This time around, we visit Peru, land of llamas, potatoes, and our obsession of the moment, sangrecita; a humble, yet tasty dish composed of chicken blood sautéed with fragrant aromatics. Traditionally, this sanguine melange is served with regional staples such as rice, corn, yuca, or potatoes, but it pairs well with many starchy foods, so feel free to get creative, or just use what you have on hand.
Although it can be consumed on its own, sangrecita may also be used as a component in numerous dishes, whether they be savory, sweet, simple, or elaborate. It works well as a topping, for example, or deftly stuffed inside of peppers, tomatoes, even tortillas, a la tacos de moronga. It can also be taken in a sweet direction by adding warm spices, sweet potatoes, sweet corn, or fruits such as apple, in a nod to mazamorra de sangrecita.
The earliest noted appearance of this particular rendition seems to be from the culinary collection, “Cocina práctica moderna y económica criolla del Perú”, which was initially published in 1928. As with most cultures, however, the native use of blood in cooking is a much older, primal activity that stems from practicality and necessity. Ancient Peruvians allegedly consumed the blood of llamas after the traditional sacrifice. Waste not, want not, so they say.
Sangrecita has practical applications, as well; it’s an inexpensive, easy meal to make, and quite nutritious. The dish is often praised for its high protein and iron content, and commonly used to ward off anemia in areas where these nutrients are more difficult to come by. Fortunately, you don’t need an iron deficiency to enjoy sangrecita. All it takes is a little blood and a short amount of time and effort in the kitchen. 😉
Recipe makes about 4 servings
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, small dice
- 2 potatoes, small cube (⅓ – ½” or so)
- Fresh parsley, or other fragrant herbs, lightly chopped
- 250g (about 1 cup) blood curd from chicken or pig
- olive oil, as needed
- a splash of cider vinegar (about a tsp)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Finely dice the onion and garlic and fry them in olive oil until transparent.
- Cut the potatoes into small cubes and add them to the pan. Cook until the potatoes are a tender and have some color to them. Covering the pan can help expedite this.
- Cut the blood curd into small cubes and add it to the pan. Gently sauté the blood, so as not to make it rubbery, until cooked through.
- Add the vinegar and parsley, and allow to cook for a bit longer, about 5 minutes or so.
- Serve alone or with a side of rice, corn, baked / fried potatoes, or your starch of choice.
Notes and Tips:
If your blood is not solid (coagulated), or only partially so, you can still sauté it, but the the end product may have a finer, more mealy texture, like well crumbled ground meat. You may also have weepage that will need to be cooked away, reduced, or absorbed by starches (if desired). If you’re using liquid / semi-liquid blood, it’s recommended that you mix it well before sautéing.
If your blood is liquid and you’d like to solidify it before frying, you can do so in a steamer or make shift steamer pan. Mix the blood well and pour it into a heat proof container. You may cover the container with parchment paper (or similar) to minimize the addition of unwanted moisture. Place the container into a steamer or stove-top, pan made water bath, or bain marie. Cover and gently steam at med / low heat (160-165°F / 70/74°C) until it solidifies well enough to slice.