Sheep are very well known in Cuzco. We know them not only for the wool for for the fine mutton they produce. We make many tasty dishes from lamb. In Spanish we call them cordero, and this refers to both male and female sheep when they are less than one year old. When they are older than a year we call them carneros.
Lamb meat is high in calories, proteins and fats. It also has lots of cholesterol, vitamin, and minerals such as iron, phosphorus, potassium, and others. Furthermore it tends to be very tender and juicy. Depending on the age of the lamb, the meat tends to be somewhere between very soft and tender.
Cordero, mutton, tends to be a red meat with lots of saturated fats, cholesterol and sodium. Its consumption in quantity is not recommended for people who are overweight since it can bring about concerns for their health.
You can make all kinds of wonderful dishes from these meats depending on your preference, whether soups or lamb chops with rice and potatoes. One very tasty soup is that of lisas (ollucos , a native tuber) with mutton. You can also make mutton soup, chicharron of mutton (deep fried, crispy mutton), roast lamb, etc.
One delicious dish we must recognize is the famous seco de cordero, a stewed mutton. This dish is famous throughout Peru and is one of our country’s traditional, typical, dishes.
For it you stew mutton in various herbs, such as cilantro, which gives it the really wonderful flavor that characterizes the dish. Normally the dish is served up with beans, boiled potatoes, and / or yucas, as well as white rice.
If you walk down our streets at lunchtime, it is easy to find a seco de cordero offered in the set meals, the menus, of many local restaurants. This is a very popular dish in Cuzco. Restaurants tend to make up a lot for people to enjoy and so that they can draw a large clientelle and make a profit.
If you want to cook up some mutton at home, where do you find it?
You can find the majority of the meats we consume in our markets, especially the large ones that also do wholesale, such as the Vino Canchon and the San Pedro markets. Of course, the supermarkets also offer a selection of meats.
So, if you want to prepare a delicious meal with mutton while you spend a great weekend with your family, make up your list of things you need and head to the market. You can choose your cut and then prepare it to enjoy at home.
We love both lamb and mutton in Cuzco and eat it a lot.