Sunday, January 22, 2017

Guisado de Chivo y Lulo

     Ecuadorian Goat Stew with Naranjilla Fruit! 
     Stews are popular in Southern Mexico, Central America, Ecuador and Colombia.  Many of the stew recipes from those regions require plenty of native ingredients.  Few people think of stew as being hot tropical weather cuisine.  Tropical stews usually have ingredients and flavors that give relief to the heat.  Stews also provide good nutrition that is easy to digest.
     Stew recipes are some of the oldest recipes in the world.  Stewing was one of mankind's first cooking techniques.  The great thing about a stew is that all of the nutrients and flavor stays in the pot!
     Native cuisines of the Americas require many ingredients that are considered to be exotic.  Locally available ingredients produce great flavor combinations that really should be experienced.  Omitting the native ingredients for the sake of personal taste or convenience is not a good thing to do, especially when making a traditional stew.  Often when exotic ingredients are omitted, the stew will end up looking and tasting like any other ordinary stew and it will not impress guests.
      Naranjilla is an exotic tropical fruit that is essential for today's traditional Ecuadorian goat stew recipe.   Lulo is a local Ecuadorian name for Naranjilla.  Naranjilla is a tropical fruit from a nightshade family plant that grows in the Northwest region of South America.  Naranjilla looks like an orange color tomato.  When the fruit is cut open, the pulp looks greenish yellow.  Naranjilla fruit has a tart, tangy, citrus fruit flavor that is one of a kind.  Naranjilla is used in stew recipes and it is also used to make a refreshing afternoon fruit drink that is similar to Lemonade.  Lulo (Naranjilla) can be purchased fresh or frozen in Latin American food markets.  Frozen Naranjilla is a nice quality product that is easy to work with.
     Guisado de Chivo y Lulo: 
     This recipe yields 1 hearty portion.
     Frozen Naranjilla (Lulo) is available at most Latino food markets.  Fresh Naranjilla is more difficult to find outside of South America.
     Step 1:  Press the juice and pulp of 4 or 5 Lulo Fruit (Naranjilla) through a fine mesh strainer into a container.  (About 1 cup)
     Set the container aside till later in the recipe.
     Step 2:  Select 10 ounces of large goat meat stewing pieces with the bones attached.
     *The bones add flavor, but try to select meaty pieces so the proportion of bones remains low.  Any small bone pieces or bone splinters should be removed.
     Season the goat meat with sea salt and black pepper.
     Step 3:  Heat a braising pan (or wide sauce pot) over medium heat.
     Add 2 tablespoons of blended olive oil.
     Add the seasoned goat meat pieces.  
     Sauté till the goat meat is browned on all sides.
     Step 4:  Add 5 crushed garlic cloves.
     Add 3/4 cup of very finely chopped vidalia onion.
     Sauté till the onions start to turn clear in color.
     Step 5:  Add 1/3 cup of finely chopped red bell pepper.
     Add 1 finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper.
     Add 1 finely chopped seeded red serrano pepper.
     Sauté till the peppers start to become tender.
     Step 6:  Add 1/2 cup of finely chopped tomato.
     Add 1 teaspoon of ground anatto.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of cumin.
     Add 2 pinches of oregano.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of allspice.
     Briefly sauté and stir till the spices become aromatic.
     Step 7:  Add 3/4 cup of lager beer.
     Add the reserved Lulo juice and pulp.
     Add 2 tablespoons of Piloncillo.  (Plioncillo is also called Panela.  Piloncillo is raw sugar.)
     Add enough water to cover the ingredients with 1" of extra liquid.
     Bring the liquid to a gentle boil.
     Step 8:  Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
     Taste the stew and adjust the seasoning with sea salt and black pepper if necessary.
     Skim off any excess oil that floats on top of the liquid
     Step 9:  Gently simmer the stew for at least 2 hours, so the goat meat becomes very tender.
     Allow the stewing sauce to reduce to a medium thin consistency that easily clings to the goat meat.    
     *Only add more lager beer or water to the stew if the stewing sauce reduces too far before the goat meat is tender.
     Keep the finished stew warm over very low heat or in a 135ºF bain marie.

     This recipe describes 1 hearty entrée.
     Step 1:  Remove the large goat meat pieces from the stew and mound them on the center of a plate or shallow stew bowl.
     Spoon the rich stewing sauce over the goat meat pieces and onto the plate.
     Step 2:  Sprinkle 1 or 2 pinches of finely chopped cilantro or Italian Parsley over the stew.
     Garnish the plate with a cilantro sprig or Italian Parsley sprig.
     Serve with beans and rice on the side.
     Serve with soft crust bread or steamed corn tortillas on the side.

     The goat meat is very tender after simmering in the acidic stew sauce.  The spices create an interesting flavor.  The Lulo Fruit has a great tasting tart citrus flavor.  This is a great tasting Ecuadorian goat stew that can be served any season!

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