Meander Valley Gazette

Your Independent Community Newspaper

Chilean Meatball Stew

Meander StyleJoanne Eisemann
Charquicán – traditionally made from llama or beef jerky, now pays homage to the modern Chilean use of minced beef and fried eggs.  Photo by Wai Lin Coultas

Charquicán – traditionally made from llama or beef jerky, now pays homage to the modern Chilean use of minced beef and fried eggs.

Photo by Wai Lin Coultas

By Wai Lin Coultas

A POPULAR dish in the Andean region, Charquicán was food for soldiers in the High Andes while warring against the Spanish Crown.

Though traditionally made from llama or beef jerky with potatoes, pumpkin, corn and peas, this hearty recipe pays homage to the modern Chilean use of minced beef and fried eggs.

fried eggs. It draws generously from Australia’s fresh winter produce, served piping hot and perfect for dipping with corn chips.

Ingredients

1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

745g grey pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and diced 1.5 cm

300g Nicola potatoes, peeled and diced 1.5 cm

250g orange beetroot, peeled and diced 1.5 cm

380g swede, peeled and diced 1.5 cm 4 Roma tomatoes, diced 1.5 cm

80g baby spinach leaves

15g dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 3/4 cup boiling water and chopped, soaking liquid retained

1 x 500g can Campbell’s Hearty Beef and Vegetable Soup

5 tbsp sherry vinegar

3 1/2 tbsp Maggi Hot Chilli Sauce

1 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp ground coriander

1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika plus extra for sprinkling

2/3 x 420g can corn kernels, brine strained and set aside

4–6 eggs extra virgin olive oil salt]

For meatballs

260g minced beef

50g streaky bacon, julienned

1 small onion, peeled and finely diced

2 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced

60g fine bread crumbs

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

2 tbsp milk

2 eggs, beaten

Instructions

For meatballs Sauté bacon in hot oil until slightly crispy. Add onion and garlic, then sauté till softened and slightly browned.

Mix sauté with rest of ingredients, season with salt.

Ingredients, season with salt. Roll out 40 bite size meatballs and refrigerate for 1 hour, covered.

Bake on baking paper in fan-forced oven, pre-heated to 170°C, for 20 minutes.

For meatball stew

In a large casserole, sauté onion, garlic and porcini in hot oil until softened.

Add spices and chilli sauce then sauté until fragrant.

Stir in soup, porcini liquid and vinegar, season with salt and bring to boil, covered.

Add swede to pot and bring to boil. Simmer for 20 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally.

ionally. Add potatoes, beetroot and pumpkin to pot and bring to boil. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Roughly mash the vegetables to thicken stew before adding corn, tomatoes and 1/3 to 1/2 cup corn brine. Season if needed.

Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes with occasional stirring, before adding meatballs to warm through and spinach to slightly wilt.

Meanwhile, fry eggs in hot oil till just set, sunny side up.

Serve stew topped with a fried egg, sparingly garnished with paprika and salt, and corn chips on the side. Serves 4 to 6.