Rocoto relleno is a staple in Arequipa’s picanterias (traditional lunchtime joints found across Peru). Try this video recipe at home.
You’ve probably heard about rocoto, the spicy red chili pepper native to Peru and Bolivia. Depicted in textiles and ceramics of pre-Hispanic cultures like Paracas, Nazca, Moche, and Chimu, rocoto is an important ingredient in numerous Peruvian dishes.
Rocoto is a spicy beast, ranging from 30,000-100,000 Scoville units, but it takes center stage in this classic recipe from Arequipa. Though you can find frozen rocoto peppers in the US and elsewhere, you can substitute this recipe with bell peppers and add the kick of spice in the filling.
Ingredients for rocoto relleno
- 4 rocoto or bell peppers
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup red onion
- 1 Tbsp garlic
- 1 Tbsp ají panca (substitute with ancho powder or paste)
- .55 lbs pork meat
- .55 lbs meat
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tsp cumin
- 1 Tbsp roasted peanuts
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup black olives
- 1 Tbsp parsley
- 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
- Queso fresco, parmesan or cheese of your choice to top off stuffed peppers
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
If you are using rocoto, cut off the top of the pepper and scoop out the veins and seeds. Let them boil in water for a minute or two, add a Tbsp of salt. Drain water and repeat process with new water two more times. In a skillet, sautée vegetable oil, onion, garlic and ají panca. Add pork meat, combine, and then add beef. Season to taste. Add and combine cumin, roasted peanuts, raisins, olives, parsley, and hard boiled eggs.
Once all is cooked, add the stuffing to the peppers, which are placed in an oven-safe pyrex. Add cheese to the top of the peppers and then place the pepper tops. Whisk together the egg and milk, and pour mixture over the peppers. Place in the oven for 20 minutes at 390° F. Serve and enjoy!
Cover photo: Peru.info via Pinterest
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