In Spanish, “sancocho” means stew—and though it may sound odd to enjoy a rich, warm stew in the tropical paradise of Puerto Rico, it’s an immensely popular dish!
Sancocho came to the Caribbean through African slaves brought to the new world by the Spanish four centuries ago, and as the recipe evolved, it came to incorporate vegetables native to both the Caribbean (such as yucca) and Africa (plantains, despite their popularity in Caribbean cooking, are native to Africa)/ Cooked into beef stock rich with beef chunks. You can add almost anything to this stew to create your own spin on this heart-warming dish.
P.S.. Our header image is a fancy version of the dish made with chicken. Ordered in a typical Puerto Rican restaurant, it will taste divine…but look more like the image below. Dig in and use your fingers. This is some good eating!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1½ pounds top round beef, cut into 1” cubes
- ⅓ cup yellow onions, chopped
- ⅓ cup green pepper, chopped
- 5 sprigs of cilantro, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 4 quarts beef stock
- 1 green plantain, peeled and slice into 1” pieces
- 1 yellow plantain, peeled and sliced into ½” pieces
- 1 medium sweet potato, cut into 1” pieces
- 1 medium yucca, cut into 1” pieces
- ½ pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1” cubes
- 3 medium new potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 2 ears of yellow corn, cleaned and sliced into 6 parts each
- Preheat a Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium-low heat. When heated, combine olive oil, garlic, beef cubes, and onions in pot. Stir mixture until all sides of beef cubes are brown and the onions have started to caramelize.
- Add chopped green pepper, cilantro, salt, pepper, and 1 quart of the beef stock to the pot. Cook about 20 minutes, until stock is reduced by about half.
- Stir stew, then add yucca, sweet potato, butternut squash, potatoes, and corn—along with remainder of beef broth. Cook stew until all vegetables and meat are tender.
Original recipe from The Noshery