Anticuchos (cow’s heart kebabs) – Flavor on a stick

Is there something more Peruvian than anticuchos? These cow´s heart kebabs have been part of the gastronomic history of our country since colonial times, and they are present in almost every creolle celebration. They are great fare for an outdoors lunch, after a soccer match (which we call “futbol”), or any time you’re hungry or craving a tasty piece of meat. Usually accompanied by traditional Peruvian music, guitars and cajón, (the instrument created by African descendants), street anticuchos are also a great snack on the go.

These strongly seasoned skewers are deeply engraved in the soul of every Peruvian. They all grew up watching anticucheras -the women who cook and sell anticuchos on the streets- surrounded by big clouds of smoke and a bunch of customers ready to be delighted by these meaty morsels, plain boiled potatoes, boiled fresh corn, and several ají sauces. Those are the traditional sides for anticuchos, and the best ones because the dish is already so tasty that not much else is needed.

To obtain the best anticuchos the meat should be perfectly cleaned, cut and seasoned. It needs to marinate in a mixture of ají panca, (which adds not only heat but that smoky and earthy flavor of dried chili pepper as well), garlic, cumin, vinegar, salt and pepper. Season anticuchos carefully but do not make them too spicy because ají sauces will be served with them so everyone can moderate the heat on their dish. Cook them briefly and be ready to enjoy the texture of this meat, different to any other. (If you’re not adventurous and like to stick to more traditional meats, you just use beef or chicken, like in our chicken anticuchos recipe).

An icy cold beer, Inca KolaPisco sour or chicha morada are recommended drinks, but feel free to choose any beverage of your preference. And for dessert? Picarones, of course! (Recipe coming up next week, stay tuned!) Mazamorra morada and rice pudding are two other favorites.

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Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1heart of cow or veal, clean and cut in squares (use chicken or beef if you prefer)
  • Marinade:
  • ½cup ají panca paste
  • 1tablespoon garlic, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1tablespoon dried oregano
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Sides:
  • 2 Russet potatoes, boiled, peeled, and cut in thick slices
  • 2 Peruvian giant kernel corns, boiled, and cut in thick slices
  • To serve:
  • Aji amarillo paste mixed with chopped scallions and salt
  1. Before cutting the heart, clean it thoroughly, take out any veins and sinew. Cut in squares of 1 ½ inch by side.
  2. In a bowl, combine ají panca paste, garlic, vinegar, oregano, oil, salt, and cumin. Add the heart cubes, and marinate for at least three hours.
  3. Make a brush with fresh corn husks, to baste the anticuchos.
  4. When ready, thread three or four heart pieces in bamboo skewers, and grill at medium heat, basting with the marinade, using the corn husks brush, until cooked through (about three minutes each side).
  5. Take them off the heat, put on plates, and serve with potatoes, corn, and aji sauce.


  1. I came across this recipe while looking for a way to use the beef heart in my freezer. Absolutely amazing! Will definitely be making again.


  1. […] this one is, hands down, the best. Indeed, it was pretty good…and I even tried some of M’s anticuchos, which I swore up and down I would not eat—alas, I did, and it was delicious. […]

  2. […] adapted this recipe from Peru Delights which gives a nice little background to the […]

  3. […] their stomach”. I am now going to tell you how to catch a Peruvian heart. Quite literally. Anticuchos is a traditional dish made from cow’s hearts. The meat is cut into small chunks and […]

  4. […] this recipe as our original reference, we did make a few adjustments and tweaks to our version. For one, we increased the amounts of […]

  5. […] grilled beef heart skewers, are very popular appetizers in Latin America, especially in Bolivia and Peru. The original dish was developed by the Incas using llama hearts before the Spaniards brought cows […]

  6. […] Ranch venison heart, pickled cactus, pasilla de Oaxacan, mole de pepita ($16).  I had the juicy Peruvian Anticuchos in mind, but this was a cold dish with pickled nopales, and the meat was chewy and rubbery… […]

  7. […] the exportation of the beef could possibly be for the likes of the Peruvian dish – ‘anticuchos‘. This highlights how our food choices impact on whether we eat locally or not, I know if I […]

  8. […] Fuente de imagen: ; […]

  9. […] de Corazón (Peruvian Beef Heart Skewers) Adapted from Peru Delights Serves […]

  10. […] (only terraces), stray dogs wander around the stands, young boys of nine or ten sell lollipops and anticuchos, and the commentators sit outside! We were sitting right in front of them and were treated to the […]

  11. […] with everyone at that point- a mannerism or just bad habit everyone had? I was eating anticuchos (beef heart), tripe and street meat …… sharing shots from a bottle really […]

  12. […] adapted this recipe from Peru Delights which gives a nice little background to the […]

  13. […] and corn on the side and eaten usually with spicy Peruvian sauces. You can read more about them here. This is a list of […]

  14. […] While the idea of eating cow heart might turn off some outsiders, the bold flavor can easily convert skeptics. Just remember, the heart is a muscle like all the other cuts of meat we eat. If you can locate the meat, try this Anticucho recipe. […]

  15. […] You can also add a pinch of salt to the creamy paste and serve it over cooked potatoes or fried yucca sticks. If you add chopped scallions, this is a great sauce for anticuchos. […]

  16. Anticuchos says:

    […] Anticucho recipes on Peru Delights (English) or Yanuq […]

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