Charquican (Chilean Beef Stew) Recipe

Charquican Beef Stew


Charquican (pronounced: char-key-kan) is a Chilean dish made with beef and a wide range of vegetables from carrots and onions to corns and zucchinis. This beef stew has been a comfort food in the homes of many Chileans.

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1/2 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 medium size potatoes
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 corns
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 tomato
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

Suggested Ingredients (optional)

  • 1/2 lb pumpkin
  • 1/4 lb green beans
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 1/2 cup kernel of corns


  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 2 of bay leaves


  1. Peel potatoes and cut them into four pieces, peel carrots and cut them into 1 inch pieces, cut the corns into 2 pieces; cut off both ends of zucchinis and peel them.
  2. Add all the cut and peeled vegetables in a medium size stockpot filled with cold water.
  3. Partially cover the lid, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook until vegetables are tender, about 10-12 minutes. In the meantime you can also add pumpkin and green beans in the mixture.
  4. When the vegetables are ready, take the corns out and set them aside for serving.
  5. Save 1 cup of the vegetable water/stock.
  6. Mix the vegetables in a saucer and mash them. However, they should NOT be completely mashed. As an option; add kernel of corns and peas if they are canned or pre-cooked. Make sure you use low sodium cans of these food products.
  7. Heat olive oil in a pan. When the oil is warm, add onions and cook until they soften. Add ground meat, garlic and chopped tomato (or paste). Cook for 5 minutes on high heat and then 15 minutes in medium heat. Stir them often. Add bay leaves, cumin, oregano, black pepper and red pepper.
  8. When the ground meat is cooked, mix the vegetables with the meat. Add 1/2 cup of the vegetable stock, if you like the meal thicker. But if you prefer making the meal juicy, use 1 cup of vegetable stock.
  9. Cook the final mixture in low heat for approximately 10 minutes.
  10. Serve the meal topped with parsley and sided with corns.