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Sancocho is a meats and vegetables stew, enjoyed in Latin America and the Spanish Caribbean islands. It’s made of a variety of meats and starchy vegetables such as plantains, yuca and yautia, and served with a side of white rice and avocado.
Oh New York! I will never fully understand how is it that a Caribbean girl like me ended up in such a cold city like this?
I love New York. The look of the city at night. The diversity in people, food and cultures. The pizza. The yellow cabs. The children playing on the streets on a summer afternoon getting wet at the water pump. The pizza. The cookouts on the backyard or at the park. The fireworks on the fourth of July. The pizza. The subway. The entertainment scene, and did I mention the pizza?
New York is an awesome city, but goodness I hate the cold.
This week we are suffering from a ridiculous drop in temperatures due to our new yearly visitor, sir polar vortex. I hear there are actually other cities further north and in the Midwest that are actually having it worst. I don’t know what would be of me if I ever find myself in Minnesota in the middle of the winter. As I type this, the current temperature in Minneapolis is 3 degrees Fahrenheit. Really! Are you kidding me? From that perspective, here is way warmer at a whooping 19 degrees. Not too shabby, ha!
I’m truly not a winter person. I hibernate during cold weather and only come out of my house when needed, like to go to the grocery store when there is nothing left to eat.
For really cold days like the ones we are currently having, there is nothing better than a warm, hearty, and savory sancocho. This meat and vegetables stew is a staple in Spanish Caribbean cooking and the absolute Dominican comfort food.
Very little things give a Dominican more joy than having a nice super delicious bowl of sancocho. It is the meal of choice for friends and family gatherings, since it is usually made in big batches and can feed a lot of people.
In my house we are always looking for occasions to make sancocho, so many times we just end up inviting the neighbors over for no particular reason. Whenever my brother-in-law hears we are making sancocho, he jolts with happiness. That’s the kind of joy we feel when eating the wonderfulness that this dish is, plus it keeps us warm.
Sancocho (Meat and Vegetables Stew)
- ½ pound of pork meat or Ox tail
- 3-4 pieces of smoked neck bones
- Salt and pepper
- 2 teaspoons of oregano separated
- 1 lime
- 2-3 cubitos de caldo de pollo (chicken flavor bouillon)
- 1 teaspoon of adobo
- 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
- 5 tablespoons of sofrito divided (see note at the bottom)
- 2 green plantains
- 2 corns
- 2 medium carrots
- ½ pound of yuca
- ½ pound white Yautia
- 1 pound of auyama (kabocha squash)
- 10 pieces of whole allspice ( malagueta)
- First, season the pork meat and smoked neck bones with salt, pepper, 1 teaspoon of oregano, 2 tablespoons of sofrito and half of a lime. Cook meat in a large caldero (cast iron pot) until tender. Remove meat from the pot.
- To the pot, add the adobo, pepper, 1 teaspoon of oregano, chicken flavor bouillon and the rest of the sofrito. Let it cook for about 30 seconds then fill about ½ or ¾ of the pot with water.
- Pill the plantains, corn, carrots, and yautia and cut into small pieces (about 1-2 inches). Pill the yuca and auyama. Cut into pieces of about 3-4 inches.
- When the water starts to boil add the meat, plantains, corn, carrots, yautia, yuca, auyama and allspice.
- Keep an eye on the auyama because it will cook quickly. When the it becomes tender take it out of the pot, mash it and strain it back into the pot.
- Let it boil until everything has cooked and water has reduced a little bit. Taste and add the other half of the lime and cubito de pollo (chicken flavor bouillon) if needed.
- Serve warm with a side of white rice and avocado.