Living in Miami Beach, FL means I am exposed to the rich cultures of Central and South America. The neighborhood in which I live is known as "Little Argentina", but I have neighbors from Cuba, Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Uruguay, Nicaragua....the list goes on to include pretty much every country down South :)
Due to the large population of immigrants here, you can find unique ingredients from these countries in all the stores -- ranging from gas station mini marts all the way to the national chain grocery stores like Publix. I love to experiment with new flavors and to try my hand at traditional recipes from other countries. I'm lucky that I can taste them first at authentic restaurants, so that I know I'm on the right track when trying to replicate them at home.
I also love hot peppers and chilies, and have really enjoyed experimenting with varieties new to me that hail from Peru. I can find these peppers flash-frozen whole, dried, or made into pastes in jars. For this recipe, I used some of the frozen whole aji amarillo peppers in a ground beef & veggies mix. It turned out really well! Very flavorful, and extremely easy.
You could substitute dried** or aji amarillo paste** if you can't find them frozen where you live, or you could substitute any other chile pepper. Aji amarillo peppers are fairly hot, clocking in at 30,000-50,000 Scoville units (source). That's just a hair behind cayenne. Chile peppers aren't just about the heat, though. Different varieties have their own subtle flavor profiles, and aji amarillo is actually pretty fruity, despite being so hot, and the heat is somehow gentler than other hot peppers; it's more well-rounded and full-bodied.
You can also substitute a locally grown variety of chile pepper -- your local farmer probably grows at least one variety. Check out a farmer's market to see what you can find. Use the listings at Local Harvest to find one near you.
This is a great recipe to use for batch cooking. You can either reheated leftovers or freeze them for later.
I hope you enjoy the recipe! Check out the end of the post for links to buy ingredients.
Aji Amarillo Spiced Ground Beef and Veggie Hash
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
- 2 lbs grass-fed ground beef
- 1 large onion
- 6 oz package mushrooms
- 1 bell pepper (any color)
- 2 whole frozen aji amarillo peppers (or equivalent substitute)
- 5 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
- 2 tsp dried mint
- 1.5 tsp dried paprika
- 1 tsp dried cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 4-6 Tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
- Start by browning your ground beef over medium-low heat in a 5 qt or larger pot.
- While the beef is browning, chop the onion, mushrooms, bell pepper, and aji amarillo peppers. Press or finely mince the garlic.
- Once beef is browned, add onion, mushrooms, bell pepper, aji amarillo pepper, garlic, and spices (mint, paprika, cumin, oregano, salt) to the pot and cook over medium-low heat. Mix all ingredients with the beef, cover pot and allow to cook for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Just before serving, stir in the chopped fresh cilantro.
- Pairs well with Brazilian Garlicky Collard Greens, Platanos Maduros, or Tostones. Leftovers reheat very well for several days and they also freeze well, too! You can double the recipe to have several meals to freeze that are quick to reheat later.
Suggested side dishes:
**WHERE TO BUY TOOLS & INGREDIENTS
The following links for products (or acceptable substitutes) that I used in this recipe are from my affiliate partners. My full affiliate disclosure is here. I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, but you pay the same price as everyone else. I appreciate your support and I only recommend products that I personally use and love.