Pique Macho Recipe
by Alison Donald
(Santa Cruz, Bolivia)
Pique Macho (or Pique a lo Macho) is actually incredibly easy to cook but, ladies, it will win you big points with the man in your life (if that kind of thing bothers you). The key is to have everything prepared in advance so that you can just chuck it in the pan.
I've seen lots of different recipes including the addition of soy sauce and/or beer to make a small sauce. Also some people serve it with halved hard-boiled eggs and green olives to garnish. The recipe originates from Cochabamba and some Cochabambinos are very protective of this dish!
This is my take on this dish and as far as I can work out the only absolutely crucial thing for a credible Pique Macho is to cut the frankfurters on the diagonal and the onions, tomatoes and chilli pepper into strips rather than small squares...
This dish is also almost always a good (if expensive) choice in a restaurant as generally the portions are huge - indeed it is said that this is where the "macho" part of the name comes from, i.e. you are "macho" if you can finish a plateful yourself.
Ingredients per person (of average greediness):
-150 grams of beef, cut into thin strips maybe 3cm long
-1 frankfurter sausage, cut into slices on the diagonal
-Half a red onion, cut into half moon strips
-1 medium tomato, cut into half moon slices
-1 (or to taste) locoto (hot chilli pepper) - if not available use sufficient chilli to give a bit of a kick. This should be cut into tiny strips
-Small clove of garlic, crushed
-Tiniest amount of ground cumin (if available)
-Minimal oil for stir frying
-Salt and pepper to taste
Serving of raw/ frozen French fries
1/3 cup of uncooked rice (optional)
Boil water for rice and heat oven for French fries.
Observing cooking times for each product, put French fries on baking tray in hot oven and then put rice in to cook.
I find that cooking the meat, tomatoes etc. takes roughly the same time as cooking white rice.
Fry beef and onions in the tiniest amount of oil you can until lightly browned.
Add garlic and cook for a further minute.
Add frankfurters, locoto and tomatoes, cumin and seasoning to taste.
The tomato pieces should be cooked through but retaining their shape.
To serve, arrange French fries on plate as the base of the dish. If using rice as well then put rice on half the plate and the fries on the other half.
Arrange the meat and onion mixture on the top.