Indio Viejo


Indio Viejo is a very old dish that dates bake to before the time the first Europeans arrived in the new world. It has pre-columbian roots. It is a dish that is hard to explain and that is somewhere in between a soup and a stew in consistency. Most modern recipes for this dish uses onion. This is however not the traditional way to prepare this meal. It is very common that Indio Viejo is prepared using beef. This to is not historically correct. Historically other meats would have been used. Which meat that was used depends on what type of game that was available in the area and what they caught that day. I recommend using beef. Most of the species that used to be used in Indio Viejo are endangered and should not be used.

Indio Viejo contains anchiote to get its full red coloration. An alternative to Anchiote (if you can not find it) is to use paprika that will give you a similar result. The Anchiote is however a little hooter than paprika.


  • 4 onions
  • Oil or grease for frying
  • 4 lbs of meat, preferable beef.
  • 8 sour oranges. Sour ranges is not the same fruit as regular oranges. If you are unable to find sour oranges you can use limes or lemons instead. Use 12 if you use lime..
  • 1 cup corn flour.
  • 8 medium tomatoes
  • 4 red peppers
  • 2 tea spoon of anchiote paste (Or paprika)
  • 2 bunch of fresh mint
  • Salt

This recipes gives a lot of food. Try cutting it in half (or even a quarter) if you want a small batch. Indio Viejo can be frozen and reheated so if you make to much you can save it for later.

How to make

  • Chop two onions
  • Squeeze the juice out of 6 oranges in to a pot.
  • Preheat a frying pan and fry the onion in oil until nicely colored.
  • Cut the meat in small pieces and add the meat to the pan.
  • Add the orange juice to the pan and than fill it up with water so that the meat is covered.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat and let the simmer slowly for a couple of hours. You are ready to continue when the meat is tender enough to be divided with a fork.
  • Move the meat to another container.
  • Take the second onion and chop it into the broth in the pan.
  • Slice tomatoes.
  • Slice peppers.
  • Mix the corn flour with water. Make sure there are no lumps.
  • Add tomatoes, peppers, flour water and the spices into the simmering pot.
  • Shred the meat and add it to the mixture.
  • Taste and add salt as needed.
  • Add the mint.
  • Let simmer for a minute or two and take the pan of the heat.
  • Squeeze the remaining two oranges into the mix