Fricase Paceño Boliviano

Fricase Paceño

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What I remember about this dish growing up was that every place that was organizing a New Year’s eve party offered Fricase paceno para recibir el alba on the menu. Of course, I didn’t understand why this was a special on the menu at 5 am in the morning on New Year’s eve! But when I was old enough that my parents let me go to a party with friends, I realized how important it is to have a nice spicy soup to keep you awake to receive the New Year with good energy. So I now understand why fricase is so important. I love this dish for the flavor and how simple it is. You don’t have to eat it at 5 or 6 am in the morning to enjoy!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 lb pork (ribs or porkchop)

1/2 cup aji amarillo yellow sauce

12 black or white Chuño (usually you use the black ones) 3 per person (chuño is freeze-dried potato, if unavailable, rather than substituting for potatoes I’d just leave them out)

1/4 cup bread crumbs

1 can hominy (Mote blanco)

5 garlic

1 tsp cumin

1 tbs dry oregano

salt

4 cups of water or broth

Get the ingredients ready. Chuño is soaked in water a night ahead, clean the extra skin if necessary.

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Cut the pork into 8 large pieces, two per person. Rub the aji amarillo into the pork.

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Meanwhile in a large pot heat the water or broth. Once is hot (but not boiling) add the pork, garlic, salt, cumin and let it simmer for an hour an a half.

While the meat is cooking, cook the Chuño in a separate pot. It’s cooked after 20 min or tender with a knife. Set aside.

Once the pork is tender after one hour and a half, add the oregano and bread crumbs. Let it simmer for 10 min. Add the Chuño and hominy or mote blanco (I like doing it this way).

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Usually in Bolivia they put the chuño and the mote blanco in the soup bowl first and they add the meat and the fricase soup on top. I love cooking the mote blanco and chuño in the soup a little bit so they absorb the flavor.

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The best way to enjoy this is early in the morning usually Saturday after a long night partying! There’s nothing better to go with this than a crispy  marraqueta (Bolivian version of a baguette) to soak the juices in your bread and a good llajwa (spicy salsa).

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