If trying new foods and recipes is one of your New Year’s resolutions, then this cold winter weather is perfect for cooking a large pot of sancocho.
If you’ve never heard of sancocho, this is your opportunity to find out more about the delicious and hearty concoction that is a staple in Latin American homes. Sancocho is not indigenous to any one area, but shows up in many different countries with subtle variations. It is considered a national dish in Colombia, Panama, Venezuela, Argentina, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Although sancocho has been described as a meaty soup combined with regional vegetables and seasonings, the cooking techniques and ingredients make it more of a richly endowed stew.
Sancocho recipes vary from country to country, so it is extremely adaptable. Even in countries such as the Dominican Republic and Colombia, the recipes can vary depending on what region you are from. However, no matter where you are eating sancocho, the basic ingredients include hefty portions of meat, along with root vegetables and plantains. Some of the ingredients may not be readily available in mainstream supermarkets, but Hispanic markets and international groceries will stock the yams, plantains and cassava that are staples of this filling meal.
We still have about six weeks left of potential cold weather, so here are two popular sancocho recipes that will go well with some crusty bread and a nice bottle of wine.
The addition of a sliced banana at the end adds a unique twist to this hearty and substantial stew that will warm your insides and nourish your soul.
- 16 cups water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound beef, cubed
- 1 pound pork, cubed
- ½ pound yucca, peeled and cubed
- 2 green plantains, peeled and broken into pieces
- 1 pound potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2 carrots, grated
- 8 pieces of corn
- 4 stalks of scallions
- Cilantro, salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the meats in the water with the oil, scallion for 45 minutes so it is tender.
- Add the green plantains and the corn, cook for 15 minutes.
- Add the carrots, potatoes and salt, cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the yucca, cook for 15 minutes.
- Remove the scallions.
- Make sure everything is tender.
- Serve in a large soup bowl and top with chopped cilantro.
- To bring it up a level, cut up a banana in slices and drop into the soup.
Although this sancocho requires some intensive preparation, the tasty results are worth it.
- 1 pound of beef (chopped)
- 1½ pounds of skinless chicken (chopped)
- 1 pound of pork (chopped)
- 2 green plantains
- 1 pound of yucca
- 1 pound of yams
- 1 pound of yautia
- ½ pound of potatoes
- 2 large yellow onions (peeled and quartered)
- 2 large bitter oranges
- 1 tbsp. of vinegar
- Vegetable oil
- 5 cloves of garlic (peeled)
- Oregano to taste
- 1 green pepper
- 1 pound of rice
- 1½ pounds of calabaza
- 4 quarts beef or chicken stock
- Salt to taste
- Mash the garlic with the oregano and salt.
- Rub the bitter orange, garlic mixture, vinegar, vegetable oil and half of your onions all over the meats.
- Let marinate in fridge for an hour.
- Peel and cube the plantains, yucca, yam, potatoes, pumpkin and yautia.
- In a large pan heat 1/4 cup of vegetable oil.
- Gradually cook the meat to sear it (this will keep it juicy).
- Sprinkle with salt and add 1 cup of the beef broth.
- Bring to a boil then simmer covered for 45 minutes.
- Set aside.
- In a large stew pot, add 3 quarts of the broth.
- Add the plantain, yucca and vegetables.
- Bring to a boil and add the meats.
- Add more broth if the liquid level gets lower than the solids.
- Bring to a boil again and then bring to a simmer.
- Check every 10 minutes to make sure the broth does not dry up.
- Cook for one hour.
- Cook your rice.
- Serve the sancocho with rice on the side and a slice of avocado.
- Sprinkle with lots of chopped cilantro.
Have you tasted other sancocho recipes? Upload your favorite version to the FriendsEat.com database and share it with the rest of our readers!
Here is a bonus video in Spanish from Youtube with some great visuals on how to make a Colombian Sancocho:
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