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Sancocho is a Puerto Rican stew that is hearty. It is perfect for colder days and is a popular meal to make for a large group.
Like any good stew, what goes into varies and everyone has their own favorite recipes. However, what sets Sancocho apart from any regular beef stew is that it includes Sofrito seasoning (or at least Aji peppers) and is filled with a variety of tropical root varieties as a starch: ripe and green plantain, a squash or pumpkin, and at least two of the following: potatoes, Caribbean sweet potatos (batata), malanga, yautía, taro, or yuca. Corn on the cob and carrots are a popular addition as well.
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 pounds top round beef, cubed into 1-1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cup yellow onion, chopped
1/3 cup green pepper, chopped
1/3 cup chopped celery
2 tablespoons Sofrito
5 sprigs of cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 medium tomatoes, cored and chopped
4 quarts water or beef stock
1 medium sweet potato (1/2 pound), diced into 1-inch pieces
1/2 pound West Indian Pumpkin, peeled and cubed into 1-inch pieces
2 medium potatoes, scrubbed clean and quartered
1 large chayote, peeled, cored, and diced into 1-inch pieces
1 large yautia, peeled and cubed into 1-inch pieces
1 small yuca, peeled and cubed into 1-inch pieces
2 ears of white corn, cleaned and sliced into 6 parts each
In a large pot you will want to combine the oil, garlic, onions, and beef until it is browned and the onions are caramelized. Add sofrito, celery, seasonings and tomatoes and a quart of beef stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 30 minutes. Contimue to cook on high until stock has reduced in half. Then add in all the vegetables and the rest of the stock until the vegetables are cooked through and the meat is soft.