At lunch time locro de pecho, a stew, is a wonderful option in the different popular restaurants of Cusco. Its name draws attention, making people feel the sensation of the ingredients. It is often prepared in our restaurants and that fact is exhibited on the boards on which they write their offerings. By just seeing and reading the name you are tempted to try it.
In our popular markets—San Pedro, Cascaparo, Rosaspata, and Ttio, it is made up as a thick stew. It contains potatoes, the chest meat of beef, peanuts, mint, and a sofrito (rehogado) of garlic, red aji peppers, onion, tomatoes, and pepper. It all combines on your palate to create a wonder.
The passersby who enjoy the varied list of offerings, but the locro of pecho is all done before the majority of foods.
In the homes of Cusco people eat this dish a lot. Many days of the week housewives spoil their families with the intense flavors of locro de pecho. Its color, from the bright flesh of hard squash, its scent, its texture, and taste along with white rice and a fresh salad makes a carnival. My words thin as I write but the sensation of eating this dish grows on your palate.
There is nothing better that this dish home cooked. When my mother makes up a locro de pecho all my family sits and waits with lots of desire to be served. The tender meat along with the stew makes my whole family ask for seconds. My mother always serves the dish with lots of salad composed of bright tomatoes and sharp onions.
Locro is a dish you find in many parts of South America, although it varies from place to place. Every town, every city, every country has its own set of flavors, just as every cook ahs their touch. Wherever you find yourself, whether in Peru or elsewhere it is always a pleasure to try a good locro of pecho.
There are various kinds of locro: ones that feature zapallo (a local hubbard-type squash), a cheese locro (which has fresh shrimp or prawns and is served with pieces of fried corvina fish), potato locro, jerky locro, locro of beef knuckles, Huánuco style chicken locro, rib locro from Arequipa which has cabbage in it, and more. But one of the most popular is always the locro de pecho.
It is known that this dish is from Arequipa originally. Nevertheless is has become popular elsewhere, such as in Cusco, where you will always find it in our restaurants and markets.
To prepare this dish you have to boil the meat. The concentrated broth is the principal base of the dish. To it you add the other ingredients.
Reheated in the morning, locro de pecho makes a wonderful breakfast along with a strong coffee. It is a marvelous way to start the day. You can eat it in the afternoon as lunch or in the evening for supper. It is always a delight to enjoy.
You will find locro throughout Peru prepared according to the characteristics of each place. The potatoes that fall apart in the broth along with tender pieces of meat makes locro very satisfying. With every spoonful it wraps us in flavor and leaves us happy.
It is always a party, a fiesta, to see it prepared and more so toe at it. If you visit Cusco and have not tried the dish we recommend it to you.