The Argentinian national dish of locro is a thick, hearty stew comprised of several meats, hominy (dried corn kernels), beans, and squash. Like many dishes in Latin America, this dish has a deep history.
Locro can trace its roots back to the Incan civilization and the indigenous people who lived in the Andes at that time. They carried the recipe with them during their migration north long before the Spaniards colonized the country.
All across the country, people eat locro on May 25 and July 9 to celebrate the both the start of the revolution in 1810, and when Argentinians became independent from Spanish rule in 1816. After the revolution, Argentinians named locro as their national dish to showcase their indigenous culture. Because the dish is so delicious and nutritious, it’s also eaten during many winter nights and when people are feeling sick.
Locro- Argentinian Hominy Stew
- Large pot or Dutch Oven
- 2 cups Dried hominy (corn kernels), frozen or canned
- 1 cup Dried lima beans, frozen or canned
- 1 cup Dried chickpeas, frozen or canned
- ¼ cup Olive oil
- 2 lbs Pork shoulder or beef chuck, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 10 oz Cured Spanish chorizo, cut into ½-inch slices (Portuguese chorice, linguisa, or also kielbasa OK)
- 6 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 tsp Each: salt and pepper
- 1 large Yellow onion, diced
- 1 tbsp Tomato paste
- 1 tsp Dried oregano
- 1 tsp Ground cumin
- 2 Bay leaf
- 1 large Lemon, juiced
- 4 cups Acorn or butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 10 cups Water
- ½ tsp Baking soda
- 1 cup Scallion, chopped
- ¼ cup Olive oil
- ½ tsp Dried red chile flakes
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- 2 tsp Paprika
- Prep Beans – Rinse dried hominy in a colander under running water until water runs clear. Place hominy, dried chickpeas and lima beans in the large pot or Dutch oven. Soak 8 hours or overnight. Drain and set aside. Canned, or frozen hominy and beans may be used without soaking, just up the amount a little.
- Make Quiquirimici Garnish – Wisk together olive oil, sweet paprika, minced garlic, and red chili flakes. Set aside.
- Cook Meat and Vegetables – In same pot, heat oil over medium heat. Season pork or beef cubes with salt and pepper. Working in 2 batches, brown meat cubes on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch. Remove to a plate. Add chorizo to pot and cook until fat renders, 2-3 minutes. Add onion and garlic, and cook until soft, around 3 minutes. Add tomato paste, oregano, cumin, and bay leaf. Cook another 2 minutes.
- Cook Locro – Return meat to pot along with beans, squash, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until hominy and beans are tender, about 2 hours.
- Serve – Stir in lemon juice and season with salt and pepper, if needed. Scoop into bowls, drizzle with quiquirimichi and garnish with chopped scallions.
- If using canned or frozen hominy or beans, you’ll want to increase the amount by about 50%. Add them about an hour through the boiling process, although it’d be fine to add them all at the start.
- Locro can be made up-to two days in advance, refrigerated, and reheated on the stove before adding the quiquirmichi.
- Cured chorizo can easily be replaced with Portuguese chorizo or linguica, or even kielbasa sausage.