When the temperatures drop below 25°, I’m looking for comfort food. (You can make this recipe at whatever temperature feels cold to you.) Something warm, something satisfying and something with humble roots. I’m not a huge soup person but I love a bowl of Sancocho. Maybe because it reminds me of a simpler time. Maybe because it reminds me of my friend, Michelle. Michelle and I learned how to make this recipe together.
It can be compared to beef stew. Sancocho means stewing in the heat. I don’t have a lot of patience and when I’m hungry, I wanna eat soon. My Tia’s recipe is my favorite.
Tia said growing up they didn’t have a lot of money and my grandfather grew all their vegetables, so the only thing they had to buy at the store was the meat. So, this was a cheap way to keep everyone’s belly full because they always had root vegetables on hand.
3 to 4 tablespoons of Sofrito (I cheat and use Sofrito Goya but will teach you later how to make it from scratch.)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 pounds of top round beef, cubed into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup yellow onions, chopped
1/3 cup green pepper, chopped
5 sprigs of cilantro, chopped *Optional, my mom doesn’t like it.
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Beef stock if you have it if not, use water and add a little butter
1 green plantain, peeled and slice into 1-inch pieces
1 yellow plantain, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium sweet potato, diced into 1-inch pieces
1 medium yuca
1/2 pound of butternut squash, peeled and cubed into 1-inch pieces
3 medium new potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 ears of yellow corn, cleaned and sliced into 6 parts each
*Marinate beef in sofrito overnight in the refrigerator*
- In a preheated Dutch oven or heavy pot over low-to-medium heat, combine olive oil, garlic, beef cubes, and onions, stir until beef is brown on all sides and onions begin to caramelize.
- Then add in the tomatoes and cook down.
- Add in chopped pepper, cilantro, salt, pepper, and 1 quart of beef stock. Cook down until stock is reduced by half, about 20 minutes.
- Stir beef, then add all the remaining vegetables and remaining beef stock. Bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cover for 30 minutes.
- Uncover and simmer for 20 – 30 minutes or until the stock has reduced some and the meat is tender, and the vegetables are soft. Serve hot.