Aji de Carne is a Bolivian pork stew with the surprising tropical twist of banana and coconut. I had never tried it in a dutch oven on a fire, but it looked feasible, so I took a kitchen recipe and modified it as an experiment. I’m fairly happy with the results! As a stew, it’s not the prettiest result, but it’s REALLY tasty, and just goes to show you can expand your thinking on what outdoor camp cooking really has to be.
I filmed a step-by-step and posted it to YouTube as well – you can check that out here, or just go to the full recipe below.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup onion
- 3 each scallions, spring or green onions
- 1 tablespoon garlic
- 8 ounces pork loin
- 1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
- ¼ teaspoon saffron (try Goya Azafran seasoning as an inexpensive alternate)
- 1 small jalapeno pepper, chopped
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- Salt and pepper
- 1 15-oz. can chicken broth
- 4 russet potatoes, cubed
- 2 firm bananas, peeled and sliced
- 4 tablespoons milk powder
- 1/2 tsp coconut extract
- 1 Tbsp molasses
- 4 flour tortillas
- 2 cups salad greens
1) Chop onions (white and green), and garlic, and mix together in a small ziplock bag.
2) Chop jalapeno and put in a ziplock bag along with saffron, cinnamon, salt and pepper.
3) Chop potatoes and put them in a large ziplock bag.
4) Cut pork into stew-cubes and pack on ice, or in a cooler.
1) Heat the oil in a Dutch oven casserole. Add the onions (bag 1) and sauté until almost soft.
2) Add the pork, a few pieces at a time, and brown (char a little).
3) Add the tomatoes, the contents of the spice bag (bag 2), and a full can of chicken broth.
4) Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 30 to 35 mins.
5) Add the potatoes (bag 3) and continue to cook for about 20 minutes.
6) Add the bananas and cook for additional 10 minutes – the bananas and potatoes should be done at about the same time.
7) Make a well and tilt the pan so that the liquids pool.
8) Add the powdered milk, molasses and coconut extract to any liquid in the oven. Add water or additional broth to enable a nice cream consistency. Gently combine; simmer until heated through, taking care that the cream does not boil.
9) Serve immediately with warmed tortillas and mixed salad greens, undressed or with a little lime juice.
Makes about 6 servings.
Estimated nutrition per serving (assuming 6 servings):
Enjoy! This flavor combination is unique, but I think you’ll find it to be a nice unique treat!