Quinoa con Chancho // Peruvian Pork Quinoa Stew

I greatly admire and respect Gaston Acurio. He has taken Peruvian cuisine to a worldwide recognition, but is the first to encourage the creativity and ambition in others. One thing that I both enjoy and feel challenged by are the “recipes” he posts on his Facebook page. He gives a list of ingredients, some indication on steps and methods and at times, tells you when it is best to serve. Truth be told, it feels a little like a puzzle or a game to me! Can I take the list of ingredients and assign the correct quantities to each? Can I cook them properly? Am I understanding the idea behind  each dish? Will it taste like he imagines? I have made a number of recipes this way – this is certainly not the first!

Quinoa is a grain that I am constantly trying to eat more of. I both crave it and mentally know that it is good for me and that I “should.” You probably feel the same. You know you “should” eat more of it but are not certain what to do with it. Here is stew that includes a large quantity of quinoa and is cooked to deliciousness!

If you choose to make this vegetarian, I think that would be just fine! Meat is typically included in my meals more for my husband than myself – I just eat around it!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 600 grams pork, cut into small strips
  • 1 red onion, grated (or finely diced)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 cups of cubed potato
  • 3 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Preparation

  1. To make the quinoa, combine quinoa, salt and water in a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to very low and simmer until water is absorbed and the “tails” have “popped” on the grain. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Cover and set aside until ready to combine with stew.
  2. To make the stew, heat oil in a large skillet over medium high and add pork. Cook until browned on all sides. Add onion, tomato paste, oregano, salt and 1/4 cup water and continue to cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Transfer cooked quinoa to stew and add potatoes and remaining water. Simmer over low heat until potatoes are cooked through, about 20 minutes.
  3. Add parsley and Parmesan cheese, stirring to combine. Adjust seasoning with salt & pepper if you choose.

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