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Ajiaco – Hangover Stew Recipe from Chile

‘Hangover Stew’

(Ajiaco)

SERVES 6 – 8

This restorative stew, so brothy that it’s almost a soup, is enjoyed in small towns throughout Chile—where it is often served on Mondays as a means of using up leftovers from the traditional Sunday barbecue.

Ingredients:

2 lbs. flank steak, cut across the grain into 2″ strips
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1⁄2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into thick sticks
1⁄4 lb. string beans, trimmed and cut in 2″ pieces
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 tbsp. coarsely chopped celery leaves
1 tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp. white vinegar
6–8 eggs

Preparation:

Generously season meat with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add half the meat and brown, turning once, about 3 minutes per side. Remove and repeat with remaining meat. Pour out excess oil (leave only a thin film on bottom of pan) then return meat.

Reduce heat to medium-low, add garlic, cumin, and oregano, and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add carrots and cook for 5 minutes. Add onions and cook, stirring, just until onions begin to soften, about 10 more minutes. Pour in 6 cups water and simmer until meat is just tender, about 1 hour.

Add potatoes, beans, peas, celery, parsley, and cilantro to meat mixture. Continue simmering until potatoes are tender, for 20–25 minutes. Adjust seasoning.

Although eggs can be poached directly in the stew, it is easier—and much less messy—to poach them separately. Combine vinegar, which helps the egg hold its shape, and 4 cups water in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Crack each egg into a saucer, then carefully slip egg into simmering water. Cook eggs in batches, just until whites are firm, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. To serve, ladle stew into individual bowls and top each with 1 poached egg.

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