THERE’S NOTHING BETTER TO EAT WHEN IT’S COLD OUTSIDE THAN A BIG BOWL OF SANCOCHO.

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.

Ingredients

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

4 tomatoes

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

Directions

                *Marinate beef in sofrito overnight in the refrigerator*

  1. 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.
  2. Then add in the tomatoes and cook down.
  3. Add in chopped pepper, cilantro, salt, pepper, and 1 quart of beef stock. Cook down until stock is reduced by half, about 20 minutes.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.