Charquicán

Submitted by:
Felipe Jimenez Aspee, Stuttgart, Germany
Food Chemistry and Nutritional Sciences

Ingredients

1 small yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, diced
500g ground beef
2 cups winter pumpkin (kabocha, butternut, or similar), peeled, cubed
5 small potatoes, peeled, cubed
1 small carrot, peeled, cubed
1/2 cup each corn, green peas, or green beans (frozen is fine)
1 cup of spinach (frozen is fine)
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
Pinch of cumin
Salt, pepper, oil
1 sunny side egg (optional)

1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, put one tablespoon of oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 6-8 minutes, until soft.

2. Add the meat and cook for 6 minutes. Put aside.

3. In a big pot put the pumpkin, potatoes, carrot, corn, green peas and spinach. Fill with water enough to cover all the vegetables (1 liter is fine), add salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, and paprika. Stir. Bring to boil and cook cover for 15-20 minutes, simmering. Reduce the heat if need it. Recover half cup of the veggie broth and filter all the rest.

4. With a fork, mash the veggies. Add the meat and the half cup of veggie broth.

5. Stir and taste, adjust the seasoning if necessary

Serve hot with a fried egg on top.

Background

Charquicán is a traditional Chilean dish that’s great for winter or summer. Its name comes from the quechua word "charqui", a Chilean jerky and "kankan" from the mapudungún word "to roast".
Besides being very nutritious, its delicious and can be prepared with fresh seasonal veggies in less than 40 min.
As part of the traditional Chilean cousine, my mother used to cook this meal for us once a week. It was a cheap and easy way of putting lots of veggies in our diet. Since moving to live alone and now with my own family, eating this dish for lunch or dinner always brings good memories of my childhood.

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