Sancocho | Last week it was crazy cold outside. I never thought that when I moved to Texas the temperatures would dip below 25 degrees! Cold weather like this calls for a warm hearty stew. Something to warm the soul and fill the belly.
Without a doubt, my favorite stew is Sancocho, which translates as stew. In Puerto Rico when a person has spent all day under the hot sun, it is said that they are “sancochao”, which means stewing in the heat.
What is Sancocho?
Sancocho is a satisfying stew with humble origins. Every country has their own version of stew. They would make a huge pot and let it stew all day and have a hearty meal ready after a long day of labor.
Variations of sancocho can be found throughout the Spanish Caribbean and Latin America.
What is in Sancocho?
Sancocho is made up of beef tips, beef stock and a variety of starches that are both native to the island and to Africa. Although plantains are associated with the Puerto Rican cuisine, the plantain is originally from Africa.
My favorite starch in this stew is the yuca root, which is native to Puerto Rico and was used by the native Taino Indians.
Where to find Sancocho Ingredients?
I have lived all over the United States and I know that finding these ingredients can be challenging depending on where you live. Of course, you can find most of the ingredients at your local Latin market.
And, now many of the items including yuca and plantains can be found at any large chain grocery store especially if you are close to a metropolitan area.
However, you may be surprised to know that many of the ingredients can also be found in a local Asian market. many Asian countries share a similar climate to the Caribbean so they carry much of the same produce.
I was lucky enough to find frozen yuca at my local Asian market.
If you can’t find something it’s ok to swap out root vegetables with what is available. If you are missing something, add a little more of something else, but do not leave out the corn. The corn is one of the best parts.
I always save my corn for the very end; it is almost like a savory dessert. I remember when my sister and I were young we use to fight over the last piece of corn in the pot. She is a scrappy one, but I didn’t go down without a fight.
Sancocho Recipe Ingredients
- olive oil
- garlic cloves
- top round beef
- yellow onions
- green pepper
- sprigs of cilantro
- ground black pepper
- beef stock
- green plantain
- yellow plantain
- sweet potato
- butternut squash
- new potatoes
- yellow corn
This stew is just heaven and reminds me so much of home. OB was very excited to come home to a huge pot of sancocho.
It is very filling and bursting with flavor. Especially on a cold rainy day like today.
If you have any left, refrigerate it and save it for later. This stew is even better the next day after it has been marinating overnight. I think Obed, and I ate from this pot for three days.
You can also freeze it in portions and have it on hand for a cold rainy day. To me, it’s a little piece of home in a bowl.
Tips for Sancocho
- Although yuca and plantains can be found at many chain grocery stores they can also be found a local Latin and Asian markets.
- Prepare a double batch if possible for leftovers and easy weeknight dinners.
- Leftovers can be portioned and frozen.
- Sancocho is often served with white rice.
If you are craving something a little lighter try this chunky roasted tomato soup. But, of course, everyone loves a classic sopa de fideo con pollo (chicken noodle soup).
If you want something hearty and loaded with aromatics and spices you need to try this Moroccan Lamb Stew with Harissa and Garbanzos.
If you are looking for more soup or stew recipes ideas see my collection of soups and stews. Also, be sure to check out my collection of Puerto Rican recipes.
more puerto rican recipes
- arroz con gandules
- fricase de pollo
- arepas de coco
- arroz con pollo
Please see more list about Ground beef stew common in latin america