1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 lbs. beef chuck, cut into 2" x 2" pieces
1 cup chopped red or yellow onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch cilantro (leaves only), roughly chopped
1 cup water
2 tbsp. Aji Amarillo paste
3/4 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
6 cups water
4-6 medium potatoes (I like Yukon Golds), peeled and each cut into 4 pieces
3/4 cup green peas
1. Heat 1/4 cup of oil in a large pan (an enameled 8-quart cast iron pot works great) over high heat. Saute the beef in batches until browned on all sides - do not overcrowd the pan by adding all of the beef at once or else they will steam rather than brown. Set each batch of browned beef aside on a plate.
2. In the same pan, add another 1/4 cup of oil and saute the chopped onion and minced garlic over medium heat until they are soft and lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes.
4. In the meantime, place the cilantro leaves and 1 cup of water in a blender or small food processor. Blend/pulse for 5-10 seconds until a smooth mixture has formed.
5. Add the Aji Amarillo paste, cumin, salt, pepper, and reserved beef (including any of their juices). Stir in the cilantro-water mixture. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium low. Cover and simmer for 2 hours or until the beef is very tender.
6. Add the potatoes and green peas and simmer another 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Skim off as much excess oil as possible from the top of the stew.
7. Great served as is or with white rice. This is one of those stews that tastes even better the next day.