While much of Argentina's food finds its origins in Spanish and Italian cuisine, locro is one of the most notable examples of indigenous influence on the country's culinary traditions. It is a meat and vegetable stew typically served on special occasions like holidays. While every family's locro can be slightly different, the main ingredients almost always include hominy, fava beans or lima beans, and some kind of squash. The variety of meats found in locro can differ between families, but both pork and beef are almost always present. Typical meats found in locro include pork shoulder, chorizo, bacon, flank or strip steak, oxtail, tripe, pig feet, and pig skin. It is also normally topped with a slightly spicy onion and oil sauce called quiquirimichi.
- 1 1/2 cups hominy, dried or canned
- 1 cup dried white beans, fava beans, or lima beans
- Olive oil
- 1/2 lb. pork shoulder, cubed or sliced
- 1/2 lb. flank steak, cubed or sliced
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 lb. chorizo, sliced
- 1/2 lb. bacon, preferably unsmoked; diced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 leek, halved and sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 tbsp. dried oregano
- 1 tbsp. sweet paprika
- 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
- 2 tsp. red pepper flake, divided
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 acorn squash, peeled, seeded, and diced
- Either 1 or 2 pigs feet (boiled and quartered), 1 or 2 pieces of oxtail (boiled), or a sheet of pig skin (boiled and but into small pieces); these ingredients have a lot of cartilage, bone, and/or connective tissue with high gelatin content, which will help in thickening the locro
- 10 cups water or chicken stock (I like using water since I think stock could mask some of the other flavors
- Scallions, sliced
- 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
- If using dried hominy, rinse until water runs clear. Place in a bowl with the beans, cover with water, and soak for at least 8 hours or overnight. If using canned hominy, skip this step and just soak the beans.
- Heat some olive oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Season pork and steak with salt and pepper. Brown the meat in batches, turning until browned all over, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
- Add chorizo and bacon, cooking for another 2 minutes.
- Add onion, leek, and garlic, cooking until soft, another 3 minutes.
- Add tomato paste, oregano, sweet paprika, 1 tsp. red pepper flake, and bay leaf. Cook for 2 minutes, then return meat to the pan with the drained hominy and beans, squash, pig feet/oxtail/pig skin, and water or stock.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, partially cover, and cook until hominy and beans are tender, about 2 hours.
- Near the end of cooking, start making the quiquirimichi. Add some olive oil to a sauté pan and place over medium heat. Add a large amount of chopped scallions and cook until slightly soft. Then add smoked paprika and remaining red pepper flakes. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Heat the sauce through in a sauté pan.
- Divide stew into bowls and drizzle with the quiquirimichi.