The Recipe

Bolivian Silpancho

As Rommy Cornejo Holman, from Cochabamba, Bolivia, taught Lindsay Sterling in North Yarmouth, ME, November 2009
serves 4
cooking time: 1 hr

1 c. white rice
3 yukon gold potatoes
1 small green pepper, med. dice
1/2 small red onion, med. dice
1 tomato, medium dice
2 tsp vinegar
2 tsp oil
1 lb. ground beef
3/4 c. breadcrumbs
2 jalapenos (in Bolivia she uses delocoto peppers w/o seeds)
2 more tomatos, wedges
1 small bunch cilantro (in Bolivia she would use an herb called quilquina)
canola oil (they use sunflower in Bolivia)

1. Get rice cooking as you would normally. Boil potatoes for 5-10 minutes until cooked half way through.
2. Massage reasonable amount of salt and pepper into beef with hands. Separate ground beef into 4 balls. Put the breadcrumbs in a pile on cutting board. Flatten each ball and press both sides into ground beef. Roll with a rolling pin on top of breadcrumbs sprinkled with more fresh pepper. Flip over beef patty and roll again. Continue rolling and flipping until the beef is the thinness of a crepe. Make a stack of four of these on a dinner plate.
3. Drain potatoes, cool enough to touch, then slice into 1/4 inch rounds. Heat large saute pan to medium high with 1 Tbsp oil. Brown potatoes (not touching one another) in two batches or use two pans at once. Cool on paper towels.
4. Turn pan(s) up to medium high, and cook beef, one sheet per pan. Flip when brown starts starts to show through raw pink. Stack beef as they’re fully cooked on a fresh plate. At the same time, fry four eggs and leave yolk runny. Make your final topping: cut onion, tomato, green pepper and dress in equal parts oil and vinegar, salted generously.
5. Gather all the components (rice, potatoes, beef, egg, and salad) near a stack of serving plates. On each plate, put a scoop of rice in the center. Decorate the rim with five potatoes spaced evenly. Put the beef on top of the rice - the potatoes should be poking out from underneath. Put egg on top of beef, and the the colorful salad on top of the egg. Put about 4 quilquina leaves on top if you’re graced to have them.
Serve with fresh hot sauce as a condiment. Hers was called llajua: tomato and hot peppers blended in a food mill, ideally with a handful of quilquina. Tobasco or your favorite hot sauce would work, too.

copyright Lindsay Sterling 2009