Taste of Home

Sometimes all you need is a home cooked meal, one that reminds you of mom making supper when you came home at the end of the school day. Nothing special or out of the ordinary, just something that says, “I’m home and the day is done.”  A Latin American friend and I were talking about how the fanciest meal at a restaurant couldn’t compare with a plate of simple food—and for us that meant anything that could be served with a heaping pile of rice and beans.

Carne chorizada is one of those unpretentious recipes that makes it into the dinner rotation at least twice a month at my house. It never gets boring, despite its brief and humble list of ingredients.

Serves 4 to 6
This recipe can also be made with meatloaf mix or a combination of ground beef and ground pork. If you can’t find fresh baby corn, substitute with 1½ frozen corn kernels. Achiote paste is a common ingredient in Nicaraguan dishes and can be found in Latin American supermarkets or the international aisle of the supermarket. It’s primarily a colorant, so if you can’t find it, don’t worry and proceed with the recipe.

2 pounds 85% lean ground beef
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon vegetable or corn oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 small red potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼” dice (about 1½ cups)
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ¼” dice (about 1 cup)
8 ears baby corn, cut into crosswise into ¼” rounds
1 tablespoon achiote paste (optional)
3 tablespoons cider vinegar

– Using your hands, combine the beef with 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard in a large bowl.

– Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until it’s softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the achiote paste (if using) and cook, stirring with a wooden cooking spoon, until the onions are evenly coated, about 1 minute.

– Increase heat to medium-high; add the beef, and cook, continuously stirring and breaking up any lumps, until the beef is no longer pink and most of the released juices have been absorbed. Stir in the vinegar, potatoes, carrots, and baby corn. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.  Remove skillet from heat, season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with white rice, black or red kidney beans, corn tortillas, and/or fried plantains.

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