Submitted by Maria Larkin (Our Daughter-in-Law)
In La Paz, Bolivia, the family gathers to eat Picana on Christmas eve. We usually eat before heading to midnight mass. The stew contains three different meats: beef, chicken, and lamb.
Below is the recipe I have used.
1 medium chicken
2 lbs. beef
1 rack of lamb
4 large potatoes
¼ lb. pumpkin
2 sprigs of parsley
1 stick of celery
3 bay leaves
4 green chili peppers
1 large onion
1 cup of wine
1 cup of beer
½ teaspoon whole white peppercorns
2 tablespoons of red pepper
½ teaspoon ground oregano
Corn on the cob
1 teaspoon of anise
1 tablespoon sugar
Salt to taste
1. In a pressure cooker with one and a half quarts of boiling water cook the beef for one hour. Once the beef is bland, add pieces of the lamb and chicken, having first washed and cleaned them. Fry the green chili peppers until they are slightly black. Remove the stems and seeds and blend. Add to the soup. Slice (julienne style) and add the carrots, turnips, pumpkin, onions, celery, red pepper and salt to taste. When the meats are nearly fully cooked, add the whole (peeled) potatoes and boil until tender.
2. Meanwhile, in a second pot with plenty of water cook the corn and anise and add the sugar.
3. Once the potatoes and meat are fully cooked add the wine, beer, bay leaves and oregano and allow to boil.
4. Serve in a bowl, with one piece of each type of meat, potatoes, vegetables, and corn.
Every Bolivian family has a recipe for picana and every one of them believes theirs is the best. You can make slight changes to this recipe to suit your taste buds as well, but in order for it truly be picana, it must have at least two kinds of meat, and both wine and beer. Enjoy!