Anticuchos - Peruvian Grilled Beef Heart Skewers

Anticuchos – Grilled Beef Heart Skewers

Anticuchos are very popular in Peru. Peruvian meat skewers of various types can be classified under this name, but the most traditional version is based on beef heart, and it’s this one that I’m going to introduce to you today.

The recipe of Anticuchos – Grilled Beef Heart Skewers

Serving: 4 persons – Difficulty Level: Medium
Preparation Time: 20 min – Cook Time: 10 min



  • 1 lb beef heart, cleaned and cut into 2-inch cubes (450g)
  • Wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes


  • 1 cup red wine vinegar (240ml)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 aji panca chilies, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine red wine vinegar, minced garlic, chopped aji panca chilies, ground cumin, black pepper, salt, and vegetable oil to create the marinade.

  • Add the beef heart cubes to the marinade, ensuring they are well-coated. Cover the bowl and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.

  • Thread the marinated beef heart cubes onto the soaked wooden skewers.

  • Place the skewers on the grill and cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side, or until they are nicely charred and cooked to your desired level of doneness.

  • Remove the skewers from the grill and let them rest for a few minutes.

  • Serve the anticuchos hot, traditionally accompanied by boiled potatoes and Peruvian corn.

  • Anticuchos are a popular street food in Peru, often enjoyed during festivals and celebrations. While beef heart is traditional, you can also use other meats like chicken or beef tenderloin. If aji panca chilies are unavailable, you can substitute with another mild red chili pepper.

    FAQ about Anticuchos – Grilled Beef Heart Skewers

    What makes beef heart suitable for Anticuchos, and are there alternatives if I can’t find it?

    Beef heart is favored for its rich, meaty flavor and firm texture, which holds up well to grilling. If you can’t find beef heart, alternatives like beef tenderloin, chicken, or even pork can be used. These alternatives offer a different flavor but can still absorb the marinade well and provide a delicious result.

    Can the Anticuchos marinade be used for other dishes?

    Absolutely! The marinade, with its base of red wine vinegar, garlic, aji panca chilies, and spices, is versatile and can be used for marinating other meats like chicken, pork, or even vegetables for grilling.

    How long should I marinate the meat for the best flavor?

    For the deepest flavor, marinate the meat overnight in the refrigerator. However, if you’re pressed for time, a minimum of 4 hours will still impart a good amount of flavor.

    Is there a specific type of grill that works best for cooking Anticuchos?

    Anticuchos can be cooked on any type of grill, whether it’s charcoal, gas, or even a grill pan on the stove. Charcoal grills provide a smokier flavor, enhancing the traditional taste.

    What are traditional side dishes to serve with Anticuchos?

    In Peru, Anticuchos are commonly served with boiled potatoes and Peruvian corn. These sides complement the richness of the marinated meat and provide a balanced meal.

    How can I adjust the spiciness of the marinade to suit different tastes?

    You can adjust the heat level by varying the amount of aji panca chilies. For less spice, reduce the chilies or remove the seeds before chopping. If aji panca is too mild, consider adding a bit of a hotter chili, like cayenne or chipotle, to enhance the heat.

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