Seco Combinado: Elevating Your Dining Experience with Peruvian Elegance

In the realm of culinary delights, Peruvian cuisine is known for its unique blend of flavours, vibrant colors and rich cultural influences. Amidst the abundance of dishes that define Peru’s gastronomic excellence, Seco Combinado emerges as a shining star, tempting the taste buds with its exquisite combination of juicy meat, aromatic herbs and perfectly seasoned rice. In this culinary exploration, we delve into the roots of Peruvian cuisine, uncovering the secrets behind seco combinado and the artistry that elevates it to a unique dining experience.

Understanding Peruvian Seco Combinado:

Seco Combinado, translating to “Combined Dry Stew” in English, is a traditional Peruvian dish that encapsulates the essence of the country’s diverse culinary heritage. At its core, Seco Combinado features a tantalizing mix of marinated meats, typically beef or lamb, slow-cooked to perfection and accompanied by a delightful fusion of spices, herbs, and legumes. The dish’s name, “Seco,” originates from the Quechua word “Siyqu,” meaning dry. This references the reduction of the flavorful sauce that envelops the meat, creating a concentrated and intense taste experience. Combinado, on the other hand, signifies the harmonious combination of ingredients that make this dish a true culinary masterpiece.


Seco Combinado’s distinctive taste arises from its carefully selected ingredients, each contributing to the dish’s overall complexity and depth of flavor. 1) Protein: Typically, Seco Combinado features beef or lamb as the primary protein. The meat is marinated in a mixture of garlic, cumin, aji amarillo (Peruvian yellow chili), and other spices, infusing it with a burst of savory goodness.

2) Aji Amarillo: This vibrant yellow chili is a cornerstone of Peruvian cuisine, adding a mild heat and a distinctive fruity flavor to the dish. Aji amarillo not only provides the iconic color but also contributes to the unique Peruvian taste profile. 3) Cilantro: Fresh cilantro plays a crucial role in Seco Combinado, enhancing the dish with its bright, citrusy notes. It is often used in both the marinade and as a garnish, offering a refreshing contrast to the rich, slow-cooked meat. 4) Chicha de Jora: A fermented corn beer, chicha de jora serves as a traditional Peruvian cooking liquid, imparting a sweet and slightly tangy undertone to Seco Combinado. It also aids in tenderizing the meat during the slow-cooking process. 5) Vegetables and Legumes: Potatoes, carrots, peas, and lima beans are commonly incorporated into Seco Combinado, contributing a medley of textures and flavors. These vegetables absorb the savory juices during cooking, creating a symphony of tastes in every bite.

Cooking Process:

The preparation of Seco Combinado is a labor of love, requiring time and attention to detail. The following steps outline the traditional cooking process: • Marination: The meat is marinated in a mixture of garlic, cumin, aji amarillo, and other spices, allowing it to absorb the vibrant flavors. This step is crucial for infusing the meat with the essence of Peruvian spices. • Slow Cooking: The marinated meat is then slow-cooked to perfection, often in a pot or Dutch oven. Chicha de jora is added to the cooking liquid, imparting its unique flavor and aiding in the tenderization of the meat. • Vegetables and Legumes: As the meat simmers, vegetables and legumes are added, creating a well-rounded and nutritious dish. The combination of slow-cooked meat and vegetables results in a tender and flavorful ensemble. • Reduction: The final touch involves reducing the cooking liquid to create a concentrated sauce that coats the meat and vegetables. This reduction process intensifies the flavors, giving Seco Combinado its signature depth.

Serving and Presentation:

Seco Combinado is often served with a side of fluffy rice, providing the perfect canvas for the rich stew. Garnished with fresh cilantro, the dish presents a visually stunning and aromatic experience. The contrasting colors of the yellow aji amarillo, vibrant green cilantro, and hearty potatoes create a feast for the eyes before even taking the first bite.

Pairing Suggestions:

To complement the robust flavors of Seco Combinado, consider pairing it with a refreshing beverage like Chicha Morada, a traditional Peruvian purple corn drink. The sweetness of Chicha Morada balances the savory notes of the dish, creating a harmonious dining experience.

Where to Enjoy Seco Combinado

When it comes to enjoying the culinary wonder Seco Combinado, choosing the right restaurant is paramount. Among the myriad of dining establishments claiming a commitment to Peruvian gastronomy, some gems stand out, offering a unique experience of this traditional cuisine. One such establishment that has earned praise for its Seco Combinado mastery is El Gordo Eatery. El Gordo Peruvian Restaurant: A Peruvian culinary haven Located in the heart of downtown New Jersey, El Gordo Eatery has secured its place as a culinary haven for those seeking an authentic and elevated Peruvian dining experience. With a menu that pays homage to the diverse flavors of Peru, El Gordo Seco stands out for its meticulous preparation of combinado, attracting locals and visitors alike.


In the realm of Peruvian cuisine, Seco Combinado stands as a testament to the country’s culinary prowess. This dish, with its careful preparation and vibrant flavors, represents the essence of Peruvian beauty in one plate. Whether you are a seasoned foodie or a curious culinary explorer, Seco Combinado promises a dining experience that transcends boundaries and brings the rich tapestry of Peruvian flavors to your table. So, upgrade your gastronomic journey and enjoy the magic of Seco Combinado – where tradition meets sophistication in every delicious meal.

By Published On: June 18th, 2024Categories: Peruvian Food