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Pique macho is a spicy and hearty Bolivian dish. It is made by mixing beef, sausage, and vegetables. The mixture is then heaped on top of a bed of french fries. It is believed that this dish originated in Cochabamba, a city that lies in the Cochabamba Valley in the Andes mountains.
There are two types of meats in pique macho. First there is steak, which is generally cut into strips. Some recipes call for the steak to be marinated for at least two hours before preparation. Others merely instruct seasoning the meat before it is cooked. Individuals who spend even slight amounts of time comparing recipes will find that there are a number of aspects about this dish that can vary, though the majority are consistent.
The second type of meat is salchicha, Spanish for sausage. Outside of Bolivia, people commonly use frankfurters as a substitute for this ingredient because the variety of sausage that is traditionally used is comparable to a hot dog. It is common to find that the sausages are cut diagonally.
There are three vegetables required for the meat mixture of pique macho: onions, tomatoes, and chili peppers. For the most authentic flavoring, the type of peppers that are recommended are Scotch bonnets, which are comparable to habeneros. It is also highly recommended that all of these ingredients be fresh.
Four items are generally included for flavoring. These include salt, ground black pepper, and ground cumin seeds. Crushed garlic is also generally considered an indispensable ingredient. It should be noted that if a person is trying to replicate the dish as closely as possible to the traditional means of preparation, she will get garlic cloves and crush them herself.
The mixture is served on top of a bed of french fries. These can be fresh cut, or they can be frozen. Some people also eat rice with the dish, which is then used to make half of the underlying bed. This, however, is not considered to be the traditional way. The meat and vegetable mixture is then heaped on top of the chosen starch.
Despite the recipe or variations, pique macho is usually served in very generous portions. Sometimes the dish is garnished with sliced boiled eggs or green olives. When rating the difficulty of preparing the dish, it is commonly considered easy. One of the challenges often noted, however, is ensuring that the finished pique macho is neither too wet nor too dry.
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