent the meat from dehydrating. Put six to eight pieces of meat on the first skewer. Repeat for each skewer.
Turn the stove on to high heat, and place a grill pan on it. Place the anticucho kebabs on the hot skillet, and cook for three minutes on each side.