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Ecuadorian beef skewers & potato pancakes

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Ecuadorian beef skewers & potato pancakes (Carne en Palito with Llapingachos) are wonderfully delicious and scrumptious street foods from Ecuador! You are going to love the bright flavors and spices of these treats that present so well with the added fresh salsa, and delicious sauces.

Ingredients

Scale

Carne en Palito (Beef Skewers)

  • 1 lb (455 grams) thinly sliced beef asada style (Rouladen)
  • 4 Tbsp squeezed orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp achiote powder or paste
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • dash of salt and pepper

Onion and Tomato Curtido salsa (Curtido de Cipolla y Tomate)

  • 1 large purple onion sliced
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 8-10 cherry tomatoes halved
  • juice of two limes or lemon
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • salt to taste

Llapingachos (Potato Pancakes):

  • 4 large Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Friulano cheese
  • 1/2 cup  Queso fresco crumbled
  • 1 Tbsp Goya seasoning
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp achiote powder or paste
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil divided
  • 1/4 t0 1/2 cup all purpose flour

Salsa de mani:

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cups whole milk
  • 1//4 cup thinly sliced white onion
  • 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp achiote powder or paste
  • 1 hard boiled egg finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 jalapeno or aji pepper finely chopped (optional)
  • salt to taste

Instructions

Carne en Palito (Beef Skewers):

  1. In a small bowl, mix orange juice, achiote powder, oil, cumin, garlic. Give it a good whisk and set aside.
  2. Take fillets of beef and cut them into 1 1/2 inch strips. Season with salt and pepper, and place into a medium size bowl.
  3. Give marinade another stir and pour over the beef strips. Massage the marinade into the meat making sure every piece is covered with the mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least 2 hours. You can even marinate overnight. Remember to soak your bamboo skewers too for at least a couple of hours.
  4. Pre-heat grill to around 500° F. Take beef out of fridge and place beef slivers onto the skewers, stretching the meat nicely over the length of the skewer. Continue this until all the beef is done.
  5. Oil grill then place skewers onto the grill. Cook for about one minute, then move them 45 degrees to create the beautiful grill marks. Turn over and do the same for the other side. Take off grill. Serve with the Onion and Tomato Curito Salsa.

Curtido de Cipolla y Tomate (Tomato and Onion Curtido Salsa)

  1. Toss onions in a medium bowl, sprinkle in the 1 tablespoon salt and rub into the slivers of onions. Cover the onions with cold water and rinse well. Drain onions and place in a clean bowl.
  2. Next, add the lime juice or lemon juice, whichever you have, and toss with the onions. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes or until onions turn a pinkish color.
  3. At this point throw in the tomatoes and chopped cilantro, drizzle in the oil, and seson with salt to taste. Give it a good toss and set aside covered with plastic wrap. If not using right away, place in fridge.

Llapingachos (potato pancakes)

  1. Rinse potatoes, leave skin on, and place in a steamer basket. Fill pot with water 2/3 way from the top, place steamer basket in.
  2. Bring water to a boil over medium heat then cover pot with lid and steam 20-30 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. You may need to add more water as it dissipates, so check often.
  3. Remove potatoes, cut in half and let cool to the point that they can be handled.
  4. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a sauté pan, and cook for 3-4 minutes until soft. Add Goya, cumin, achiote powder or paste. Give it a good stir and cook for a couple more minutes. Take off heat and set aside.
  5. Peel the skin off of the potatoes and run them through a potato ricer, or mash them with a potato masher in a bowl.
  6. Add the sautéed seasoned onions, and grated/crumbled cheese, and give the mixture a good stir until all ingredients are balanced and well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. The potato mixture should be firm enough to form a ball, if it is too wet and sloppy add some of the flour and mix again until you get a dough consistency.
  8. Once you have the ball formed in the palm of your hands, press it down to form the pancake, but do it gently. Dust both sides with flour and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. The patties should be about 3 inches in diameter and about 1/2 inch thick.
  9. Heat up oil in a heavy skillet just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan and 1/8 inch deep. Place patties in the oil and cook till golden brown, then flip over and do the same for the other side. Place the cooked potato pancakes on a paper towel lined dish or baking sheet. Note: cook the patties in batches as to not overcrowd the pan.

Salsa de Mani:

  1. In a bowl mix the peanut butter with half the milk and mix until somewhat dissolved.
  2. Heat the peanut oil in a sauté pan. Add the onions and cook for a few minutes. Sprinkle in the cumin, achiote, and salt to taste. Stir well then add in the peanut butter mixture, along with the rest of the milk.
  3. Cook for 10 minutes on low heat the if using add in the peppers, and chopped egg. Give it another good stir, take off heat and sprinkle in chopped cilantro. 
  4. Serve the Potato pancake with a nice spoon of the peanut sauce.

Notes

If you are not grilling the beef, you can do it in the oven on a grilling baking sheet. Put grilling pan in oven and pre heat oven to 450° F. Place sewers on the pan, turn oven to grill, and cook for 2 minutes a side. Take out of oven and serve with the salsa.

If you want to bake the potato pancakes, place on a parchment lined baking sheet and put into a pre-heated 450° F oven and cook until golden brown. 

The potato pancakes can also be done in an air fryer. 

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