Ajiaco de Ollocus

Ollocus are potatoes grown in Latin America that are tuber-shaped, small and yellow, and are sometimes flecked with red. Their inclusion in this aromatic brew may be largely aesthetic but also necessary because they don’t break up when cooked. A small, waxy potato such as the knobbly Pink Fir Apple is a good substitute. At any rate, use two distinct varieties of potatoes here, as near a yellow and a white as is possible.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (450 g) waxy potatoes, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • lb (700 g) old potatoes, cleaned, cooked and diced
  • 2 fl oz (50 ml) oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Chilli pepper to taste
  • ½ pint (275 ml) good stock
  • 4 oz (110 g) cheese, crumbled
  • Chopped parsley
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Heat the oil and fry the onions, garlic and chilli pepper until the onions are transparent.

Add the waxy potatoes and move around the pan until they are just taking colour. Add the cooked and diced potato and the stock and cook over a fairly brisk heat for 5 minutes. Add the cheese and parsley, then season. For authenticity, eat with boiled rice.

‘Peruvians like their food picante … I like to speculate about the use of yellow in the food … There are potato dishes that are a symphony of yellow and white, perhaps honouring the sun god and the moon goddess.’

From The Book of Latin American Cooking by Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz, 1984.

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