Caribbean-Style Sancocho


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Sancocho is a soup that is very popular in Latin American cuisine.  I call this one Caribbean because I use ingredients that are more reminiscent of the Caribbean than other parts of Latin America.  According to my husband (from Bogota), Sancocho should be made with both chicken and beef stock.  It also needs potatoes, yucca root, and corn.  Unless you are making a huge pot you couldn’t possibly use all these vegetables, but they all are good in the soup:

Green plantain
Yautia
Yucca root
Potatoes
These are good too, but sweet, so don’t use too much:
Yellow plantain
Sweet potato
Batata
Butternut squash

The corn is traditionally cut into rounds.  I find this impossible to do, so I either boil the corn or microwave it first to soften the cob to make cutting much easier.

Caribbean-Style Sancocho

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds short ribs
  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup green pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 aji dulce, minced (optional – this chile is not hot)
  • 5 sprigs of cilantro, chopped (use the stems too)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 quart beef stock
  • 3 quarts chicken broth
  • 1 green plantain or yellow plantain, peeled and sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 1 sweet potato or 1 batata or 1/2 pound butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 3 new potatoes or 1/2 cup yucca root (cassava) or 1/2 cup yautia, peeled and diced
  • 1 chayote, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1 ear of corn, sliced crosswise into 6 rounds (so everyone gets one)

Instructions:

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven, or similar pot with a lid, over medium to low heat.  Cook garlic, meat, and onions until meat is well browned and the onions begin to caramelize, about five minutes.
Stir in the green pepper, celery, aji dulce (if usinf), cilantro, salt, pepper, and beef stock.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered until the liquid is reduced by half, one hour.
Add remaining ingredients and continue to cook until the meat is tender and the vegetables are soft, an additional thirty minutes.

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