Locro is an indigenous Andean mountain stew. It’s become one of my favorite dishes for winter squash squash season. Perfect for the weather, it’s hearty and spicy. There are typically a few ingredients not well known here in the U.S, but I’ve tried to keep this recipe relatable.
What is locro
Locro is the type of dish that can have worlds of interpretation. Its spans all around central and south America, so it’s bound to be influenced in many ways. Some iterations have meat, while others are vegetarian. Locro de papa, another version, includes potatoes. Simply locro is just a squash stew. I’ve found that the essentials are: Squash, hominy, onion, garlic, and chilies. If you have those, you’re on track to locro.
Moody weather squash stew
I love this recipe for the moody autumn days. It’s wholesome and rustic; a great way to explore the plethora of squash that pops up. Making this stew fills the house with the spirit of autumn: Squash, corn, and some spice. Locro is pretty effortless as well. The hardest part is chopping the ingredients. Add each thing one by one then you’re done. A good pot of stew comes together in about 40 minutes. If you want, save the squash seeds for roasting later. Get a pot of mulled cider working, and it’s an autumn party.
Alternative Locro Ingridients
There can be a lot that goes into this stew. Being eaten around so many different regions bring some complexity. I’ve tried to keep this recipe on the simpler side. Hopefully, some of the ingredients are in your pantry. Locro has a few more other common ingredients though.
- aji amarillo
- aji colorado
- green peas
- fava beans
If you have access to some of these, toss them in your stew. I often add whole dried chilis like chipotles or anchos.
Winter Squash Season
I found squash intimidating for a while, sticking to butternut, acorn, spaghetti, and pumpkin. I used locro as a way to explore new ones. For lcoro, I’ve found I prefer less sweet squash like kabocha, autumn frost, and red kuri. Their flavors are more subtle and meld well with everything in the stew. Ultimately, use whichever squash you love. Trips to the farmer’s market in gourd season will be your best friend here.
Locro has been my autumn go-to lately. It’s an easy stew and great using different squash. Take a trip to the market and explore what you can find. Have fun with this recipe and put your twist on it.
- 1 & ½ C (187g) Yellow onion
- 5 tbsp (70g) Neutral cooking oil
- 5 (17g) garlic cloves
- 2 (4g) cinnamon stick
- ¾ tsp (1g) coco powder
- 1 sprig (2g) thyme
- 2 bay leaf
- ½ tsp (2g) cayenne
- ½ tsp (2g) chipotle powder
- 4C (1000g) water
- 4C (500g) Kabocha Squash about one quarter of the squash
- 1 & ½ C (218g) potato
- 1 & ½ C (150g) Canned/cooked hominy
- chop the onions into a small dice. Rough chop the garlic cloves. Cut the kabocha squash into quarter and remove the insides. Chop 1 into 3/4 inch cubes until you get 4 cups. cut the potato into 1/2 inch cubes and set in a bowl of cold water (Prevents browning).
- Toast the onions on medium high, dry heat until dark brown. Reduce to medium low then add the oil and allow to heat up. About 30 seconds. After add the garlics, thyme, bay leaves, cinnamon, and ground spices. Cook until fragrant and the garlic has a little bit of color, 2 minutes.
- Add the water to the pan and half of the chopped squash. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the remaining squash and potatoes and simmer for 15 minutes. The squash we first added should start to break down and thicken the stew. After the additional 15 check and make sure the squash and potatoes are fully cooked. If not simmer another 5 minutes. when done remove from heat and add the hominy.
- allow the stew to rest and the hominy to warm up then enjoy.