Indio Viejo – The “Old Indian”
Nicaraguan culinary arts date back to pre-Colombian times, as one might be able to discern by the names of the most popular plates. Rich with multi-cultural heritage, the regional cuisine – ranging from soups and meats to a diversity of sweets, is well known for the vast selection of interesting ingredients which are used.
Nicaragua’s Indio Viejo, which means “Old Indian,” is a meat-based soup dish prepared with onions, garlic, sweet pepper, tomato and ground corn or tortillas. When combined, the dish turns into a hearty stew which is traditionally prepared for Holy Week.
2 pounds of beef (such as flank or skirt steak)
4 medium tomatoes, diced
2 red peppers, sliced
2 medium onions, diced
1 tsp achiote paste
1 bunch (about a cup) of fresh mint, minced
juice of 3-4 sour oranges (substitute juice of 2 oranges and 3 limes)
1 cup tortilla dough
Salt to taste
- Add one of the onions to a preheated saucepan and saute until soft. Add the meat, orange juice, and enough water to cover the meat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until tender (about two hours.)
- Remove meat and onions and allow to cool.
- In a food processor (or a bowl) add tortilla dough and a couple cups of water. Blend until there are no lumps.
- Add tomatoes, onion, peppers, achiote paste, and tortilla dough mixture to the simmering broth. The tortilla dough should thicken the broth significantly. Keep stirring to prevent lumps from forming.
- Shred the meat with a couple of forks or your hands and add to the stew as it is thickening.
- Just before you are ready to serve, stir in the mint and the rest of the juice.
Serve with a sprig of mint and fresh tortillas.